125 x 180 mm
The book as object, as content, as idea, as interface.
What is the book in a digital age? Is it a physical object containing pages encased in covers? Is it a portable device that gives us access to entire libraries? The codex, the book as bound paper sheets, emerged around 150 CE. It was preceded by clay tablets and papyrus scrolls. Are those books? In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Amaranth Borsuk considers the history of the book, the future of the book, and the idea of the book. Tracing the interrelationship of form and content in the book’s development, she bridges book history, book arts, and electronic literature to expand our definition of an object we thought we knew intimately.
Contrary to the many reports of its death (which has been blamed at various times on newspapers, television, and e-readers), the book is alive. Despite nostalgic paeans to the codex and its printed pages, Borsuk reminds us, the term “book” commonly refers to both medium and content. And the medium has proved to be malleable. Rather than pinning our notion of the book to a single form, Borsuk argues, we should remember its long history of transformation. Considering the book as object, content, idea, and interface, she shows that the physical form of the book has always been the site of experimentation and play. Rather than creating a false dichotomy between print and digital media, we should appreciate their continuities.
About the Author
Amaranth Borsuk is a scholar, poet, and book artist working at the intersection of print and digital media. She is the author or Between Page and Screen, a digital pop-up book of poetry, and a recipient of an NEA Expanded Artist’s Books grant for the collaboration Abra, a limited edition book and free iOS app that recently received the Turn on Literature prize. She has collaborated on various installationd, art bookmarklets, and interactive works, and is the author of five books of poetry. Borsuk is Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell, where she also serves as Associate Director of the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics.
About the Publisher
Established in 1962, the MIT Press is one of the largest and most distinguished university presses in the world and a leading publisher of books and journals at the intersection of science, technology, art, social science, and design.