He never gets to the nub of why writing – this lonely, artificial act by which we try to bridge the chasm between human minds with just words, syntax, punctuation and typography – matters so much. Or why such a cumbersome and energy-consuming activity has easily survived all the technologies that have promised quicker and easier ways to communicate. Delbanco’s breeziness fails to convey the surpassing strangeness of writing, the way it stores and spreads information in the writer’s absence and speaks to distant, unknown others.
Friday, July 24, 2020
The Strangeness of Writing
Here is Joe Moran, reviewing a book by Nicholas Delbanco that purports to examine "why writing matters."