Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine / Volume 2, Number 3 / March 1, 1995 / Page 8



by Nancy Kaplan

According to Jay David Bolter, author of Writing Space, we live in the "late age of print." This is, Bolter asserts, print's last stage, its senescence if not its demise. In the twilight of print's waning, he claims, we can now discern that the printed text is only one, highly specialized case of writing, not its norm and not its apotheosis. In the coming age of electronic texts, Bolter argues, "print will no longer define the organization and presentation of knowledge...." What will replace the printing press and what Walter Ong calls "the logic of print," is electronic textuality, a textuality with its own "logic." "The shift to the computer," Bolter predicts, "does not mean the end of literacy. What will be lost is not literacy itself, but the literacy of print.... The computer," he asserts, "is simply the technology by which literacy will be carried into a new age" Context.

Lanham concurs.
Tuman demurs.
Postman decries.

OK, so these guys just generally don't see things the same way. What's at stake in this dispute, anyway?

This page is part of the article, "E-literacies: Politexts, Hypertexts and Other Cultural Formations in the Late Age of Print."

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