Tag Archives: cuneiform

Scribe Tribe Reflections on A Hot Day

I’ve always been fascinated by this scribe tribe image…this clan of ours that stretches back to the first cuneiform scribes, bent over their tablets of mud. I guess before that we were the characters in the tribes that told the stories. But something must have happened when it came time to scratch out symbols and convey some sense of a story. Most of that early writing was census tallies and merchant deals. Not unlike most of the scribbling today, as an aspect of the business and market processes globally. Enough to put you to sleep but as many of us have experienced…technical and business writing can pay bills. Fiction…well? That’s another story, isn’t it? So, anyway, this is just a short blast of words to make some noise, maybe even music now and then, about what it means to be in this scribe tribe, this manic scribbling that captures our quotidian and universal experiences. We may not be the most powerful clan in the history of the world, but there have been times when our civilizational product has made a critical difference in the preservation of “frozen speech”, of cultural knowledge, of memory and experience from the pre-literate times, true today, in Gilgamesh’s search for the flower of immortality. Bear with this scribe…I’ll be back with more. Please feel free to write me and express your opinions about this maddeningly aggravating and joyous art. Here’s something Flaubert supposedly said…and I think it well applies to our time as scribes…”Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” More on that…and more on more…next time.


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