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.