The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning

John Evans reports:

Whether it is Socrates bemoaning the ascendancy of the book and its impact on oral culture, or the medieval fear of corruption that printed books could bring to the hearts and souls of readers, changes in cultural production always bring promises of utopia, fears of dystopia, and marketing ploys to excite and titillate. The end is never the end—people still tell stories, play music, read books, listen to LPs, and go to the movies—despite the purported extinction of each of these. The New York Times had a recent review of Andrew Pettegree‘s The Book in the Renaissance which is worth reading by the culturally engaged who like to watch the cultural wheels go round and round. As always, it’s good to tone down the sales pitch, smile at the fear mongering, and use your own discernment—which is more honest, more interesting, more attractive, more fruitful…?

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