Books with Bodies Narrative Progression in Chris Ware's Building Stories Torsa Ghosal On the brink of the end of paper, I was attracted to the idea of a book that can't forget it has a body. --Jonathan Safran Foer, in an interview by Steven Heller This epigraph, quoting Foer's statement about his Tree of Codes (2010), voices anxiety concerning the loss of books' corporeality. The massive tide of book digitization projects and the surge of audiences who consume texts on screens of computers, tablets, and smartphones provide the immediate context for such a statement.1 Indeed, Google Print, now known as Google Books, when formally launched in 2004, added greater visibility to digitization projects that had been under way since the 1990s. These databases, hosted digitally, have since tried to reproduce information previously contained within a physical object--the book. Despite dissenting voices from various quarters, the digitization projects have only grown in their scope over the years. However, in the "deep time of media," to use the ti- tle of Siegfried Zielinski's influential media archaeological study (2006), there is another, deeper implication in Foer's statement. Through our literary and cultural history, the materiality of books was frequently overlooked even
StoryWorlds: A Journal of Narrative Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Aug 9, 2015
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