Tall dusty bookshelves, softly silent rooms and row after row of slightly tattered, well-loved books- as a child, this was my image of paradise. And it still is. There is something inexplicably powerful about the image of the book; that (generally) small collection of marked papers, often stored on the sideline of everyday life and yet containing the power to transform the world. This image combined with that of the writer who often stands seemingly still on the edges of society with a lack of that glitter which draws the eye of the world, and yet still molding, still shaping and moving that world with their ideas, their passions, their words, is one that has captured my imagination since I was very small. So heading into the MAPP project, I have been constantly overwhelmed and grateful for every bit of the experience.
Writing biographies for MAPP this summer has been an incredible experience, but it was not without its challenges and its triumphs. I experienced both most whilst writing my biography on C.J.M. Hubback.
I was given a name—not even a name. I was given three initials and a last name of an obscure translator for Dr. Sigmund Freud that no one in the room had heard of: C.J.M. Hubback. My first step as a novice researcher was to take this name to Google. I hoped to gain some insight from a Wikipedia page as to who this man was, and what he might have done in his life other than translating Beyond the Principle Pleasure. There was nothing.