A pretentious wordsmith at work:

What was written in prescribed form and in the archive’s margins, what was written oblique to official prescriptions and on the ragged edges of protocol produced the administrative apparatus as it opened to a space that extended beyond it. Contrapuntal intrusions emanated from outside the corridors of governance but they also erupted – and were centrally located – within that sequestered space. Against the sober formulaics of officialese, these archives register the febrile movements of persons off balance – of thoughts and feelings in an out of place. In tone and temper they convey the rough interior ridges of governance and disruptions to the deceptive clarity of its mandates.

Ann Laura Stoler, Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense (2009), pp. 1-2. (ht cp)

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