Bolter on Disadvantages of E-Text

George P. Landow, Professor of English and Art History, Brown University

[Note 21 in Chapter 1 in print version. © the Johns Hopkins University Press 1992.]

In Writing Space, Bolter explains some of these costs: "Electronic text is the first text in which the elements of meaning, of structure, and of visual display are fundamentally unstable. Unlike the printing press, or the medieval codex, the computer does not require that any aspect of writing be determined in advance for the whole life of a text. This restlessness is inherent in a technology that records information by collecting for fractions of a second evanescent electrons at tiny junctions of silicon and metal. All information, all data, in the computer world is a kind of controlled movement, and so the natural inclination of computer writing is to change" (31).

Follow for my review of In Writing Space.


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