Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

eBooks can’t burn

Nice post (in response to Jonathan Franzen’s dissing of ebooks) in The New York Review of Books from Tim Park:

The e-book, by eliminating all variations in the appearance and weight of the material object we hold in our hand and by discouraging anything but our focus on where we are in the sequence of words (the page once read disappears, the page to come has yet to appear) would seem to bring us closer than the paper book to the essence of the literary experience.


Franzen is wrong

Nice retort from Henry Potter in the Guardian responding to Jonathan Franzen’s delusional rant about the damage that ebooks wreak. Potter:

I am all for taking shots at Amazon and its popular Kindle, because the company is showing the unmistakable ticks of the power-mad monopoly, but Franzen was talking nonsense and was being a mite precious to boot…

If Dickens were alive today, guess who’d be blogging, offering the occasional tweet, setting up literary websites, digging out some of his old work and repackaging it in ebooks. Dickens loathed many of his publishers, whom he regarded as lazy, thieving parasites, and he would have been thrilled by the opportunities we have of unmediated connection between writer and reader.

Franzen’s spray was based on the value of the fixed nature of the printed object – implying that any kindle owner could brazenly alter the content of their purchased ebooks with zero effort. Like, how? Ironic that he was the author that had thousand of fixed objects pulped by his publisher, when they were found to be ‘wrong’ 🙂