Sunday Book-Thought 137

In the case of deluxe printings, the irony is that, for obvious technical reasons, notice of these printings (‘proof of printing’) is printed in all copies, including the ordinary ones that are not in any way affected by it. But it does not follow that readers of these ordinary copies have no interest in the notice, for to them it is a piece of bibliographical information like any other, and perhaps the occasion for regret – and the thought of their regret can only increase the pleasure of the privileged few. For it is not enough to be happy; one must also be envied.
Gérard Genette, Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation, trans. by Jane E. Lewin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 36.

Sunday Book-Thought 76

The increase in constraints designed to eliminate all ambiguity from text admittedly facilitates reading, making it faster and more efficient. Reading can also be assisted by computerized aids, which have become necessary as a result of the growing volume of information to be managed every day; these include Web search tools and text analysis tools currently being developed, notably at We need to recognize, however, that the relationship between reading and writing is a zero-sum game, in which the gains of the former come at the cost of more constraints for the latter. Thus the activity of writing, which was already extremely complex, becomes even more so, especially if the author wants to produce texts that can be read by an increasingly broad and distant readership and processed by the above-mentioned programs or even translated automatically. In a society that is increasingly information-based, the movement toward neutrality and objectivity that has been under way since the spread of print will necessarily be reinforced, especially in scientific texts.
Christian VandendorpeFrom Papyrus to Hypertext: Toward the Universal Digital Library, trans. by Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009 [first published Montréal: Éditions du Boréal, 1999)]), pp. 20-21.