ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7 Blesok no. 24 | volume V | January-February, 2002
Blesok no. 24,
From Gutenberg to InteLnet
(the cyber-theories of Michael Epstein and Umberto Eco)
The title of this text is sheer compilation. Exactly: it is based on two significant texts presenting two very interesting concepts. First belongs to the Italian semiotic Umberto Eco explaining the history of the writing, and the other – to the Russian literary theoretician Michael Epstein, considered freely as a manifesto of a transcultural way of thinking. This two concepts are incorporating the postulates of the modern dialogism whose commencements are located in the Bahtin`s theory about double voicedness of the word, although supplemented by the theoretical and philosophical expressions of Julia Kristeva, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, gaining its image today, in the powerful idea of hypertextuallity.
It is to revise the common trait of this two texts moreover what do they theorize.
Opposite the radical thesis from the sixties of the twentieth century, expounded by Marshall McLuhan and those from the beginning of the nineties of the Robert Coover, the Italian Academy of Advanced Studies in America allowed the well-known semiotic Umberto Eco to give interesting lecture named “From Internet to Gutenberg“ somewhere in November 1996. Whereat the lecture treatises the role and the significance of the printed media thus giving optimism for the future of the book. Nevertheless, the defence of the writing as a technical appliance which stimulates the thinking does not deny the importance of the electronic media. On contrary. Although, we have no longer been in a fear that the alphabet would kill the memory – as the Plato’s Socrates claimed in “Phaedrus” – spreading the useless information books are going to estrange us from the summit values (Eco: Blesok no. 16) – nowadays we bear witnesses of the existence of certain more sophisticated and more complex devices and tecniques than the ones from the classical Gutenberg Galaxy, whose linear model of thinking is repressed by certain far more charismatic medium (the electronic). Even though it is on path to success in having picturesque orientation aiming to expel the literacy, our civilization is still civilization of the written word: “The Computer is first of all alphabetic instrument-Eco assures-Words are moving across its screen, so everyone who at any rate wants to use calculator must be capable of reading and writing… People who spend their nights entering the endless Internet conversation, in principle work with words…” (Eco: Blesok no. 16). Meaning: the computer screens represents an ideal book which does not understand
1. “The Gutenberg Galaxy” by Marshall McLuhan
2. An American writer, nevertheless professor of creative writing at the Brown University in USA. Famous for the essays: “The End of Books”, The New York Times 1992 and “Hyperfiction: Novels for the Computers”, The New York Times, 1993
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