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printing quotes



Perhaps this is coming about it from the other end, but on the issue of
printing and the effects of books on society, you could do no better than to
read John Milton's great defense of free press,  "Areopagitica."  It was
written in response to a 1643 Order of Parliment that, in an effort to
control the recent explosion in printing, required the licensing of all
books.   In it, Milton make reference to the whole history of  censorship.

"For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life
in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are.... I know
they as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous dragon's
teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men. And
yet, on the other hand, unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a man
as kill a good book. Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's
image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image
of God, as it were in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the earth; but a
good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and
treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life."  --John Milton,  "Areopagitica"

There is an online copy with excerpts from the Parliamentary law at:
gopher://gopher.vt.edu:10010/02/123/3

Elisabeth M. L. Anderson
Head, Binding Operations
University of Chicago Library
eanderso@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

>Subject:       printing quotes
>
>Hi, I'm working on an article about technological skeptics and I'm looking for
>quotes about printing. I was told that at one time people believed that giving
>the public access to books would disrupt the social order etc. Do you know
>where I might find something like this? I've included an example below.
>
>Thanks,
>
>Charles Rogers
>Interactive Editor
>www.react.com
>


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