A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution

A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution


By (author) Dennis Baron

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 236mm x 23mm | 531g
  • Publication date: 29 October 2009
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0195388445
  • ISBN 13: 9780195388442
  • Illustrations note: numerous halftones
  • Sales rank: 469,236

Product description

A Better Pencil examines the digital revolution in light of the history of writing technology. Baron looks at how we love, fear, actually use our writing machines-not just computers but typewriters, pencils, and clay tablets-how we deploy them to replicate the old ways of doing things while actively generating new modes of mass expression; how we learn to trust new technology and the new and strange sorts of texts that it produces; hwo we expand the notion of who can write and who can't; and how we free our readers and writers while at the same time trying to regulate their activities.

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Author information

Dennis Baron is Professor of English and Linguistics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Review quote

A useful counter-argument to the gloomy techno-pessimists, Henry Farrell, Times Higher Education

Table of contents

Preface: Technologies of the Word ; Introduction ; 1. TeknoFear ; 2. Thoreau's Pencil ; 3. National Handwriting Day ; 4. Writing on Clay ; 5. When WordStar Was King ; 6. Trusting the Text ; 7. Writing on Screen ; 8. Everyone's an Author ; 9. A Space of One's Own ; 10. The Dark Side of the Web ; 11. From Pixels to Pencils ; Works Cited