On the Same Page

Being able to criss-cross the globe on the strength of the Internet has made it possible to engage with creative ideas, conversations, and experiences which otherwise would be beyond our reach—and at times, even beyond our imagination.  On The Same Page will bring to the reader of Torchlight, a combination of textual-audio-visual curated content, about and around libraries and bookish love.

Throughout history, libraries have been venerated—but also destroyed. If on the one hand these repositories of knowledge and wisdom have freed the shackles of the mind, on the other hand they have been feared for the very same reason. From ancient to modern times, about a dozen grand libraries spanning at least 3 continents, have been destroyed by human intent and action.

We know nothing, though, about those who inhabited these libraries daily by virtue of their passion and vocation. What did the librarians feel when their institutions were on the verge of being extinguished? Did they feel their personhood was at stake? Did they feel they had been made—obsolete? Libraries and their custodians–and by extension, truth– are among the first casualties of totalitarian regimes.

In this first issue, we introduce you to The Obsolete Man, a 25-minute riveting episode in the American TV anthology series Twilight Zone, aired in 1961, about a librarian, Mr. Romney Wordsworth. His job, which is to know, preserve and share the intellectual treasures of society, are in the eyes of the State, “useless.” The twist at the end followed by the narrator’s voice-over reveal the changing contours of obsolescence.

The Obsolete Man from Ryan Sebo on Vimeo.

Image Courtesy: The Birth of a Nation

One thought on “On the Same Page

  1. Totally gripping. Chilling.
    At that time the episode would have been futuristic and Orwellian.Today it is real.
    Fantastic preface Beena

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