The Future Library and Prospective Readership | The Friday Article

With 2015 being the year which Marty McFly travels to in Back to the Future, sci-fi fans and armchair critics quickly poked fun at how inaccurate the film is at predicting the future world.

But we shouldn’t really judge work created in the past – it isn’t really fair on the work itself. However, with Katie Paterson’s idea of ‘The Future Library’, we can’t help but wonder what future readers of the 100-year-old manuscripts will think about the 21st century. Will they be as cynical as we were of the prediction of a hoverboard?

Probably not. As excited as we are to find historical artefacts from history, future readers of ‘The Future Library’ may read the work with similar enthusiasm.

However, we are unaware of what the future holds and that is the beauty of the artwork itself as well as why it can be categorised as art – it provokes thoughts on the future as well as exploring the idea of different interpretations.

This cannot be anymore true with the work of ‘The Future Library’, where the people of the future will be surrounded with a context that will prompt different interpretations. For that reason, Katie Paterson’s project provokes questions about future generations and readership in a style similar to that of Roland Barthes’ essay, The Death of the Author – and that is to be applauded.


N.B. In a style different to the normal, journalist reports of The Friday Article, I thought I would do an opinion piece this week. Let me know what you thought of this post in the comments below.