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Avatars of the Word: From Papyrus to Cyberspace

Author: James J. O'Donnell
Publisher: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998
Review Published: November 1998

 REVIEW 1: Patrick J. Cook
 AUTHOR RESPONSE: James J. O'Donnell

An author reads reviews with mixed hopes and fears. On the one hand, it has been wisely said that all any author wants of a reviewer is ten thousand words of closely reasoned adulation. But short of that, what an author gets is the realization that for the reviewer the book is new and fresh and alive today -- when of course for the author, no matter how swift the editorial and publishing process, the book is last year's news. My own sense on looking into Avatars again is that nothing I write can possibly express fully the range of possibilities in front of us -- information technology offers that powerful a set of tools. The challenge is to muddle ahead more or less strategically -- whatever our line of work -- realizing both that the present world seems disarmingly familiar and the future will be quite unlike what any prophet can predict.

-- jo'd

James J. O'Donnell

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