By Henry Sussman

ISBN-10: 0823232840

ISBN-13: 9780823232840

Amid radical transformation and fast mutation within the nature, transmission, and deployment of data and communications, round the booklet deals a standing file and theoretically nuanced replace at the traditions and medium of the e-book. What, it asks, are the book's present customers? The research highlights the main radical experiments within the book's historical past as trials in what the writer phrases the present working Systemat play in the fields of data, paintings, critique, and technological know-how. The investigations of contemporary platforms concept, as exemplified via Gregory Bateson, Anthony Wilden, and Niklas Luhmann, grow to be inseparable from theoretically astute inquiry into the character of the book.Sussman's basic examples of such radical experiments with the heritage of the ebook are Sei Shonagon's Pillow ebook (both the textual content and Peter Greenaway's reveal adaptation), Stphane Mallarm's Un coup de ds,Walter Benjamin's Arcades venture, Jacques Derrida's Glas, Maurice Blanchot's loss of life Sentence, and Franz Kafka's enduring legacy in the international of the picture novel.In the author's arms, shut studying of those and similar works renders definitive facts of the book's endurance and energy. The publication medium, with its built in layout and application, keeps, he argues, to provide the capsule or monitor for cultural notation. The perennial problem within which the booklet turns out to languish is actually an party for readers to achieve totally their function as textual manufacturers, to adventure the entire diversity of liberty in expression and articulation embedded within the irreducibly bookish technique of textual reveal.

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Deleuze/Guattari introduce us to the dynamics and cross-currents prevailing on both sides of the book binding and coming to a crux in the ................. 17885$ $CH1 10-20-10 14:48:59 PS PAGE 21 22 Introduction reader’s grasping hands. Their rewiring of the prevailing motives and momentums of Western philosophy has been prescient. At the same time, new forces, figures, metaphorics, and factors have entered the fray since the inscription of Capitalism and Schizophrenia. A number of these loom particularly large as of the present critical notation: the theories of systems, games, and chaos; the outreach of the Worldwide Web and the incredible storage capacity afforded by computers; evolution, hybridization, and mutation in the mass media; a number of environmental contingencies, whether Hurricane Katrina or global warming, indicating that geology is not so stable and critical resources not so plentiful as during the lives of Deleuze/ Guattari; such human factors as endless war and the corporatization of what were once governmental functions.

For with the hand as a formal trait or general form of content a major threshold of deterritorialization is reached and opens, an accelerator that in itself permits a shifting interplay of comparative deterritorializations and reterritorializations—what makes this acceleration possible is, precisely, phenomena of ‘‘retarded development’’ in the organic strata. 11 The hand grasps the book that is the database, the tablet where the flow of information has been temporarily stratified and suspended, so that it can be taken in by the face.

These are among the terms in which the prospects for the book may be couched at the present juncture. 17885$ $CH1 10-20-10 14:48:56 PS PAGE 14 Around the Book 15 Before Deleuze/Guattari appeal to the machinic assemblage, with its parastrata, epistrata, and ecumenical processor (ecumenon) as an architecture allowing for the mapping of late capitalism’s schizo inclinations and flows, they invoke the book as the paradigmatic instance of a rhizomatic cultural construct. The book is nothing less, to them, than culture’s capacity to extricate itself from the domination and hegemony of the face.

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Around the Book: Systems and Literacy by Henry Sussman

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