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From Gutenberg to Google: Electronic Representations of Literary Texts [Paperback]

Peter L. Shillingsburg

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Book Description

31 Aug 2006
As technologies for electronic texts develop into ever more sophisticated engines for capturing different kinds of information, radical changes are underway in the way we write, transmit and read texts. In this thought-provoking work, Peter Shillingsburg considers the potentials and pitfalls, the enhancements and distortions, the achievements and inadequacies of electronic editions of literary texts. In tracing historical changes in the processes of composition, revision, production, distribution and reception, Shillingsburg reveals what is involved in the task of transferring texts from print to electronic media. He explores the potentials, some yet untapped, for electronic representations of printed works in ways that will make the electronic representation both more accurate and more rich than was ever possible with printed forms. However, he also keeps in mind the possible loss of the book as a material object and the negative consequences of technology.

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Book Description

Peter Shillingsburg considers the potentials and pitfalls of electronic editions of literary texts. He reveals what is involved in the task of transferring texts from print to electronic media, which will produce great advances in textual study but may ultimately lead to the loss of the book as a material object.

About the Author

Peter L. Shillingsburg is Professor of English at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the Start of a Discussion on Electronic Publishing 10 Jan 2007
By John Matlock - Published on
When you start the introduction of this book the author talks about the thoughts he was having as he stood in the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Germany. I had exactly the same thoughts. Gutenberg caused a revolution that led to our modern society. The move to electronic texts is no less dramatic. Although if you talk with the attendents in the Gutenberg museum they don't see any threat at all to the continued dominance of the printed page. And as I look at the amount of paper produced in my own office, I see a certain justification for their view.

In this book Dr. Shillingsburg takes a hard and critical view of the current state of electronic publishing. He talks primarily about scholastic publishing. Where books need to be carefully reviewed during the publishing process. And there is no question about his conclusion that the definitive concepts of electronic publishing simply aren't here yet. It is important to remember, however, that printed publishing has had almost six hundred years to get to its present state, and the whole concept of electronic publishing is only a handful of years old.

This book begins a discussion that is going to continue for the next several decades.
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