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From the Publisher
The perfect gift for book lovers: a beautifully designed hardcover
in which two of the world''s great men have a delightfully rambling
conversation about the future of the book in the digital era, and
decide it is here to stay.
These days it is almost impossible to get away from discussions of
whether the book will survive the digital revolution. Blogs, tweets
and newspaper articles appear daily on the subject, many of them
repetitive, most of them admitting they don''t know what will
happen. Amidst the twittering, the thoughts of Jean-Claude Carrière
and Umberto Eco come as a breath of fresh air. There are few people
better placed to discuss the past, present and future of the book.
Both of them avid book collectors with a deep understanding of
history, they have explored through their work, both written and
visual, the many and varied ways in which ideas have been
represented through the ages.
This beautifully produced book, an object of desire in itself, is
the transcription of a long conversation between the two men in
which they discuss a vast range of subjects, from what can be
defined as the first book, to the idea of the library, the burning
of books both accidental and deliberate, and what will happen to
knowledge and memory when infinite amounts of information are
available at the click of a mouse. En route there are delightful
digressions into personal anecdote about everything from Eco''s
first computer to the book Carrière is most sad to have sold.
Readers will close this book feeling that they have had the
privilege of eavesdropping on an intimate discussion between two
great minds. And while, as Carrière says, the one certain thing
about the future is that it is unpredictable, it is clear from this
conversation that, in some form or other, the book will survive.
After all, as Eco says: like the spoon, once invented, it cannot be
From the Hardcover edition.