in the Age of Media, Computers, and Internet
AXIOLOGIES OF READING IN THE POSTGUTTENBERG SITUATION
The paper presents an attempt to rationalize the complexities of reading manifested in the current cultural situation. Identified as "Postguttenberg" this situation is seen in the perspective of its axiological isomorphism with the only analogical experience undergone by the Western civilization - the advent of literacy in Ancient Greece in 5th.c. B.C.
The similarity between the age of Pericles and the present day is recognized in the multiple and shifting meanings of writing representative of both historical moments, as well as in the vigorous interrogation of traditional values and in critical reflections about privileged narratives. Both periods are very much alike marked by tendency towards an ever more abstract, more intellectual and therefore less personal mode of communication.
The typological similarity between Classical Greece at the age of Pericles and our own time is seen also in the coexistence and simultaneous activity of conflicting values - in the former between those of orality and literacy, in the latter - those representative of the culture of the book and of multimediality. In the Postguttenberg situation the clash of values produce lines of oppositions including the book vs. the cd., the Library vs. the Net, memory vs. intellectual dexterity, discipline vs. improvisation, logic vs. game, depth vs. superficiality, systematicness vs. fragmentarity, teleology vs.self-sufficiency, narrative vs. dictionary. Consequently, the current reading modus, appropriated simultaneously to traditional books and to Internet - is subjected to these conflicting imperatives. The two opposing impulses in current multiple and inherently controversial axiologies of reading are rationalized by means of metaphors such as "digestion" and "browsing".