Blesok no. 26, May-June, 2002
Prose


Libromania
A Harmless Anachronism or a very Dangerous Addicton!

B. K. Worming


     A seemingly harmless anachronism is on the way of becoming a serious impediment in the realization of the grandiose project for complete implementation of the digitized new literacy! We are dealing with a remnant of the last century, a bad habit which can be qualified as pathological!
     Namely, since the beginnings of the designing of the “Gutenberg galaxy”, which is now dead, the visionary minds knew that it had to be an intermediate phase towards a more perfect media! But as a side-effect of the enthusiasm at that time and the unjustified liberalism, besides the useful and functional achievements of the pragmatic minds, a large amount of non-functional and non-pragmatic “works” have been graphically recorded, or we could use the clumsy archaism “printed”, which later were given the euphemistic term “fiction”! It is this “fiction” that is taking its heavy toll today! And where else would it happen if not here on our ground! Unlike the developed Alliance member-states where this habit has totally died out and it is a real rarity to find cases of libromania, in our state this phenomenon is on the way of becoming a serious problem! Most common victims to this addiction are the people of the “intermediate generation” who give the greatest resistance to accepting the new literacy! This is perfectly understandable regarding the fact that they were born and raised in a time when the above mentioned phenomenon was not taken seriously enough, and even paradoxically it was encouraged! From today’s distance one can realize how deadly was the formation of all sorts of reader’s clubs and clubs of book lovers where the young minds were encouraged to develop this dangerous tendency which will mark their lives forever!
     One such ruined “consumer” recently agreed to talk about the genesis of his deadly inclination. G.N. a 45 year old social case says: “It started early, when I was 12 or 13! Due to my physical constitution I couldn’t adapt to the games of my peers, games which like the one called ‘Who will first loose a hand?’ demanded minimum stoicism and psychophysical endurance! I tried to buff the feeling of being cast away by indulging into the seductive effect of the ‘fiction’ titles. I started with books like ‘The little prince’, ‘The Sea-Gull by the name Johnatan Livingston’ and I really enjoyed in them! An unknown feeling of euphoria would come over me every time I found a well written paragraph, shivers came up my spine and I spent hours daydreaming about a quite different world! Then when I was 16 I discovered Dostoevsky and I started to show the remaining symptoms as well: discontent and alienation from reality, superiority over the ordinary human beings, cyclic change of mood from euphoria to melancholy and, of course, the continuous irresistible need for new books! Later I discovered the ultrapowerful Kafka, Broh, Proust… and the result is obvious!”, G.H. ended his confession with resignation.
     The case of G.N is symptomatic but not the only one! We are witnesses to everyday occurrences of such “consumers” who on public places – sitting in busses and park benches – insolently indulge in their asocial inclination! Some of them due to absentmindedness or intentional subversion, forget their tattered “books” in everybody’s reach, especially in the reach of children whose curiosity makes them most exposed to the danger of getting in contact with this contaminated waste that contains underlined sentences and footnotes on the margins left there by the ones that indulged in them!
     Luckily, the awareness of this danger is on a high level, so the volunteers from the association “Purifying Fire” using the necessary protection can be seen removing this dangerous waste that is afterwards destroyed in the furnace for medical waste and unsuccessfully genetically treated humane tissue.
     The director of the Addiction and Phototherapy Center D. Slexic is trying to give a more insightful view of the problem: “According to my humble opinion, the geneses of this problem is derived from two moments: the late arrival of the gains from what you call “A Gutenberg galaxy”, which in this country luckily happened some 60 years ago, and the institutionalization of the inclinations of a small circle of consumers who using the void that appeared with the codification of the language and exploiting the fertile, but harmless oral tradition, managed to hyperproduce “fiction” titles that were copied by large! Luckily, with some small exceptions, most of them were not so dangerous, unlike the deadly types of the Modern literature! It is only now that I can reveal to you the strategy of my predecessors that can be defined as “homeopathic”! These titles from the home production were imposed as obligatory school literature to achieve the opposite effect, i.e. to repel the young people away from that dangerous tendency! The translators of the particularly dangerous Kafka, Joyce…, who had been loyal to us, ‘adapted’ their products to make them look like the ‘fiction’ from the home production, thus a similar effect was being achieved… ha, ha! Of course, there were also some renegade translators , but they were not supported by the publishing houses!
     Our Center resolves the particular problem of libromania with the therapy ‘High noon!’ The method is simple: a double dose of atropine in the pupils, two pieces of tape hold the eye lids and we place the chronic libroman behind the objective of a telescope pointed directly to the Sun! Quick and secure!
     Of course, this is a method for the hopeless cases! For those that show a sign of hope, these is the project ‘Save Ana Karenina’! A whole team of programmers digitizes the dangerous titles, edits them and makes them available to a wide circle of users! Don’t be afraid, the interventions in the plot are of such character that even the most dangerous issues become banal and boring books!”, this was the optimistic conclusion of Dr. D. Slexic.
     We tried, as much as the memory space allowed us, to point out a serious problem! If you notice anything suspicious with your loved ones, don’t hesitate to contact the following address: http//www.bookdestroy.com


Translated by: Monika Taškovska




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