This is the class blog for ENGL2101: Literature in English 1, taught in the Fall 2016 term at the University of New Brunswick, Saint John.
Instructor: Dr. Miriam Jones
Office: Hazen Hall 103
Office hours: Tuesdays 1:30 to 2:30pm, or by appointment.
Class meetings: Tues/Thurs 11:30AM-12:50PM
The title of this blog comes from the following interview with writer Sven Birkerts:
Why, then, am I so uneasy about the page-to-screen transfer—a skeptic if not a downright resister? Perhaps it is because I see in the turning of literal pages—pages bound in literal books—a compelling larger value, and perceive in the move away from the book a move away from a certain kind of cultural understanding, one that I’m not confident that we are replacing, never mind improving upon. I’m not blind to the unwieldiness of the book, or to the cumbersome systems we must maintain to accommodate it—the vast libraries and complicated filing systems. But these structures evolved over centuries in ways that map our collective endeavor to understand and express our world. The book is part of a system. And that system stands for the labor and taxonomy of human understanding, and to touch a book is to touch that system, however lightly. The electronic book, on the other hand, represents—and furthers—a circuitry of instant access… We may gain an extraordinary dots-per-square-inch level of access to detail, but in the process we will lose much of our sense of the woven narrative consistency of the story. That is the trade-off. Access versus context. ~Sven Birkerts (b.1951), “Resisting the Kindle,” The Atlantic, 2009 March 2nd