John Edward Cooper’s Notes

HomeContentsAlphabetical listingWhom I’d like to meet in eternity…
 

The Memoir of John

video video
I wrote The Memoir of John on toilet paper during the time I was an electrical engineering student apprentice with the English Electric Company in Preston. The reason for starting it appears to be that I sometimes found myself with very little else to do at work. There is an entry in my diary for Tuesday 5 August 1969, which reads as follows:
Morn[ing and] aft[ernoon]: Did NOTHING.
And Thursday 14 August 1969:
[I] took 2¼ hours off in [the] toilets.
The actual writing began on Tuesday 12 August 1969:
Work… [I] talked to Ossy about [the] H[oly] Sp[irit], after he had read what I’d written on a piece of toilet paper when I went to the toilet. This was in [the] Field Coils Shop. He’s a bit doubtful about the Baptism [in the Holy Spirit].
And there is an entry for Tuesday 23 September 1969:
Work. A lot of time wasted through the inspector I was with taking time off. I went to [the] loo and wrote “memoirs”.
The pieces of toilet paper were originally glued together into a long scroll, but in June or July 1975 I cut them up and stuck them on sheets of paper, book-style.

A note attached to “The Memoir of Yahweh-is-Gracious” refers to The Memoir of John as “Scroll 1”, when it mentions “Fragment 5 of Scroll 1”. [Scroll up from this link to see the note.] I attempt to identify Fragment 1, Fragment 2, Fragment 3, Fragment 4 and Fragment 5, below.

I revised The Memoir of John (as the first part of “The Johannine Writings”) in 1980; the chapter-and-verse references in red within the text are those adopted for “Johannine Writings”.


Scroll 1, Fragment 1








Scroll 1, Fragment 2






Scroll 1, Fragment 3


At this point two pieces of the toilet paper Ms. are glued together. The sameness of the ink and the of handwriting on both pieces, and the lack of dating on the second, suggest that they were written on the same occasion, i.e. are both part of Fragment 3.





Scroll 1, Fragment 4
(assuming that the break noted between lines 203 and 204 is not where “Fragment 4” starts)









Between lines 330 and 331, above, two pieces of the toilet paper Ms. are glued together. The sameness of the ink and of the handwriting on both pieces, the fact that the shapes of the torn edges of both of them exactly match, and the lack of dating on the second piece, are ample evidence that they are part of the same fragment and were simply truncated to fit on one page when I cut them up and stuck them on sheets of paper.


Scroll 1, Fragment 5
(assuming that the break noted between lines 203 and 204 is not where “Fragment 4” starts, and that the argument about the join between lines 330 and 331 is sound)




At this point two pieces of the toilet paper Ms. are glued together. The sameness of the ink and the of handwriting on both pieces, and the lack of dating on the second, are evidence that they were written on the same occasion. A note attached to “
The Memoir of Yahweh-is-Gracious” mentions an “excised piece, cut from fragment 5 of scroll 1”. [Scroll up from this link to see the note.] The excision probably occurred at this point. The missing text, as copied in “The Memoir of Yahweh-is-Gracious”, is given below. I have made one change from memory [bracketed] to restore the text. The copy in “The Memoir of Yahweh-is-Gracious”, however, omitted additional lines, written to introduce Hebrew-style parallelism into the text; these additions are now lost, and I am not able to attempt a restoration.
Ah most Noble Strength!
I have lost my heart to you, my sister.
How will there ever be any one who will compare to you?
And what wonderful times we had together!
And how you said that you wanted only me!
But now I am left with only memories.
And how may I forget you, my sweet one?
When you have gotten so deep into my heart?
What tears, what grief, what despair I have known since you left me!
How much I have cried, how much I have longed, and yearned for you!
How can I give you up, [O Strength, and Nobility]?
For although you go with someone else,
my heart still thinks I am the one you go with,
and it has never given you up!
O the yearning!
So much so that I can no longer bear it.
Yet I must!






Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]





<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]