----- Original Message -----From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Marcia KarpSent: Saturday, April 08, 2006 6:51 AMSubject: Re: Changing timesRickard A. Parker wrote:
[log in to unmask] type="cite">It has happened before. To begin with, no one stops anyone from jumping around in a book or a scroll. If you want to read a novel out of order, go ahead, but what sort of freedom is that? And what do you (the list "you") think indices help readers do, though one is free to ignore them? Endnotes and footnotes? "loc cit"? "q.v."? Page numbers (preemptive stike--they are not for the printer, who uses signatures to keep his place)?Tabitha Arnesen wrote:And dont you find the way that pages in books are all so constrively stuck together really really bad, like a sign of the coming apocalypse of evil??? Bookbinders and publishers have an evil cartel so that we can only ever read the pages of books in one "arbitrary" order decreed by university department elitists!!! Its a straitjacket for our minds!!! The "ordinary people" must unite to destroy this mind manacles of menace!!!!It is happening now. It's called hypertext.
Let's have a real argument, in which indispensable intuition and genuine leaps of thinking test themselves. I throw down this gauntlet:
"The whole battery of aids to reading and comprehension which the reader of to-day takes for granted--the separation of words, systematic provision of accents and breathings, punctuation, paragraphing, chapter headings, lists of contents, footnotes, indexes, bibliographies, etc.--simply did not exist in the ancient world nor (and this is important) was their absence felt, however indispensable they may seem to us." [Colin H. Roberts and T. C. Skeat, _The Birth of the Codex_ (London: Oxford University Press, 1987) 73-74.]
Perhaps D'Alembert's defense of the system he and Diderot used in their dictionary will be of interest to those who have searched in vain for a way out of paper or parchment or papyrus prisons. The evolution of the book has always, from the addition of spaces between words in Greek and Roman texts to now (who knows the future?), has been fueled by the cycle of needs, met needs, and changing desires of scribes/writers/readers.
Those who don't know history are doomed to think only they can think. [MSK, 2005]
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