Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Paradox of Writing

"The paradox lies in the fact that the deadness of the text, its removal from the living human lifeworld, its rigid visual fixity, assures its endurance and its potential for being resurrected into limitless living contexts by a potentially infinite number of living readers." --Walter Ong, "Orality and Literacy: Writing Restructures Consciousness"

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Advent of the Unwritten Book in the New Atlantis

"The Book contained all the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, according as you have them ... and the Apocalypse itself, and some other books of the New Testament, which were not at that time written, were nevertheless in the Book."

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Cyrus Cylinder: Historical Object and Emblem

Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, traces 2600 years of Middle Eastern history through the Cyrus Cylinder:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

New Form of an Old Icebreaker

At the end of Mary Shelley's apocalyptic novel The Last Man, a story of the future told from ancient Sibylline leaves, the last man sets off in a boat with "scant stores" and "a few books." If you were the last human, what books would you select?