• Futures of the Book

    Author(s):
    Alyssa Arbuckle (see profile) , Jon Bath, Alex Christie, Constance Crompton, Ray Siemens
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    Digital Books, Digital Humanists
    Subject(s):
    Digital humanities, Book studies
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    social knowledge creation
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6V879
    Abstract:
    The erroneous belief that a new medium will completely replace a previous one is nowhere more evident than in discussions surrounding the emergence of electronic text. Having pre- viously fended off the challenges of the phonograph, motion picture, radio, and television, in the early 1990s the book was seen as finally having met its match in the computer and the internet. In his 1994 book, The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age, bibliophile Sven Birkerts bemoaned, “The stable hierarchies of the printed page—one of the defining norms of the world—are being superseded by the rush of impulses through freshly minted circuits” (1994: 3). Birkerts was responding to literary theorists such as George Landow (1992) and Jay David Bolter (1990) who saw the networked electronic text, with its relative ease of publishing and modification postpublication, as liberating authors and readers from the shackles of the printed book. They believed printed books would, in the near future, only be read by those “addicted to the look and feel of tree flakes encased in dead cow” (Mitchell 1995: 56). The book could not hope to compete against the computer, and its death was surely at hand. Except, as we now know, it was not.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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