User:ThomasW/Notes A Universal History of the Destruction of Books

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Baez, Fernando (2008) A Universal History of the Destruction of Books: From Ancient Sumer to Modern-day Iraq, Atlas & Co.

“We have to remember that museums and libraries were closely linked to the nations power structor, so when they were burned to the ground, silence legitimized the catastrophe” p2

“Goethe says that when he was young he witnessed the burning of a book in Frankfurt, and that he was unhappy seeing “how an inanimate object is punished” p5

“The apocalyptic narrative projects the human situation and its anguish: in each of us, the origin and the end interact in inevitable processes of creation and dissolution” p9

“By destroying, we ratify this ritual of permanence, purification and consecration” p9

“Anthropologist say that “Homo habilis, our earliest ancestor, lived about 2,5 million years ago, and that Homo sapiens sapiens, from whom modern human descend, develop writing just a few thousand years ago. Which means that humanity’s existence is 99 percent prehistory and less that one percent written history” p 10

Jorge Luise Borges “The book is an extension of memory and imagination” p11

“There is no identity without memory” p12

“Even democratic societies can become totalitarian when they reduce their identity by accusations of sedition and become exclusionary” p15

“The dominating factor is the same in all case: the world first libraries are in ruins, and mor than half their books destroyed.” p 25

“Even the most optimistic estimates calculate that 75 percent of ancient Greek literature philosophy and science has been lost” p38

“The erudite Julius Pollux called those bookstalls bibliotheke” p40

“Agothon of Athens, a tragic poet quote by Plato and admired by Socrates , apparently wrote books of an almost irresistible perfection, but today we have nothing but weak fragments” p 41

“In 600, Niu Hung wrote a report in which he suggested it was important to keep multiple library copies in order to foil the destruction of written knowledge” p 72

“Juvenal complained about the ephemeral nature of papyrus.” p88

“Nowadays there are no examples of Greek papyri prior to the fourth century BCE. In fact , despite the labor of libraries and the widespread book business of the Hellenistic era, texts on papyrus not recopied or copied onto codisc were lost. P88

“paper was introduced during the ninth or tenth centuries, and the first paper found there is of the oriental type (called bombykinon or bambakeron). The fact that is was cheap than and other material gradually gave it ascendancy, but its rapid deterioration was a matter of great concern to the monks” p95 “Books stored on compact disk made of aluminum and polycarbonates are not biodegradable and are very long-lasting. However in 1999 it was discovered that certain mushrooms of the Geoterichum variety (used in cheese making) can damage compact disks” p261

“An inspection of the NewYork Public Library revealed that around fifty percent of its more than five million books are on the brink of disintegration.” p263

“That future is barely upon us, but it is clear that the continuos destruction of these books, through acciendts or malice, is inevitable. So when future students destroy their electronic books, the may eradicate fourteen million texts” p 265-266