Class discussion notes 8/27

8/27: first Gutenberg discussion: his premise

[assortment of ideas from class]

noticed the issue of time: seems concerned about readers not being able to sit still, slow down–required for reading.

the Henry James teaching example–effective, engaging example from his experience, resonated with lots of readers

noticed he judges, almost disdains, those who use technology: the word “horde.” For some of us, felt like we were fighting him at times when reading; other times, though, he comes across as quiet and sedate.

Is this view of reading elist? is in not just about books vs. technology but only certain kinds of books?

began to notice and wonder about his style: in other words, not what he says but how he says it–and the ways in which how he writes is or isn’t effective for what he is trying to argue. I indicated that this attention to style (pulling back the curtain on the writers within the machines, so to speak) will be a continuing focus. An initial issue of SB’s style: places where he seems to contradict his argument with statements that indicate he too uses the technology he is also complaining about (for example, the television/Virginia Woolf example).

What would SB think about the book-reading phenomenon of Harry Potter in the last few years? Does it count as reading for him?

I mentioned as an example of a kind of public/networked/digital reading experience that is based on books but also informed by digital technology the fanfiction phenomenon. Here is a Harry Potter fanfiction site, if interested.

I also talked briefly about the tags, how they work and what they mean for this emerging medium of writing. One word that has emerged to describe this concept is “folksonomy“–you can learn more from the wikipedia entry.


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