Voice and Print – Sermon and Book and Media

Writing somehow reconstitutes (imperfectly and incompletely) a sermon (or any speech) into the three dimensional world. Printing that manuscript fixes that representation much more firmly and reliably, confidently, by making available many copies, exact duplicates, of that thought once expressed orally.

What about the hypertext world? It seems like a retreat. Going backwards somehow. Yes, the website is still there tomorrow, displaying the things that were there yesterday. But the webpage may be edited without trace. The text that was there yesterday may actually be different (even improved) today. But permanence, confidence, is left bleeding on the altar of technology. I exaggerate a little. Books were distrusted in the beginning and for good reason. In the environment of type blocks, sameness was not the rule.

Will the book die? Can the technoverse find a lasting replacement? Independent of server death, ISP disappearance, disk crashes and DVD aging?

A CD is a set of golden plates. You need a seer stone (disc drive) to access it. Unfortunately CDs don’t get Divine anti-aging blessings.

Then there’s the question of authorship. This isn’t the 1800s when the author was king, the center of the textual world. These days it’s the reader. The rabble interprets, creates meaning. That disease even reaches the canon. Oh well.

All of this is a little bit of what I’ve been wondering about as I try to finish up chapter 9 and jump into chapter 10. I mean, how to distribute the final product? Technology always wins. I love Gutenberg, but he may be dead.

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2 Responses to Voice and Print – Sermon and Book and Media

  1. J. Stapley says:

    Perhaps it is my just viscersal response on my part, but I’d hate to not have a hard copy available. Anyway you could get a small run and price it institutionally? Or have digital appendices?

  2. WVS says:

    I’ll think hard about that sort of thing when I get the first draft in place.

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