Shopping lists, the medium for watercolour painting, books, toilet paper, wrapping paper, shopping bags, tickets for theatre in all its variety, train tickets, bus tickets, hard copies, wills, envelopes, newspapers, magazines; the uses are endless. Uses that are impossible to translate into other forms, or if they are, less comfortable or comforting. This is a random list, a clutter of thoughts before I become part of that debate, hear the history. But I know that the human race would not have come very far if they’d had to lug around stone tablets.
Tomorrow @the_spring, in the town of Havant where parchment was one of the prime products for centuries, reputedly of Magna Carta fame and definitely for the problematic Treaty of Versailles, there will be a debate on this very subject. The author of ‘Paper Trail’, Alexander Munro, will be speaking for ‘This House believes that paper is the most important invention in history.’ His ‘opponent’, a devil’s advocate I believe, will be Tim Dawes, director of Havant Literary Festival.
I hope you’ll be there too!