Muy buen artículo de Anthony Grafton en el New Yorker.
Digitization and its discontents.
by Anthony Grafton
November 5, 2007
In 1938, Alfred Kazin began work on his first book, “On Native Grounds.” The child of poor Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn, he had studied at City College. Somehow, with little money or backing, he managed to write an extraordinary book, setting the great American intellectual and literary movements from the late nineteenth century to his own time in a richly evoked historical context. One institution made his work possible: the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and Forty-second Street. Kazin later recalled, “Anything I had heard of and wanted to see, the blessed place owned: first editions of American novels out of those germinal decades after the Civil War that led to my theme of the ‘modern’; old catalogues from long-departed Chicago publishers who had been young men in the eighteen-nineties trying to support a little realism.” Without leaving Manhattan, Kazin read his way into “lonely small towns, prairie villages, isolated colleges, dusty law offices, national magazines, and provincial ‘academies’ where no one suspected that the obedient-looking young reporters, law clerks, librarians, teachers would turn out to be Willa Cather, Robert Frost, Sinclair Lewis, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore.” [completo]