But other voices are filled with anxiety about a supposed threat to the skills developed by the earlier literacy and by mastery of the printed, predigital word. With the advent of digital writing and digital text reproduction, will literature--and the culture based on respectful care for the word--be eroded? Or if the print culture is preserved will printed books possess the same exotic value that poetry recitals and fifty-foot scrolls in museums have today? The anxiety is heard in the words of Gore Vidal, the American novelist:
The sense of historical drift, from oral to literate to telecommunications culture, has become a familiar topic among our writers. A complex philosophical-historical thesis about the connection between expression and the development of writing technology has become a commonplace explanation of our sense of drift. The explanatory power of the thesis vaguely covers but does not yet disclose extensive transformations in our pedagology, epistemology, and theology.
|Inf(l)ections by Steve Cook|