March 1, 2017 by Jack Dziamba. New Posr Goes Up Every Wednesday
The Paris Review has launched a video series, “My First Time,” where artists discuss their “First Work,”and the effect it has had on them as artists. In the video above Karl Ove Knausgaard talks about writing his first book, Ute av verden (Out of the World).
The video is unique because of the way it is filmed and presented. It a very personal close up of the artist talking, directly, talking as if we were there in the same room. Not only does Knausgarrd talk about his book, but about the intensity of what writing means to him, “I can’t imagine a life without writing.” Beginning at 5.00 he says, “It destroyed me completely… after that I couldn’t write for five years …”
Whither the Book?
Imagine this video incorporated into a e version of the book. Now, whether in print or electronic version, the reader has to consult other sources to find about the author, what he thought, what he looked like, and unless finding this video, one would never be able to judge for themselves the sincerity, intensity, and humility of a great writer.
Why are Publishers Not Doing This?
There is nothing new happening in the world of book publishing, since the e-book. The book is going nowhere. There is no use being made of new media tools which would bring “the Book” into the twenty first century. Indeed, as e-book prices have continued to rise to nearly the price of a hard bound book, sales of e-books and e-readers have declined, Majority of Americans are still reading print books | Pew Research Center Report. The expected “revolution” of the e-book is still yet to happen. Customers are now questioning the value of the e-book itself.
What we wrote on our Purpose Page in 2012, is still true today.
“THE BOOK, both print and even current versions of the electronic reader, are already near artifacts. Book publishing is in the death throes of the last century, bound up in static, linear publications.
At the same time, the technology of the new media has developed to such a degree of creativity and innovation that Alice Rawsthorn commented in the New York Times of November 28, 2010 that,
“‘These devices offer thrilling possibilities for us to do much more than read words on a screen,
and it is deeply disappointing that so few designers and publishers are embracing them.””
What Can Be Done?
Here are a few suggestions: