Tuesday, April 1, 1997

April 1997

This is a placeholder post linking to this month's entries in the pre-Blogger format.



This brings me to the heart of the matter--to the particular relationship between the library and the humanities. In theory, there is no reason why Milton's Paradise Lost or Rousseau's Social Contract cannot be called up on the screen, assuming they are "on line." (What is more likely is that something like a Cliff's Notes version of them is on line.)

But even if they are on line, there is every reason to hold them in book form--"hard copy," as we now say--rather than on the screen. With the physical volume in our hand, we are necessarily aware of the substantiality, the reality of the work, the text as it is, as Milton or Rousseau wrote it and meant us to read it.

--"Revolution in the Library," by Gertrude Himmelfarb, The American Scholar, Spring 1997, p. 203

So should we read Plato on scrolls?