Sunday Book-Thought 78

The history of writing serves to remind us that language continually strives to find diverse material representations (the illuminating reflections on this theme by Armando Petrucci are extremely valuable here), and tries to give new forms to space in order to extend its expressive potentialities. Illuminated manuscripts stand to warn us how risky it is to look at pictures out of their context, enlarging them or reproducing them in various forms which can only confuse a reader as to their true nature. Is it wise to disembody or reduce to simple letters of the alphabet the illuminated capitals when these served as an interpretative thread of the text they introduced?
– Luca Toschi, ‘Hypertext and Authorship’, inĀ The Future of the Book, ed by Geoffrey Nunberg (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), pp. 169-207 (p. 191).

Sunday Book-Thought 2

A book is a fragile creature, it suffers the wear of time, it fears rodents, the elements, clumsy hands. If for a hundred and a hundred years everyone had been able freely to handle our codicies, the majority of them would no longer exist. So the librarian protects them not only against mankind, but also again nature, and devotes his life to this war with the forces of oblivion, the enemy of truth.
Umberto Eco