Articles with tag:


(2 results)

What a book is for me

For once let’s not talk about books as objects. At least not today. The rhetoric of recto and verso, the unbearable lightness of its being, the fragrance and roughness of its paper, the wrapping of its cover, that reveals something, but not too much and not immediately. We could talk, for instance, about how each of us might imagine a book that blends advanced technology with the perfection of a ready-made object.   Perhaps, one day, instead of pages sitting on an individual screen of an individual tablet, there will be a screen on all the pages of an individual book. Why not? Research and tests on the technology of materials will have made it possible to transmit digital information via paper fibers.   The other day I sat and ruminated for hours, while traveling from train to plane to train again, about this unhealthy idea of a book in the future. It would be white, I thought (or a changing color), of average size, portable, page-turnable, surfable, with screen-pages made of a special make of paper that turns on and off. The best of digital combined with the best of analogical.   I’d really much rather talk about books as stories though.   If we do talk about stories, I...

Birth of the Home Video

In the beginning there were movie theaters, with their giant screens and comfortable armchairs, a darkened room, ice creams served by ushers, and, of course, an audience. There were annoying people coughing, heads too high in front of you, or too low behind you, unwarranted comments during the interval. Most important, back then, the show came to an end. There were double bills, of course, where the first film cost more than the second. But opportunities to see your favorite actor, actress or director’s other films were minimal, unless you were lucky and there was a special, a film festival or, much later, late-night replays on television. The bravest of us tried to solve the problem with the only machine on the market for home viewing: the Super 8 projector. After inflicting those flickering few minutes of family birthdays and christenings on your audience, as a dubious reward you could mount whole film canisters and subject your friends to a fairly traumatic viewing experience. The chances of getting to the end of the film without a) the film splitting, b) the light bulb blowing, c) the light bulb burning the film, d) the sound track being inaudible, were as high as the chances...