Accouplements 09

(Accouplements : une rubriquel’Oreille tendue s’amuse à mettre en vis-à-vis deux textes d’horizons éloignés.)

À l’ère numérique, les notes (marginales, de bas de page, de fin de chapitre, de fin d’ouvrage) sont-elles encore utiles ?

Tim Parks, dans The New York Review of Books (13 septembre), croit que non, du moins pas dans tous les cas ni avec la même précision.

Do readers need to know that Yale University Press is based in New Haven and Knopf in New York ? How does this add to their ability to track down a quotation ? Once one has the title and the surname of the author, do we really need the author’s initials or first name […] ? But the real question is, are we never going to acknowledge that modern technology has changed things ?

Dans The New Yorker (5 septembre), Nathan Heller croit que si.

This augmentative beauty is what’s lost when back matter is banished to a third literary space like the Internet. Books are not a perfect technology — they may not even, at this point, be the best technology for reading — but they’re exquisitely compact. […] When you leave for a beach weekend, you do not need to pack a novel and its final chapters separately; no one spends hours searching her bookshelves for the endnotes to a volume in her hand. («I feel like I just saw them yesterday !») So why are publishers forcing readers to do that on laptops ? The reading of books, we’re often told, is imperilled. If that’s true, we ought not be driven toward increased distraction.

L’Oreille, elle, aime les notes — où qu’elles soient.