The Future of the Book: Images of Reading in the American Utopian Novel (Hardcover)
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The Future of the Book: Images of Reading in the American Utopian Novel looks at how turn-of-the-century utopian novelists imagined what the book would be like in the ideal future. This works examines many different aspects of book culture. One chapter looks at the utopian residential library, both its contents and its personal and social functions. In the ideal future, everyone has books in their home. Another chapter discusses the public library in utopia. Many of the innovations the utopian novelists imagined correct problems that real public libraries faced in late nineteenth-century America. In utopia, everyone knows how to use the public library. A third chapter shifts the discussion of books and reading from the place of consumption to the place of production, looking at the role of the author in utopia. This chapter also attempts to answer a vexing question: Can an ideal world produce great literature? The utopian novelists said yes, but the novels they imagined in the
future make their conclusions more circumspect. A parallel chapter studies what the utopian newspaper would be like. Some utopian novelists projected alternative news media, foreseeing technology that anticipated television and the internet. The final chapter examines what printed books would look like in the ideal future, looking at graphic design, universal languages, and methods to assure that the books would be printed without censorship or editorial intrusion.
About the Author
Kevin J. Hayes, Emeritus Professor of English, University of Central Oklahoma Kevin J. Hayes, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma, now lives and writes in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of numerous books on history, literature, and culture, including A Journey through American Literature and George Washington, A Life in Books, for which he received the George Washington Prize.