Thursday, April 27, 2006

Garrison Keillor quote and Baker's "Double Fold"

I'm not in the review group for "Double Fold," but am a big fan of the book. I found the following passage on the back of the Viking/BOMC trade paperback edition of Garrison Keillor's "We Are Still Married" today, and thought it was a perfect companion to Baker's book. With all the library and book quotations posted around SLIS, I had never come across this one. Oh, by the way, it is a lengthy quote, and it may push the limits of copyright law to reproduce it, but as I am putting it on our class blog, I presume it would be covered under Fair Use. If not, Viking can let us know and I'll take it down.

"A silken photo of the author leaning on a porch should occupy this space along with few roundhouse tributes from newspapers but why not instead a few lines about the great and ancient invention you hold in your hand, the Book itself. Slow to hatch, as durable as a turtle, light and shapely as befits a descendant of the tree. Closed, the objet d'book resembles a board. Open, its pale wings brush the fingertips, the spore of fresh ink and pulp excites the nose, the spine lies easily in the hand. A handsome useful object begotten by the passion for truth. The apostle Paul was not the host of a talk show, or else we'd be worshiping famous people on Sunday mornings: he wrote books, a Christian thing to do. The faith of Jews and Christians rests on God's sacred word, not on magic or music, and so technology burst forward into publishing, Gutenberg and Johann Fust and Peter Schoffer making books similar to ours in the fifteenth century. Ages before the loudspeaker and the camera, came this lovely thing, this portable garden, which survives television, computers, censorship, lousy schools, and rotten authors. Along with the Constitution, the blues, and baseball, the democracy of letters is a common glory in our midst, visible in every library and bookstore. These stacks of boards contain our common life and keep it against the miserable days when meanness operates with a free hand and save it for the day when the lonesome reader opens the cover and the word is resurrected. The day can come next month or a hundred years from now, a book will wait."
-- Garrison Keillor

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