Author: Elizabeth Bozek, LLB, Estate and Trust Consultant, Scotia Wealth Management.
I recently attended the Young Women in Law’s 8th Annual Charity Gala where Margaret Atwood was the keynote speaker. Her talk was equal parts funny, touching, topical and eloquent. Inspired to look into what else Ms. Atwood is up to recently, I discovered she is a contributing author (the very first!) to a public artwork entitled “The Future Library”.
Every year from 2014 to 2114, an “outstanding” author will be chosen by The Future Library Trust to contribute a manuscript that will be sealed until all 100 works are collected in 2114. The trustees are maintaining a forest planted outside Oslo, Norway, to provide trees to print the books in 2114. The sealed manuscripts will be housed in a library set to open in Oslo in 2019. The works collected for this project can be in any literary form or language, by authors of any age and nationality, and can be of any length. The contributing authors are sworn to secrecy and cannot reveal to anyone the contents of their work.
The creator of this work, Scottish artist Katie Paterson, has stated that the project “questions the present tendency to think in short bursts of time, making decisions only for us living now.”
As professionals in the world of estates and trusts, we can relate to this idea of helping clients create a legacy for future generations, one that they will never see or enjoy themselves. Indeed, the readers of the literary works created for this project have not yet been born.
People will be invited to purchase certificates entitling the holders to a copy of the entire anthology, a right which will be passed on to future generations. How thrilling it will be to be one of the chosen few to read these works in a century’s time and enjoy the literary legacy of one hundred “outstanding” authors.