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The Digital Archive of Gabriel García Márquez- Publishers in the Time of Decline

January 24, 2018 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

Gabriel_Emma Castro

            Photograph from the Archive – Gabriel García Márquez with Emma Castro, 1957.

Gabriel García Márquez

“Few writers have produced novels that are acknowledged as masterpieces not only in their own countries but all around the world. Fewer still can be said to have written books that have changed the whole course of literature in their language. But the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez,  achieved just that, especially thanks to his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. ” (The Guardian)

Garcia M

The Digital Archive of Gabriel García Márquez

“At the Harry Ransom Center, “the searchable, online archive is comprised of approximately 27,500 items from García Márquez’s papers, …   includes manuscript drafts of published and unpublished works, research material, photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, clippings, notebooks, screenplays, printed material, ephemera, and an audio recording of García Márquez’s acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982″.

Publishers in the Time of Decline – The Book in the New Media

This blog examines the Book and Fine Art in the New Media. Notice that “The Book”, and “Publishers” are absent from the creation of the Archive of Gabriel García Márquez. Instead, The Archive  was produced by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas,  and it is  digital, searchable, and free. Again, publishers, both print and electronic are absent from a major literary accomplishment.

Whither the Book?

As stated in the Purpose page of this blog, in 2012,

“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.'”

Publishers 2010 – 2018

E-book sales are in decline. Print books still exist, but have been static since Guttenberg. Publishers have shunned New Media technology in favor of profit from the two stand buys. It’s as if the technology of the new media does not exist in the closed world of book publishing, If publisher’s  are to be believed, there is no New Media technology, and certainly no New Media technology worthy their attention. Instead, the static book, whether print or electronic is served up to the public as the cutting edge of book publishing to the detriment of the book and its evolution.

What is the Alternative?

We have written a number of posts on the future of the book, and the use of New Media technology to produce what we hope will be The Book in the early decades of 21st century. One, Is the E-Book Dead or Just Asleep? and E Books vs. E Museums, the Lag of the Book are but two examples.Traditional publishers have been overtaken by Universities, Museums, and new publishers.

The Enhanced E-Book – New Value for The Book

The enhanced e- book or e-book + is what we see as the future of “The Book,” if the book is to continue to exist and offer value beyond the static page.

We have written about the enhanced e-book, “e +,” as a new genre which requires the incorporation of many disciplines and technologies.

Our post, ENHANCED E-BOOKS – MUSEE d’ORSAY WHOLLY DIGITAL BOOK FOR IMPRESSIONIST EXHIBITION is one of the best examples. This book does it all. There are scalable reproductions of nearly 200 paintings by 26 artists including such favorites as Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh; over three hours of original audio information about the artists and their paintings; and more than 500 hyperlinks to some of the best experts and sites on the Internet to learn more about the artists and their work. The book is an outstanding work of scholarship. It is beautifully designed and intuitively interactive.

Jack Kerouac’s On the Road – Enhanced.

Penguin Books has published an enhanced e-book of Jack Kerouac’s novel: On the Road. Both Penguin editors and the Kerouac estate curated this digital edition of On the Road.  is an excellent example of the use of New Media digital technology to enhance the value of the electronic [digital] book.  You can read about some of the features on Penguin’s website, but here are a few selected ones that show the use of New Media technology:

  • Prized family photographs from Kerouac’s estate, many published here for the first time
  • Exclusive audio clips of Kerouac himself reading three excerpts from an early draft
  • Documentary footage of fellow Beats sharing their firsthand impressions of Kerouac and thoughts on his celebrated literary career
  • Pages from the journals Kerouac kept while on the road, with notes on the novel’s plot and structure.
  • Reproductions of Kerouac’s first draft of the novel on the 120-foot scroll as well as later typescripts with corrections made by him and his editors.

With all the archives, and vast amount of information [research] already online, and New Media technology,  the material is already there, free for publishers, for the evolution of The Book for the 21st century … If not the publishers the paradigm change will be done by others. See, ARE INTERACTIVE E-BOOKS ,”E+,” A NEW GENRE?

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