A Real Live (Literary) Mystery

I am going to wax lyrical now. (I have always wanted to use that phrase.)

Someone has been anonymously leaving paper sculptures made from books at Edinburgh libraries. The poetree pictured above was the first one to mysteriously show up on a table in the library. Inside the accompanying gold-lined paper eggshells, there were lines that compose “A Trace of Wings” by Edwin Morgan. Other paper sculptures include: a dragon hatching out of its egg, a gramophone, a magnifying class, a cinema scene.

These sculptures appear out of the blue, sometimes in plain sight, sometimes slightly hidden. No one knows where they came from. Each gift is accompanied by a beautiful tags, like: “A gift in support of libraries, books, works, ideas….. Once upon a time there was a book and in the book was a nest and in the nest was an egg and in the egg was a dragon and in the dragon was a story…..”

When I read about this, something about it reminded me of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, which happens to be one of my favorite books. What I love about these sculptures is that it’s a secret – except I don’t mind that I’m not in on the secret. It’s enough that this secret exists. Like Claudia and Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and the angel statue in the museum. The sculptures are so wondrous – a “symbol of literary love” as The Guardian describes it – and delightful. And I got giddy and breathless just reading about how they turn up. What an incredible gift: the sculpture and the secret.

2 thoughts on “A Real Live (Literary) Mystery

  1. This is so marvelous! Thanks for sharing this with me; I’d never even heard of it until this week! It really is an exciting mystery! And I think the new ones are even better; more detailed, more character. I love it so much. I want to learn to do it. ;)

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