The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age

Front Cover
Fawcett Columbine, 1994 - Authors and readers. - 231 pages
28 Reviews
"[A] THOUGHTFUL AND HEARTFELT BOOK...A literary cri de coeur--a lament for literature and everything implicit in it."
--The Washington Post
In our zeal to embrace the wonders of the electronic age, are we sacrificing our literary culture? Renowned critic Sven Birkerts believes the answer is an alarming yes. In The Gutenberg Elegies, he explores the impact of technology on the experience of reading. Drawing on his own passionate, lifelong love of books, Birkerts examines how literature intimately shapes and nourishes the inner life. What does it mean to "hear" a book on audiotape, decipher its words on a screen, or interact with it on CD-ROM? Are books as we know them dead?
At once a celebration of the complex pleasures of reading and a boldly original challenge to the new information technologies, The Gutenberg Elegies is an essential volume for anyone who cares about the past and future of books.
"[A] wise and humane book....He is telling us, in short, nothing less than what reading means and why it matters."
--The Boston Sunday Globe
"Warmly elegiac...A candid and engaging autobiographical account sketches his own almost obsessive trajectory through avid childhood reading....This profoundly reflexive process is skillfully described."
--The New York Times Book Review
"Provocative...Compelling...Powerfully conveys why reading matters, why it is both a delight and a necessity."
--The Harvard Review

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Review: The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age

User Review  - Megan - Goodreads

It's hard to believe this book was written almost a decade ago, the insights into technology and entertainment are still so fresh. Except he uses the phrase "electronic media" instead of the common ... Read full review

Review: The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age

User Review  - Scott Johnson - Goodreads

I was absorbed in this book from beginning to end. Birkerts reflects deeply on the way electronic media influence (for ill) our habits of reading. He's concerned about literature, but all he says applies to the reading of Scripture and theology as well. Very persuasive. Read full review

Contents

The Reading Wars
3
Parti The Reading Self
9
MahVuhHuhPuh
11
Copyright

15 other sections not shown

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About the author (1994)

Sven Birkerts is the author of "Reading Life: Books for the Ages," "Readings,"
"The Gutenberg Elegies," and a memoir, "My Sky Blue Trades," He teaches at Harvard University and at the Bennington Writing Seminars and is the editor of "AGNI," He lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.

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