Eco: Books Trump Computers Any Day

Umberto Eco is a fierce defender of the printed page: “In the course of many interviews I have been obliged to answer questions of this sort: ‘Will the new electronic media make books obsolete? Will the Web make literature obsolete? Will the new hypertextual civilisation eliminate the very idea of authorship?’ As you can see, if you have a well-balanced normal mind, these are different questions and, considering the apprehensive mode in which they are asked, one might think that the interviewer would feel reassured when your answer is, “No, keep cool, everything is OK”. Mistake. If you tell such people that books, literature, authorship will not disappear, they look desperate. Where, then, is the scoop?”