The death of the book has been duly announced, and with it the end of brick-and-mortar libraries, traditional publishers, linear narrative, authorship, and disciplinarity, along with the emergence of a more equitable discursive order. These essays suggest that it won't be that simple. The digitization of discourse will not be effected without some wrenching social and cultural dislocations.
The contributors to this volume are enthusiastic about the possibilities created by digital technologies, instruments that many of them have played a role in developing and deploying. But they also see the new media raising serious critical issues that force us to reexamine basic notions about rhetoric, reading, and the nature of discourse itself.
Geoffrey Nunberg, Introduction
Carla Hesse, The Book in Time
James J. O'Donnell, Trithemius, McLuhan, Cassiodorus: The Pragmatics of the New
Paul Duguid, Material Matters: The Past and Futurology of the Book
Geoffrey Nunberg, Farewell to the Information Age
Règis Debray, Dematerialization and Desacralization: The Book as a Symbolic Object
Patrick Bazin, Towards Meta-reading
Luca Toschi, Hypertext and the Author: New Texts, Old Roots
George Landow, Twenty Minutes into the Future, or How Are We Moving beyond the Book?
Raffaele Simone, The Body of the Text
Jay David Bolter, Ekphrasis, Virtual Reality, and the Future of Writing
Michael Joyce, (Re)placing the Author: "A Book in the Ruins"
Umberto Eco, Afterword
Geoffrey Nunberg is a research scientist at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and a professor of Linguistics at Stanford University.