Provocative Essay: "The Electronic Book Burning"

In Evergreen Review, by Alan Kaufman, author of Matches and Jew Boy. Amazon, Google, Kindle are all grist for the author's mill. A portion:

The book is fast becoming the despised Jew of our culture. Der Jude is now Der Book. Hi-tech propogandists tell us that the book is a tree-murdering, space-devouring, inferior form of technology; that society would simply be better-off altogether if we euthanized it even as we begin to carry around, like good little Aryans, whole libraries in our pockets, downloaded on the Uber-Kindle.

To me, the book is one of life's most sacred objects, a torah, a testament, something not only worth living for but as shown in Ray Bradbury's ‘Fahrenheit 451’, something that is even worth dying for. And yet, though I have been willing to sacrifice everything for the books I have written, compiled or just read, though I have given the days of my life, my years, my youth and adulthood to the book, as both sacred object and text, I am now witness to the culture turning away en masse from the book. The world is moving to embrace the electronic media as its principle mode of expression. The human has opted for the machine, and its ghosts, over the haptic companionship and didactic embodiment of the physical book. And though this development seems inevitable yet I will not accept it.

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get me Godwin on the phone, right now!

If there some sort of award we can give writers when the cross a certain hysterical, self-important, egotistical, perspectiveless point? Can I nominate Mr. Kaufman for one? And perhaps a nice 2x4 shampoo?

Your lack of protocal

Why do you choose to attack Mr. Kaufman rather then to address his points?

Godwin

Message View
akpoem2@aol.com
Re: More electronic burnin'
From: Alan Kaufman
To: epersoff@yahoo.com
Date: Tue, Oct 20, 2009 11:52 pm

Hi Ethan,
By the logic of Godwim's law the American prosecutor at Nuremberg, in making his opening statements at the trial of the Nazi war criminals, automatically lost. Law is, after all, a dialogue too, if a very complex and
public one, between justice and injustice, ethics and the absence of them, circumstance and morality.

By the logic of Godwin's law, the State of Israel, citing the Holocaust as one of the principle rationales for its existence, also, automatically loses.

By Godwin's law, the SS man who can speaks in euphamisms about mass murder succeds to elude Godwin's paradimgn altogether and the Wansee Confernece, where no one ever openly referenced the Holocaust but only alluded to it in the most masked ways, must then stand at the consumate good of Godwin.

Read Godwin's law

Kaufman, you are worried about the demise of books but clearly have no reading or analysis skills. Go read Godwin's law at Wikipedia and you will see that the entire blurb you posted about Godwin's law makes no sense.

In the two examples you gave

1) Nuremberg
2) Israel citing the holocaust

Both of these deal with discussion of the actual holocaust so Godwin's law is not relevant. Godwin's law is relevant when some crazed author claims that ebooks are equal to the holocaust.

Instead of all you bitching and whining Kaufman what are you doing to protect books? Instead of whining hysterically why don't you do something? Start a library, create an independent publishing house that only prints paper books, do something other than just whine.

Something else Kaufman can do

The book "The Outlaw Bible of American Essays" is available on the Kindle. Kaufman needs to contact Amazon and make sure the Kindle edition of his book is taken down. Since "ebooks = holocaust" for Kaufman he does not want to support the holocaust by having a Kindle edition of his book available.

http://www.amazon.com/Outlaw-Bible-American-Essays-ebook/dp/B001U89R32

Godwin

By the logic of Godwim's law the American prosecutor at Nuremberg, in making his opening statements at the trial of the Nazi war criminals, automatically lost. Law is, after all, a dialogue too, if a very complex and
public one, between justice and injustice, ethics and the absence of them, circumstance and morality.

By the logic of Godwin's law, the State of Israel, citing the Holocaust as one of the principle rationales for its existence, also, automatically loses.

By Godwin's law, the SS man who can speaks in euphamisms about mass murder succeds to elude Godwin's paradimgn altogether and the Wansee Confernece, where no one ever openly referenced the Holocaust but only alluded to it in the most masked ways, must then stand at the consumate good of Godwin.

GODWIN

Hi Ethan,
By the logic of Godwim's law the American prosecutor at Nuremberg, in making his opening statements at the trial of the Nazi war criminals, automatically lost. Law is, after all, a dialogue too, if a very complex and
public one, between justice and injustice, ethics and the absence of them, circumstance and morality.

By the logic of Godwin's law, the State of Israel, citing the Holocaust as one of the principle rationales for its existence, also, automatically loses.

By Godwin's law, the SS man who can speaks in euphamisms about mass murder succeds to elude Godwin's paradimgn altogether and the Wansee Confernece, where no one ever openly referenced the Holocaust but only alluded to it in the most masked ways, must then stand at the consumate good of Godwin.

Meh

Wow! Someone really hates technology ... and yeah, Chuck, I'll loan you a couple of 4x8s for his shampoo!

I find this kind of writing deplorable. Sure, we're seeing an incredible increase in the amount of electronic books, but (and here's the irony of my post), some of us responsible for the digitization of texts still consider the book to be of significant, if not utmost, importance. I'm the Digital Resource Librarian at a large Western states university and the last thing I would say is "Good bye book."

I believe in the appropriate application of technology and one of the reasons I do what I do is so that books that are unavailable for easy access can have their content made accessible. At the end of the day, it's what's IN the book that counts, rarely is it the object itself.

Get over yourself, Mr. Kaufman. Your fetish isn't shared by more than a few of us...

Fetish?

As in swingers? How suburban!

Fahrenheit 451

The author of the piece envokes Fahrenheit 451. But here is what F451 says about books:

Faber examined Montag's thin, blue-jowled face. "How did you get shaken up? What knocked the torch out of your hands?"

"I don't know. We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren't happy. Something's missing. I looked around. The only thing I positively knew was gone was the books I'd burned in ten or twelve years. So I thought books might help."

"You're a hopeless romantic," said Faber. "It would be funny if it were not serious. It's not books you need, it's some of the things that once were in books. The same things could be in the `parlour families' today. The same infinite detail and awareness could
be projected through the radios and televisors, but are not. No, no, it's not books at all you're looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.

451

But still, it is the physical attack on books that horrifies in 451
and which makes some of us --not you, apparantly--recoil at images of
Nazis burning books. Following your reasoning, stormtroopers at Nazi rallies on university campfires, tossing copies of books by Tolstoy, Flaubert and Freud into bonfires are just burning "receptacles". I deduce that it would not have concerned you. You would find no reason to object. Why bother, right? They're just receptacles.

I'm sorry, but I simply don't grasp the specious thinking of you and your colleagues on this website. And I am appalled by the the absence of conviction or passion in defense of the book, the dry cocktail hour wit posing as intelligence, that I have encountered here.

Buzzer sounds

>Following your reasoning, stormtroopers at Nazi rallies on university campfires, tossing copies of books by Tolstoy, Flaubert and Freud into bonfires are just burning "receptacles".

Wrong. Buzzer sounds. When I point out that F451 discusses the book as a container it is to counter you assertion that ebooks are the demise of thought. In F451 Bradbury states that we can get ideas from the big talking screens as well as from books. Books, ebooks, television, blogs, it is ideas that are important not the format. So you drivel about the end of humanity happening because of ebooks is wrong.

Huh?

I really don't see "das buch" (might as well use real German) as equivalent in any sort of moral way to Kaufman's evocation of "das Jude." The book itself ISN'T despised or being unfairly singled out by technology shifts. It's the prevailing FORMAT that is under seige here.

Alan Kaufman replies re: "The Electronic Bookburning"

Where intelligent, substantive discourse would shed light on the points I've raised in my essay “The Electronic Bookburning” (Evergreen Review #120) instead, you offer vulgarity and soulless wit. This supports my hunch that the well-concerted machinations of the hi-tech industry and its advocates to effectively destroy the book and book culture would not succeed were it not for the the impotent compliance of an intelligencia corrupted by its own hollow post-modernist cant and addicition to electronic media. You and your jeering allies offer striking example of a ladder-climbing,
intellectual petite bourgeoisie -- academic specialists operating in an atmosphere of intolerance and revisiionist distortions--who, in the name of personal advancement, will sacrifice any principle and accomodate any power that invades your domain, in order to survive. The road to the current catastrophe facing the book and book culture began long before Hi-tech became our world. It began when Foucault and Derrida effectively kicked the author out of literature. The destruction of book culture is a disenfranchisement that occured in stages. First the author was marginalized. Then, the physical book itself. Then the text itself was stripped of its copyrights. In the final stages, the text will be bastardized or eliminated all together. It is a process that bears a striking resemblance, by the way, to the process whereby Jews were lead down the road of annihilation in the Holocaust. I say this both as a Jew and a book author: You, ladies and gentleman, have helped lead the book to the gas, no less then the petite bourgeoisie of Europe and the many low and mid-station intellectuals and cultural functionaries quietly played a low-deceitful hand. They too laughed with jollity like yours as the catastrophe unfolded, they too quipped among themselves with a knowing smugness. But what is it that you know? Yours is a confederation of compromise, a shared understanding of self-betrayal.

In regards to my referencing the Holocaust, I not do so lightly but considered it long and carefully before deciding that in the case of the current destruction of the book it was appropriate. I don't know who Godwin is. But the name dosen't sound Jewish. I am the son of a Holocaust survivor, a former student of Elie Wiesel, and member of a group of writers anthologized in the volume “Nothing Makes You Free” (W.W. Norton) who are identified as “2G” or Second Generation Holocaust writers and that includes Thane Rosenbaum. Art Spiegelman, Melvin Jules Bukiet and others. . My memoir “Jew Boy” (Foxrock Books) is about the experience of growing up a survivor's son. I have studied, lectured, discursed and written about aspects of the Holocaust for nearly my entire adult life. And I know, in my bones, that my analogy is appropriate.

The Holocaust has never been properly considered by this or any other country (Holocaust-themed museums, movies, monuments-- all these are superficial vehicles of absolution for cultures and nations who are chronically revisted by an unshakeable guilt for either having done nothing to prevent the murder of Jews(America) or else proactively enacted and participated in the killing (most of Europe). Consequently, the unconcious agendas and dreadful strategies of The Holocaust continue to course beneath the surface of our lives and in a sense to shape our imperatives and outcomes, including not only the destruction of the Book but literary culture itself. One is but a short step to the other.

Alan Kaufman
Member of PEN American Center
http://www.pen.org/MemberProfile.php/prmProfileID/19319

That's some imaginary enemy you've created in your mind.

No one is out to destroy books specifically. It's just the inevitable format shift. There's no concerted effort so much as publishers are realizing that if they don't start evolving, they'll become extinct. And if the publishers go extinct, what happens to your precious books then? By supporting the stagnation of media, you're supporting the stagnation of literature and culture. What great books have not been published simply because a few publishers turned down an author and they gave up? How many of such works could be easily published online due to this evil new ebook technology? It sounds like you've found your paranoid conspiracy theory niche in the publishing world and you don't want new entrants in your crowded market. Write a wonderfully melodramatic novel about the death of the book and have it be a best-seller, so that book reviewers can mock your outmoded ideas as much as librarians on blogs currently do.

Sir, while I continue to

Sir, while I continue to disagree with your assertions it is clear that we are not going to come to an understanding here. There is just one thing I do wish to respectfully point out - you have no idea what Godwin's Law entails. This is important. You have been criticizing one format (electronic) over another format (paper), yet you do not understand one of the most basic rules of exchange in the medium you are upset with. Just so you are aware, Godwin's law basically means if you go into a discussion in an electronic forum and invoke Nazism over something mostly unrelated you have lost that argument. This law (one of the first to enter into online discussions) was meant to tone down the hysteria and keep things at least semi-civil. Even if your point is a valid one, by insulting a format you barely understand in a way that breaks an almost universal conversational law it tends to make those of us fluent in this format think you are less then informed about how these things work. Ergo, how is it that you can criticize something you appear to barely understand in a room full of people who do. and, in fact, do this for a living? You may be hurt by our apparent disregard, but you are - on this blog at least - addressing people who's job it is to preserve knowledge by whatever means necessary and in whatever way it can be accessed by the people we serve.

author visit

It's great when the author posts. It's even better when he reinforces your point in a way that's even more out-of-touch, pompous, funny and Planet-Ph.D than one ever could have imagined.

p.s. I read your response to my Jewish wife, who couldn't stop laughing.

"My Jewish Wife"

And you see, Chuck, that short phrase "My Jewish wife" made me, in turn, feel sorry for your wife who will never simply be "My Wife" but will always be to you: "My Jewish wife". Or is her ethnicity something you whip out conveniently to illustrate a conversational point, as in " My Negro cook" or "My Mexican housekeeper". Is that how you refer to her to your non-Jewish friends and family when she's not around? And do you all have a big glad gentile chuckle over that when she isn't present? Do they say among themselves: "There's Chuck. His wife's a Jew." And grin? Am I to understand, from you, that because she's Jewish and laughed at my remarks, that I'm somehow discredited or ridiculous because, bottom-line, when one Jew finds another's ideas odd, then it automatically must be so? My arguments neutralized by some sort of ethnically-imparted neutralizing agent, some sort of Jew protein, that breaks down my reasoning and empties it of worth?
The amazing thing is that you cannot fathom how your very point about your wife is the sort of geenteel lowgrade anti-Semetism that is rife in Academic life today.
"See", you're saying "Here's a Jew. And even she, this Jew, thinks you're wrong! Even your own people laugh at you!" Such is your profound retort. How disgusting!
But this is like trying to explain the ocean to a fish.

"My Jewish Wife"

And you see, Chuck, that short phrase "My Jewish wife" made me, in turn, feel sorry for your wife who will never simply be "My Wife" but will always be to you: "My Jewish wife". Or is her ethnicity something you whip out conveniently to illustrate a conversational point, as in " My Negro cook" or "My Mexican housekeeper". Is that how you refer to her to your non-Jewish friends and family when she's not around? And do you all have a big glad gentile chuckle over that when she isn't present? Do they say among themselves: "There's Chuck. His wife's a Jew." And grin? Am I to understand, from you, that because she's Jewish and laughed at my remarks, that I'm somehow discredited or ridiculous because, bottom-line, when one Jew finds another's ideas odd, then it automatically must be so? My arguments neutralized by some sort of ethnically-imparted neutralizing agent, some sort of Jew protein, that breaks down my reasoning and empties it of worth?
The amazing thing is that you cannot fathom how your very point about your wife is the sort of geenteel lowgrade anti-Semetism that is rife in Academic life today.
"See", you're saying "Here's a Jew. And even she, this Jew, thinks you're wrong! Even your own people laugh at you!" Such is your profound retort. How crude!
But this is like trying to explain the ocean to a fish.

Long winded retort

I am a gentile and I have to say that was a very long winded retort. Learn to write.

Long-winded Gentile

What's the connection between being a Gentile and thinking another long-winded? Confusing.

Gentile

The reference to being a gentile was because someone jumped all over Chuck when he commented that his wife who is Jewish laughed at Kafman's response. Since invoking anything Jewish is against the rules I stood on my status as a gentile.

I know, dude

"See", you're saying "Here's a Jew. And even she, this Jew, thinks you're wrong! Even your own people laugh at you!"

You might be surprised to find out that people of all races, religions and ethnicities laugh at you for reasons you couldn't even imagine. It's much easier and more satisfying to think that people don't like you and your work because you're a dangerous, iconoclastic, loner, outlaw, intellectual Marlon Brando. It's a lot harder to get a grip on the fact that people dislike you and your work because you are boring, pedestrian, cliched, hysterical, grossly derivative, windy, un-edited, humorless and wrong.

The Holocaust is the Holocaust. It's sui generis. It's nothing else and it's like nothing else. Find other cool points to steal. I see you're a fan of Bukowski. Lots of college freshmen get pretty far by cribbing from him.

Mr. Kaufman

But Mr. Kaufman's essay makes no reference anywhere to Blake or Brando, Outlaw or iconoclastic loner.
Yet his essay somehow brought those images to your mind.
I think it's clear: you envy him.

Mr. Kaufman

Your retorts to Mr. Kaufman are so personal, vituperative, and never once address the important points his essay raises. Why do you attack this man on a personal level? Is it because he dares to think differently then you?
Your comments about his writing are not supported by his career. Have you read the rave backcover quotes on his books 'JEW BOY' and 'MATCHES' from David Mamet, Hubert Selby Jr., Dave Eggers, Ruth Prawer Jhavala, Sapphire, Howard Fast and many others? He's had front page reviews in the book review supplements of major newspapers.
Clearly, he is a highly regarded writer.
But who are you? You don't even state your full name. You hide from sight because you are afraid in a way that he is not. I think that he is a courageous individual but you are like so many others these days, nameless, faceless, a disembodied Opinionator spouting in an electronic void.

the usual

We get authors here from time to time who have said silly things (Piroleau Alexander) and then try to bail themselves out with book jacket blurbs, I-was-published-here, so-and-so-thinks-I'm-cool, etc. It usually means "help."

This is the beginning, middle and end of this whole thread:

The rise of e-books has nothing to do with the Holocaust or anything related to the Holocaust. I'm kind of embarrassed that I have to say it.

There is nothing you can say to justify it, prove it, finagle it, insinuate it, metaphorize it, demonstrate it or make it sound any less silly than it already is. Please stop. It's gross.

Kaufman's essay

In reviewing your comments on the essay, one thing stands out above all else: your important resentment and utter lack of originality. Yours is a shameful performance.
If you are a librarian, God help us. We really are in as much trouble as the essay claims.

Thats IMPOTANT Resentment

Very important that you understand the tone of your impression upon the rest of us.

alas for the poor author of the essay

His career declared over by Chuck the nameless on a library science website. lol!!!!

Jew Boy and Matches

>Your comments about his writing are not supported by his career. Have you read the rave backcover quotes on >his books 'JEW BOY' and 'MATCHES' from David Mamet, Hubert Selby Jr., Dave Eggers, Ruth Prawer Jhavala, >Sapphire, Howard Fast and many others? He's had front page reviews in the book review supplements of major >newspapers.
>Clearly, he is a highly regarded writer.

The book buying public does not agree with that assessment. "Matches" has a sales rank of 1.4 million on Amazon. People are not buying and reading that book. "Jew Boy" has a sales rank of 840,403. This means that a single copy of "Jew Boy" has not sold in several weeks. The sales rank for "Matches" means that the book has not sold in more than a month. You will see the sales rank on "Matches" jump. I am going to buy a copy so that I can burn it. Amazon has a couple copies for a .01 that I can buy and burn. Why would I burn Mr. Kaufman's book? As a statement that his analogy of ebooks being the same as the nazis burning books is just insane.

Bookburning

That's not what the Amazon sales rank means. It simply means that those of Mr. Kaufman's books are simply out of print, a fiunction not of their credibility or worth but of vagueries of publishing and mergers that, clearly, are far too complex for you to grasp. Your promise to burn Mr. Kaufman's books is an atrocity to which, I note, you dare not put your actual name. Coward!

AMZN sales rank

>That's not what the Amazon sales rank means

What I said about the sales rank is absolutely correct. When a book sells on Amazon the sales rank goes down. The lowest it can go is #1. If you have #1 you are the best selling book on Amazon. The sales rank for his books are 800,00 and 1.4 million. Buy a copy and you will see the sales rank drop. The sales rank is directly tied to how many copies sell. Hence the term "sales rank". Out of print books on Amazon also have a sales rank and it works just like an in-print book.

What the sales rank has nothing to do with is what you state. It is not the vagueries of publishing that cause a high sales rank but no one buying the book. At least not on Amazon; and like you stated the book is out of print so people are not going to be buying in the bookstore.

But do you seriously

But do you seriously estimate the worth of a book by its sales rank on Amazon? You can't be serious. Who cares if its one million or number one.
Have you read the books and what do you think of them? This is the point. Except that in the culture which the essay seeks to warn about,
intrinsic literary worth is measured precisely as you measure it, and not according to its inherent worth. And may I offer you an anecdote. The poet Blake and his wife worked for a time in the employ of William Hayley who was widely regarded, then, as the most important poet of his time.
Hayleys books went into numerous reprints. He was known throughout Europe and was so famous that he handily declined the post of England's Poet Laureate. Blake and his wife lived on Hayley's estate, making engravings for the great poet who liked Blake but never considered it to be much of anything, really, beyond a skilled technician. By your lights, was the equivalent of an Amazon book sales success. And Blake, of course, well, poor Blake, would not evene have had a book at all on Amazon as his were all hand made productions for the most part. Yet today, who remembers William Hayley? No one. But who would argue that Blake is not the most important British poet and artist of the 18th century?
My point is that the status of someones books on Amazon are not indicative of anything whatever. Until the twentieth century Moby Dick was a more or less forgotten novel. It too would have ranked way low on the Google sales rank. We must cease to use this ridiculous
"sales rank" as indicative of literary worth and see it for what it is: a crude, denigrating index of vulgar commercialism.

No one is buying book

No I don't think the literary worth is judged by Amazon sales rank. But the sales rank reflects on the fact that no one is buying the book. If no one buys the book no one is reading the book. If people were raving about the book people would be buying it.

Burning "Matches"

Burning a copy of "Matches" by Alan Kaufman. This book was burned to protest Mr. Kaufman's comparison of the rise of ebooks to the holocaust. To make such a comparison is to belittle the horror that was the holocaust.

Cover

Amazing how long it takes for the cover to burn. You would think that the fire would spread across the cover since the flame is around the entire edge of the book.

Who are you?

"But who are you? You don't even state your full name. You hide from sight because you are afraid in a way that he is not. I think that he is a courageous individual but you are like so many others these days, nameless, faceless, a disembodied Opinionator spouting in an electronic void."

You might as well be describing yourself, bookadelics. I'd assume, for your sake, that you were not saddled with 'bookadelics' as your legal name. Something's rotten in the state of Denmark. Oh, I know. It's the smell of hypocrisy. You called someone out for being pseudo-anonymous when you are doing the exact same thing. And it's an old, tired argument to boot. And yes, I am posting anonymously and proudly. It shouldn't matter who I am if you were truly following your own advice to "address the important points" of my comments and have an intellectual conversation.

Now, to the topic of Kaufman's essay. I found it lacking of substance, impossible to read, and histrionic. Most of his essay is pure conjecture that is unsubstantiated by any facts to support his opinions. He starts with the anecdotal evidence of bookstore closings. He gives no evidence whatsoever that ties the bookstore closures to the e-book. He attributes it to people not loving books anymore. I had to read the entire essay and look between the lines to conclude that he's blaming the low cost of e-books on the "death" of the printed book and also the bookstore closures. If he did any kind of research, I'm sure he will find that many bookstores are closing because competition from the bigger stores (including online stores like Amazon as well as physical stores like Wal-Mart), and not because every single person in the world was hosting book burning parties and rushing to buy Kindles. There is still a huge technological divide and people like Kaufman just don't grasp that reality.

I found the Holocaust comparison to be vulgar, distasteful, histrionic and a bit ironic, considering that the Nazis made books (among other things) out of human skin from the Jews. Yes, I get the main idea of the comparison is to say that one group of people (the "hi-tech propagandists") are trying to systematically eradicate the paper version of books, as the Nazis were trying to do to the Jews. But, really, books and an entire race of people do not even compare. It's hyperbole to the extreme. It's offensive to the survivors, the victims lost to the atrocities, and their descendants.

There is nothing I can think of that even remotely compares to the horrors of the Holocaust and the ideology behind it, not even if someone were to set fire to my entire personal library. The books are physical and replaceable; a human life is not replaceable and the words and ideas expressed on those pages would not die. They would live on. Many societies existed before the printing press was invented. How did their cultures survive without the "sacred text"? The book, while I love and cherish, is not the be-all-end-all. Neither is the e-book or the internet. The be-all-end-all is the expression of words and ideas, not the format in which those words and ideas are exchanged.

(Disclosure: All this being said, I do not own any e-book format and I truly love the reading experience of a paper-bound book. But I'm not a zealot against audiobooks, e-books, or any other version of reading. And as a librarian, I support all formats of literacy, reading enjoyment and expression of ideas.)

Hooray!

Finally, a civil reponse out of this poster boy for blogging booirshness.
We knew you could do it. What caused the change of heart? Was it the other blogger who said that he was going to aquire the author's books on Amazon and burn them to make a point, thus proving precisely what the essay tried to express?

Change of Heart?

Umm...that was my first post. I have not commented in this thread until that post. So, no change of heart, just simply chiming in on the discussion.

Just a quick "thank you" for

Just a quick "thank you" for your thoughtful response, poster.

What's your point?

This seems very insensitive and beneath the level of discussion that Mr. Kaufman is trying to introduce.

beneath the level

beneath the level? beneath the level?

Seriously? -- beneath the level??

His essay and postings here are hysterical screeds. We may have stooped to his level but there is no way we can get beneath his level.

You are what Jewish people would call...

A real putz

Mr. Kaufman's essay on Electronic Bookburning

Good for Mr. Kaufman! A courageous man with something important to say.

Irony

Did Mr. Kaufman publish his screed in a paper magazine? No, he published it to the web. His little rant about how things electronic will end humanity were published on a blog. Welcome to the book burning club Mr. Kaufman.

Kaufman

Evergreen Review, in which the essay appears, is one of the most famous magazines in American history, published by Barney Rosset, the founder of Grove Press, the very publisher who this year won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Awards and who defended Henry Miller, William Burroughs, DH Lawrence in the Supreme Court and won the right to issue their books. The consumate book man, he is also the publisher of Mr. Kaufman's memoir 'Jew Boy'. No, clearly Mr. Kaufman and Mr. Rosset do not belong to your shameful bookburning club.

You've already lost.

If you have to explain that the Evergreen Review is one of the most famous magazines in American history, then your point is already lost. Want to join me for breakfast at Jack's World Famous Flapjacks, a restaurant of which you've never heard despite it supposedly being "world famous?"

But beyond that, the fact that a famous magazine is posting articles online only shows the inevitability of which Mr. Kaufman wrote. No amount of writing popular books or best-selling books or unknown books that had important things to say means that Mr. Kaufman's point has any value. All great writers have at times written complete and utter nonsense. This, sadly, is one of Mr. Kaufman's entries into that category.

bookadelics

bookadelics had better not be Kaufman. To say something like this about yourself is just over the top: Good for Mr. Kaufman! A courageous man with something important to say.

What's your problem?

Why are you so angry at this man? I think his essay rocks.

Bookadelics is Norman Maileresquely Advertising For Himself

For all you who have no better plemical skills then to deploy infantile suburban obscenity, racism and rubbish, here is what intelligent discourse looks like:
http://the1709blog.blogspot.com/

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