The unrest about the fate of the book that has been prompted in successive waves by the now-called “new media” seems to be fading away. That books haven’t vanished, that books even blossomed into a new life, that books are, after all, irreplaceable, that books are perfected and perfectible objects: all these assumptions are as common today as those which had been announcing the book’s near death, by highlighting either its anachronistic features or its utter un-necessity. On the other hand, however, an ongoing debate about the idea of reediting the book is still raging: which portion of new media can be seen, after all, as a reediting of the classic book? And which portion of the classic book can be interpreted as an anticipation of new media? Volume 2, Issue 1 of MATLIT aims to intervene on that debate, centering it on the question of materiality and suggesting a turning-back path from the fundamental question “What is it that new media teach us about the materiality of the book?”
From that question it is possible to infer the topics for debate contained in this issue of MATLIT.
Abel Barros Baptista (NOVA - New University of Lisbon)