The Book and the crisis of the western culture

The audio-visual media and, more recently, telematics, seem to be threatening the book and be bound to deprive it of the supremacy it had been enjoying in our civilization so far. In fact there is no sign whatever showing that the public is somehow turning away from the book, quite the contrary. On the other hand, paying the price for its very success, the book, once rare and precious, has become commonplace and has depreciated. Moreover, being questioned by modern thought and anthropological sciences, the written discourse has perhaps lost the weight and prestige which fell to it not so long ago. But it is in the very heart at a civilization of the written word and the book that this problem has been posed and has developed. A more precise study of the "book function" enables one to realize that the book has retained and will still retain for a long time its main two functions : that of a major synthesizer and that of a monument