Avatars of the Word – O’Donnell– 2: The Instability of Text

June 22nd, 2010

O’Donnell, J. J. (2000). Avatars of the word: From papyrus to cyberspace: Harvard University Press.

In this chapter, O’Donnell discusses the instability and, in some ways (un)reliability, of the written word in both printed and electronic form. The printed format is generally a far cry more consistent than the pre-Gutenberg manuscript format. However, upon closer examination, there exists a possibility for much inconsistency and even access ephemerality. “It is surprising what variations can occur between one printed edition of the same book and another…” (44). Read the rest of this entry »