Lost Souls Are Contained In "The Library of Dust" December 30, 2009 – Tags: books, David Maisel, Jack Kerouac, Libraries, Library of Dust, Oregon State Hospital, Photography
The crematorium, autopsy room, and hallways of an outbuilding at the Oregon State Hospital, formerly known as “The Insane Asylum,” need to be cleaned. Not exactly a plum assignment. So a prisoner from a nearby penitentiary has been brought in for the job. He’s perfect for it. He has no choice. But even the man in prison blues balks at entering one room. When its long-locked door is opened by a visiting photographer–fittingly one of those crazy artist types–the prisoner briefly peers inside but his feet remain firmly planted in the hallway. “The library of dust,” murmurs the prisoner, shaking his head as he goes back to his cleaning.
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!'”-Jack Kerouac.