The Parable of the Madmen and the Death of the Book

It’s Friedrich Nietszche meets Ewan Morrison today:

Have you not heard heard about the madmen that stayed up late and published to the internet, continuously: “We seek the book! We seek the book!” The madmen provoked much ridicule on the web, in text messages, and in the work place. “Where has it gone? Has it sprouted legs and walked out of your house? Has it disintegrated from your electronic devices?” People tweeted and posted and laughed to themselves (1).

One madman replied, “Where is the book? I will tell you. We have killed it—you and I (1). Piracy and competitive discounts pave the way for for its end. The world is taking part in the free revolution. Authors cannot survive off declining advances. ‘The long tail is the sweatshop of the future’ (2). ‘This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering…and yet [we] have done it [ourselves]’ “ (1).

Check out Ewan Morrison’s argument for the death of books here.

QOL: human


(1)Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882, 1887) para. 125; Walter
Kaufmann ed. (New York: Vintage, 1974), pp.181-82.]
(2)Morrison, Ewan. “Are Books Dead, and Can Authors Survive?., 22 Aug. 2011. Web. 23 Aug. 2011. <

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