The Future of the Book
Geoffrey Nunberg, ed.
The Body of the Text
On the Articulation/Disarticulation of Text
"The phenomenon which I intend to deal with will be referred to by the
expression articulation and disarticulation of the body of
the text . I shall describe it thus: disarticulation of the body of
the text occurs when the text generated by an author is not perceived as
closed to external interventions, an entity to which the author can have
access only to read (or, to use an information science image, in the
manner of ROM, that is "read only"), but as an open entity to which one
has access -- for purposes of both reading and writing. When the text is
disarticulated it is perceived as an entity which can be disaggregated
(broken apart), manipulated, and reaggregated (reassembled) without
damaging the text per se or the author" (239).
On the Future of Text
"Our intuitive idea of the text is again changing rapidly. It is no
longer that of a closed and protected entity but that of an open and
penetrable object which can be copied and interpolated without limits.
To put it differently, the time is heralded when the protective membrane
of the texts will decompose and they will once more become open texts as
in the Middle Ages with all the standard concomitant presuppositions....
Many signs lead us to believe we are entering an era...in which the text
will appear essentially disarticulated and the book will witness a
change in the nature of the discourse it contains" (249).
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