Friday, July 08, 2011
TWAIN ON A ZOOK
Talking to a book-loving friend this morning about the gradual disappearance of physical books, and how infants today, growing up into an increasingly bookless world, may learn to read from a kindle or a nook, dook, fook, hook, kook, mook, zook or whatever comes after, and for their children it may be implants.
They'll never learn to love the promise in the heft of a book, portending the words, thoughts and adventures within; they'll never learn to love the scent of pages or the thrill of an entire library-- no exploring the stacks, no class visit to learn about books and how to use the card catalog-- the Dewey Decimal system will go the way of the pen, and cursive writing's ancient grace will have no place in their minds, as is happening already. It may all be MacWisdom by then, with one day the entire politically and academically corrected canon implanted at birth, science fictionally speaking. [There may come trolls who say that life is grate witout reeding or riting we got lots of time for other stuf an joystiks to]
And judging from what is considered worthy reading matter these days, comes the correction of Huck Finn, the dumbdowning of Gatsby, the dispassionate writing-class flavor of modern LitFic and all that will follow as the word bends over backward to accommodate the loss of education that schooling is becoming, I realized that I may well have the largest genuine library on the mountainside... I certainly have the largest English library on the mountainside, maybe in all of Shiga Prefecture...
Until recently it has been a problem for me, what to do with all these books, but now that there are Nooks and the like, which I will not use for hefty mindstuff; maybe a mystery for the train, but I will never read Fyodor Dostoevsky on a Pook or Mark Twain on a Zook, are you kidding me? Some literary efforts and their life-passions require the heft of deep respect; there is something karmic going on here, after all, there is more to books than pixels...
So rather than continue to be burdened as before by the mass of my own tomes, I now realize that my home has become a cultural repository against the looming loss of calligraphy-driven writing, much like the stone cloisters of the Dark Ages, when books were known, scribed and saved from the dark by a passionate few as treasures for the future, when they would be needed. So for you folks centuries hence who can still read and have somehow found this blog, up in that ruin on the mountain you can find Mark in the original.