Screens vs. Paper

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I’ve just been going through a pile of paper torn out of various magazines over the past year. In the pile I found a single page torn from the New York Review of Books. I’m afraid I’m not 100 % certain who wrote this, but it’s likely to be from the Book of Numbers by Joshua Cohen.

“Computers keep total records, but not of effort, and the pages inked out by their printers leave none. Screens preserve no blemishes or failures. Screens preserve nothing human. Save in the fossiliferous prints left behind by touch. But a page – only a page can register the sorrows of the crossings, bad word choice, good word choice gone bad, the gradual dulling of pencil lead…A notebook is the only place you can write about shit like this and not give a shit, like this. Cheap and tattered, a forgiving space, dizzyingly spiral bound, coiled helical. ”

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