Sidetracked by palimpsests.

If that is in fact the plural.

We’re watching In the Name of the Rose, and the text is in German, and the credit is something like “a palimpsest from Umberto Eco’s In the Name of the Rose“.  I don’t assume that it means exactly the same thing as in English, but I can see where a similar meaning could be useful.

A palimpsest, for the record, is a document or part of it–a manuscript page–that has been scraped clean and reused.  Wax that was melted or pressed smooth again, vellum that had the top layer (and the ink) scraped off.  The idea that there’s a specific word for this always sort of intrigued me.  A bit difficult to articulate, but it’s a word for something that once had a characteristic which no longer exists; which is defined by being itself made over again.

There are very few terms for things like that.  “Recycled” or “upcycled” focuses on what it is now; “reused” is close, but it’s about what happened to it, not what it was/is.

I don’t think I’m being particularly persuasive; I’m seriously distracted by the movie.  It’s a deeply lovely film. Not pretty, it is very good at not being pretty, but it has a lovely depth to the faces and architecture and light and framing.

(I was going to write something about how I’d lost touch with people and how I was okay with that, but I can save that for later.  Now I am going to focus properly on the movie.)

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