When A Book Is Not A Book?

Mike Stilkey's Grey Cat Creeping

Mike Stilkey's Grey Cat Creeping

If that person declares it a book; it is a book! If they do not, it is not.  Definitions are not ageless laws, but current understanding.  They grow with usage through insight and error.  We extend our knowledge, as well as our false assumptions, and both of these change the way we think.  Our definitions evolve; they are not cut in stone.

Keith A. Smith

From A Book of the Book: Some Works & Projections About The Book & Writing

A Year 2 CultureNet core course, students taking English 214: Technology and Culture are currently diving into Jerome Rothenberg and Steven Clay’s A Book of the Book – the deliciously fat and varied anthology published by Granary Books.  Their first week of readings complemented by an afternoon examining some of the more inventive recent issues of McSweeney’s (with particular appreciation reserved for Issues 16 and 19) and the generation of draft manifesto for the 21st century (after reading F.T. Marinetti’s “Destruction of Syntax”).   Next week the work of Tom Phillips is up for consideration along with Thomas A. Vogler’s “When A Book Is Not A Book”.  If the animated classroom discussion from this week is anything to go by, there will be nearly thirty animated blog entries going up next week offering extended meditations on books, machines, and books that are not books! And if we were in Denver tonight, we could be checking out Mike Stilkey’s books-but-not-books book sculptures and yet further exploring all that a book can do.



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