Locurile comune iau o pauză din motive obiective. Mihnea Măruță:

Suntem o redacţie destul de mică, în comparaţie cu echipele clasice de cotidian tipărit. Şi zic asta pentru că ne propunem ca orice articol pe care-l publicăm să stârnească interesul cititorilor de limbă română, oriunde în lume.

Aşa ne vom alege subiectele (şi, deci, nu vom miza pe cantitate): cu dorinţa ca fiecare text să fie relevant, sau măcar interesant, indiferent dacă trăiţi la Cluj, la Bucureşti sau în Honolulu. Ceea ce ne uneşte este limba română.

Dacă aveți chef de citit, o să țin pe PressOne o rubrică de recomandări zilnice, poate un pic mai mundane decât cele de aici, dar în același spirit de a da mai departe lucruri care merită citite.

Tot pe PressOne fac în fiecare dimineață de luni până vineri Revista Pressei pentru cei care n-au ore întregi de pierdut ca să înțeleagă ce se mai întâmplă prin țară și prin lume.

I’ll be back!

Cititul se mută pe telefon

Ever since the first hand-held e-readers were introduced in the 1990s, the digital-reading revolution has turned the publishing world upside down. But contrary to early predictions, it’s not the e-reader that will be driving future book sales, but the phone.

“The future of digital reading is on the phone,” said Judith Curr, publisher of the Simon & Schuster imprint Atria Books. “It’s going to be on the phone and it’s going to be on paper.”

Jennifer Maloney – The Rise of Phone Reading

De ce ne vine greu să ne deconectăm

The problem is that my brain feels stuffed with so much information and pulled in so many directions that there is no room left to take in anything more, much less to figure out how what’s already in there fits together.

My brain has become less a repository for knowledge than a perpetual motion machine.

You don’t need another polemic on the evils of overload, overwhelm and overdrive. You’ve got so many URLs left to visit before you sleep, and such limited attention to parse out along the way. I ask you to indulge me just briefly.

At the risk of losing all credibility, I believe our attention crisis has reached a new Defcon level. I can’t prove it, but I sense it in countless conversations, like the one I had last night in which a young woman told me that she found it difficult to read even a short article on the Internet all the way through. Or the person who told me that being asked in a meeting to turn off email prompts in him something close to a panic attack.

Tony Schwartz – Struggling to Disconnect From Our Digital Lives

Capodoperele care te sperie

Observația lui Frederik de Boer despre câteva exemple de artă înaltă, cum ar fi Război și Pace, pe care lumea le găsește intimidante în mod obișnuit:

As always: the point is not that consuming this art is ennobling. You shouldn’t go looking for this stuff out of a sense of duty, and certainly not to increase your virtue. You should check it out because they all are rich, rewarding, and ready to be enjoyed. If you aren’t interested, that’s fine too. Just remember that there are all kinds of artistic pleasures out there to be discovered. Try stuff out. If you don’t like it, that’s fine. If you do, even better.

Lecții de citit bine

Tim Parks, despre cum putem să citim mai bine, înarmați cu un creion în mână:

A pen is not a magic wand. The critical faculty is not conjured from nothing. But it was remarkable how many students improved their performance with this simple stratagem. There is something predatory, cruel even, about a pen suspended over a text. Like a hawk over a field, it is on the lookout for something vulnerable. Then it is a pleasure to swoop and skewer the victim with the nib’s sharp point. The mere fact of holding the hand poised for action changes our attitude to the text. We are no longer passive consumers of a monologue but active participants in a dialogue. Students would report that their reading slowed down when they had a pen in their hand, but at the same time the text became more dense, more interesting, if only because a certain pleasure could now be taken in their own response to the writing when they didn’t feel it was up to scratch, or worthy only of being scratched.

Același Tim Parks revine cu detalii despre întrebările pe care și le pune atunci când citește:

While this process of putting the characters in some relation to each other and the author in relation to the reader is going on, another crucial question is hammering away in my head. Is this a convincing vision of the world? Is it really such a disaster, Murakami, if four friends exclude you from their circle? Would they really have done that and would anyone have reacted as Tsukuru Tazaki did? Is it really true, Hemingway, that courage is so crucial and the world so indifferent? Does it make sense, Joyce, to be constantly using wit and aesthetic sensibility as a way of measuring people against each other? In short, are these real concerns, or have they just been brought together to “do literature”?


O zi din viața lui Macchiavelli

Machiavelli, rupt de viața politică florentină, îi scrie o scrisoare prietenului Francesco Vettori, în care îi povestește în detaliu cum își petrece zilele în exil:

I rise in the morning with the sun, and go into a wood that I am having cut, where I remain two hours in order to check the work done the day before and to pass the time with the woodcutters, who always have some argument at hand among themselves or with their neighbors.

Leaving the wood, I go to a spring and from there to my birdsnare. I have a book with me, Dante or Petrarch or one of the lesser poets like Tibullus, Ovid or the like. I read about their amorous passions and their loves, I remember my own, and I revel in these thoughts for a while. I then move on up the road to the inn. I speak with those who pass, and I ask for news of their area; I learn many things and note the different and diverse tastes and ways of thinking of men. Lunchtime comes, when my family and I eat that food which this poor farm and my meager patrimony permit.

After eating, I return to the inn; there I usually find the innkeeper, a butcher, a miller and two bakers. With these men I waste my time playing cards all day, and from these games a thousand disagreements and countless offensive words arise, and most of the time our arguments are over a few cents; nevertheless, we can be heard yelling from as far away as San Casciano. Caught this way among these lice, I wipe the mold from my brain and release my feeling of being ill-treated by Fate; I am happy to be driven along this road by her, as I wait to see if she will be ashamed of doing so.

When evening has come, I return to my house and go into my study. At the door I take off my clothes of the day, which are covered with mud and mire, and I put on my regal and courtly garments; and decently reclothed, I enter the ancient courts of ancient men, where, received by them kindly, I feed on the food that alone is mine, and that I was born for. There I am not ashamed to speak to them and to ask them the reasons for their actions; and they, in their humanity, reply to me. And for the space of four hours I feel no boredom, I forget every pain, I no longer fear poverty, death does not frighten me. I deliver myself entirely to them.

În apărarea cărților tipărite

William Giraldi scrie despre felul în care bibliotecile personale reflectă sensibilitatea și identitatea colecționarului:

What does it mean when what you own is essential to who you are? In our everyday grasp of owning things, we tag it materialism, consumerism, consumption. But I trust you’ll agree that the possession of books is not identical to the possession of shoes: Someone with a thousand books is someone you want to talk to; someone with a thousand shoes is someone you suspect of belonging to the Kardashian clan. Books are not objects in the same way that shoes are objects.

Genul ăsta de pledoarii, pentru farmecul cărților tipărite, apar o dată la câteva luni, dar a lui Giraldi e una dintre cele mai convingătoare:

Like the bicycle, the book is a perfect invention, and perfection dies very, very hard. The car hasn’t murdered the bike, and the Web won’t murder the book. There are innumerable readers for whom the collecting of physical books will remain forever essential to our selfhoods, to our savoring of pleasure and attempted acquisition of wisdom, to our emotional links with our past and our psychological apprehension of others—essential not just as extensions of our identities but as embodiments of those identities. Books, like love, make life worth living.

Autorul menționează în trecere cărțile “delectabile” publicate de The Folio Society, o mică editură londoneză. De când am descoperit-o, acum câteva luni, tot pierd vremea căutând chilipiruri la anticariate online. Dacă vă plac cărțile ca obiecte meșteșugite, nu doar ca suporturi pentru scris, o să vă placă Folio.


Only the actual materials will sustain the humanities, but we have to believe in them enough to say so. We need more conviction than this. We need to be able to say to incoming students, “In this course, you are going to encounter words and images and ideas that are going to change your life. We’ve got Hamlet and Lear, Achilles and David, Frederick Douglass and Elizabeth Bennett, Augustine’s pears and Van Gogh’s stars—beauty and sublimity and truth. If you miss them, you will not be the person you could be.

Mark Bauerlein – Why Are the Humanities Deteriorating?

But I think it’s also true that we as a society have lost the sense that within the study of art, literature, and the humanities, there are things vital to shaping our souls, and to discovering and taking into ourselves what it means to be fully human. That Homer, Dante, Milton, Cervantes, Michelangelo, and all these great men saw more deeply into the human experience than almost any other, and came back to tell us what they learned, and to help us see what they saw. In the end, I think it comes down to a deadening of the soul among our people — that is, a sense that there is no need to learn or to experience anything beyond what we desire to learn and experience, because our desires are self-justifying, and do not need cultivation.

Rod Dreher – Why Do We Need the Humanities?

Hârtia rezistă

A well-made book, like any well-made thing, exudes a sense of permanence. The better it is made, the longer it will last — perhaps for centuries. In letterpress printing, this idea is captured by what printers call “the dwell:” the moment when inked metal letters touch the sheet. The letters dwell upon the page, as we dwell upon a word, or musicians dwell upon a note. It’s a word that marries a sense of duration, of permanence, to the act of fastening a text upon a sheet. Which texts do we choose to treat this way? The answer, I think, is obvious. The deeper, more universal, and important the “content,” the more we wish to grant it permanence. What we enshrine in print are texts we truly cherish, and deem sacred.

Alix Christie – A Thousand Hands Will Grasp You with Warm Desire: On the Persistence of Physical Books

Kindle vs Game of Thrones

Jeff Bezos, fondatorul Amazon, vorbește într-un interviu pentru Business Insider despre concurența cărților în contextul actual și despre scopul Kindle pe termen lung de a face cititul mai convenabil și mai accesibil:

The most important thing to observe is that books don’t just compete against books. Books compete against people reading blogs and news articles and playing video games and watching TV and going to see movies.

Books are the competitive set for leisure time. It takes many hours to read a book. It’s a big commitment. If you narrow your field of view and only think about books competing against books, you make really bad decisions. What we really have to do, if we want a healthy culture of long-form reading, is to make books more accessible. (…)

The vision for Kindle is every book, every imprint, in any language, all available in 60 seconds. That’s a multi-decade vision. We’ve been working on it for a decade now, and we’ve made huge progress. We’re making books easier to get, more affordable, more accessible. It’s a fantastic mission. The Kindle team is very dedicated to it, and they’re doing a great job. You are getting more reading.

Apropo de echipa care se ocupă de Kindle, câțiva dintre lideri au discutat cu The Verge, care are un reportaj amplu despre viitorul proiectului Kindle. Vorbind despre competiția împotriva televiziunii și jocurilor, industrii care evoluează intens, Russ Grandinetti spune:

Our job is to invent all the things we can to make taking that journey as pleasurable and as rewarding as possible. And I don’t think it’s mine to say, or ours to say, if you want to talk about it in zero-sum terms, that books are going to do better or worse in the future … Where reading will go will be determined, enhanced, or constrained by how inventive we can be in how we support it.