Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows, contributed an article to the Wall Street Journal that I found both interesting and relevant. Books That Are Never Done Being Written addresses the issue of revision in e-books, with or without the reader's consent or knowledge. As Carr points out, when a book is in printed form, it is immutable. Carr writes:"Beyond giving writers a spur to eloquence, what the historian Elizabeth Eisenstein calls "typographical fixity" served as a cultural preservative. It helped to protect original documents from corruption, providing a more solid foundation for the writing of history. It established a reliable record of knowledge, aiding the spread of science. It accelerated the standardization of everything from language to law." In e-books, however, texts are constantly updated, and although it assures greater accuracy, a constantly changing text can be easily abused. Read more on the Wall Street Journal website.