The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age
"[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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The Gutenberg elegies: the fate of reading in an electronic ageUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Birkerts, the author of three books of criticism (American Energies, LJ 6/1/92), has written a collection of 14 essays discussing the changing role of reading as "culture has begun to go through what ... Read full review
The Reading Wars
Parti The Reading Self
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aesthetic assumptions audio book aura awareness become begin Birkerts called circuit communications complex context criticism culture D. H. Lawrence Don DeLillo electronic essay everything experience fact fantasy feel felt fiction future going happened Henry James human hypertext idea ideal images imagination individual interactive James Kernan kind language Larry Shields less Liberal Imagination listening literary living look Marshall McLuhan meaning memory ment mind move narrative natural Neil Postman never novel once ourselves past postmodern Princess Casamassima printed prose reader reading reality Room of One's screen sense sensibility sentence shift social society sort soul space story talk technologies television things Thomas Pynchon thought tion Toni Morrison transformation Trilling Trilling's turn voice whole Woolf words writing Youngblood Hawke