Festival der Künste2021

Hugh Raffles: The Book of Unconformities: Speculations on Lost Time

Hugh Raffles: The Book of Unconformities: Speculations on Lost Time | © Asad Raza

I've been reading (slowly, I'm a slow reader) The Book of Unconformities by Hugh Raffles. It's pretty fascinating. The book is all about a series of types of stone, but much more. Each chapter is named after a stone and tells the story of the author's journey to see a notable example of it. He goes to Greenland. He goes to the Orkney Islands. Even Manhattan schist, in Washington Heights, New York City. There is a tremendous amount of geology, history, and lore retold by this book. But the reason for these journeys to far away stone circles and freezing rocks is not only scientific. Early in the book you learn that both the author's sisters died unexpectedly within a few weeks, one by suicide and the other in childbirth. And this is the spur, the catalyst for these journeys. That mute fact resonates with the search for stones throughout. It makes a kind of gravitational field.

Asad Raza, Berlin, 2021