Monday, September 29, 2008

The Gutenberg Elegies - post III

As Birkerts starts to get back into his argument he uses chapter three to talk about the decline in the big narratives as communities stretched and technology made it possible for people, and a wider bunch at that, to get access to literature.

The point he seems to be making is that reading in its history was not just about words on the page but because of its universality had the ability set the collective debate and as people grew up it was the shared narratives that they inherited.

The point is made that in the past news took much longer to stretch round the globe and when it did arrive there tended to be one definitive account. Reading in a historical sense was therefore something that underlined community and helped shape the horizons of those that were either able to read or have the contents of books told as oral histories.

More soon...

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