The Friday 56: This is Not the End of the Book

the-friday-56Hosted by Freda’s Voice, The Friday 56 follows these simple rules:

  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
  • Find any sentence (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  • Post it.

Back to my non-fiction phase! The 010-028 section of the Dewey Decimal System is becoming my favourite, and I’m always finding books there I’d like to read. Today’s read, This is Not the End of the Book; Two Great Men Discuss Our Digital Future is a good companion to the current nature of my studies, library science. Authors Jean-Claude Carriere and Umberto Eco talk on a huge variety of topics which always find their way back to the main subject. Again, this excerpt is a little long, but Eco had a rather large paragraph and I wanted to include at least a little of Carriere’s response. Enjoy!

This is Not the End of the Book[Umberto Eco]: Speaking of the past catching us up, I use my computer to listen to the best radio stations from around the world, including about forty that specialise (sic) in playing golden oldies. A few American radio stations only play music from the 1920’s and ’30’s. The others concentrate on the 1990’s, which is already considered the distant past. A recent survey proclaimed Quentin Tarantino the greatest director of all time. The people they asked must never have seen Eisenstein, Ford, Welles, Capra, etc. That’s always the downfall of those kinds of surveys. In the Seventies I wrote a book called How to Write a Thesis, which has been translated into lots of languages. The first of my many tips was never to choose a contemporary subject. Your bibliography will either be thin or lacking in authority. Always choose a historical subject, I said. And yet most of today’s theses explore contemporary issues. How can you write a thesis about a guy who is still alive?

[Jean-Claude Carriere]: I think we have poor long-term memories precisely because of the way the recent past presses in on the present, shoving it towards a future that has taken the form of a giant question mark.
(His response continues much further on the next page)

I know, again, this is a little dry, but isn’t it fascinating? These are two great experts, with oodles of experience, just chattin’ away. I’m lovin’ it.