The Gutenberg Elegies by Sven Birkerts
The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age

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Synopsis

"[A] THOUGHTFUL AND HEARTFELT BOOK...A literary cri de coeur--a lament for literature and everything implicit in it."
--The Washington Post
In our zeal to embrace the wonders of the electronic age, are we sacrificing our literary culture? Renowned critic Sven Birkerts believes the answer is an alarming yes. In The Gutenberg Elegies, he explores the impact of technology on the experience of reading. Drawing on his own passionate, lifelong love of books, Birkerts examines how literature intimately shapes and nourishes the inner life. What does it mean to "hear" a book on audiotape, decipher its words on a screen, or interact with it on CD-ROM? Are books as we know them dead?
At once a celebration of the complex pleasures of reading and a boldly original challenge to the new information technologies, The Gutenberg Elegies is an essential volume for anyone who cares about the past and future of books.
"[A] wise and humane book....He is telling us, in short, nothing less than what reading means and why it matters."
--The Boston Sunday Globe
"Warmly elegiac...A candid and engaging autobiographical account sketches his own almost obsessive trajectory through avid childhood reading....This profoundly reflexive process is skillfully described."
--The New York Times Book Review
"Provocative...Compelling...Powerfully conveys why reading matters, why it is both a delight and a necessity."
--The Harvard Review
 

About Sven Birkerts

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Sven Birkerts is the author of eight books, including The Art of Time in Memoir, Reading Life, Readings, and The Gutenberg Elegies. He has taught at Harvard University and currently directs the Bennington Writing Seminars and is the editor of AGNI. He lives in Massachusetts.
 
Published November 14, 2006 by Faber & Faber. 273 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Computers & Technology, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Gutenberg Elegies

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He argues that in the electronic age, what one critic called extensive reading has replaced intensive reading, and that casual writing has replaced permanent writing, because the act of writing is now easier and reading material more universally accessible.

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Publishers Weekly

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In this engaging, cautionary look at the impact of modern technology on literary tradition, critic Birkerts warns that the information superhighway poses dire challenges to the vitality of literary cr

Nov 28 1994 | Read Full Review of The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fa...

Publishers Weekly

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In his jeremiad, literary critic Birkets predicts that the information superhighway will lead to an erosion of language and a diminishing of sustained critical thought. (Nov.)

Oct 02 1995 | Read Full Review of The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fa...

Publishers Weekly

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In this engaging, cautionary look at the impact of modern technology on literary tradition, critic Birkerts warns that the information superhighway poses dire challenges to the vitality of literary criticism.

| Read Full Review of The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fa...

Publishers Weekly

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In his jeremiad, literary critic Birkets predicts that the information superhighway will lead to an erosion of language and a diminishing of sustained critical thought.

| Read Full Review of The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fa...

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