Last week, we discussed the inherent intertextuality of the Jewish Prayer Book. And we explored ancient and modern forms of the palimpsest.
We also looked at the online projects created around the Archimedes Palimpsest, a 13th-century (Christian) prayer book containing erased texts that were written several centuries earlier, most notably two treatises by Archimedes that can be found nowhere else. Among these projects, there is an astounding Google Books display of the original codex.
Essentially, we are considering the textual aspects of Jewish liturgy as a “palimpsest” of sorts, generated through multiple layers of texts and meanings, interpretations and uses. In a way, the text of the liturgy is a conscious palimpsest , since the way in which all layers appear to interact are somewhat intentional. Or not?
News circulated recently online about the ArtScroll iPad app. This is a great example of intentional modern palimpsest. In it, multiple layers of textual sources, interpretive paths, and patterns of usability, seem to coexist within an apparently seamless (digital) interface.
And you can “try it free,” too! 😉