Does the era of digital books mean the end of footnotes, and even footnotes in General? Alexandra Horowitz, wykładowczyni psychology at Columbia University and the author published in Poland the book “through the eyes of a dog,” thinks so. The footnote, i.e. the fine print at the bottom of the page, is well known to all who deal with books. No scientific work (not to mention the provisions of the law) can do without it, because it contains, for example, information about the source of the quotation. But the footnote is also a rich life in fiction.
Of course, scholarly books are still full of footnotes
Horowitz-zdeklarowana is a fan of footnotes, which stretches for each new book, begins the book with a review of what the author wrote in small print at the bottom of the page – she reflected on the future of footnotes in the era of digitization of literature and expressed concern that in the era of digital literature doomed to banicję in footnotes, and eventually – to extinction.
As an example of how e-books kill footnotes, cites his personal experience. In one of his books on the cognitive abilities of dogs, Horowitz quotes anecdote of his life. Her dog, worshiped by grapes, took the fruit in his mouth, and after a while spit it out. Since then I have not misled, never, no grapes, no raisins, though not once had been able to pull off fancy plates, like the dog treats. Only through some time from this events the author learned, that grapes can contain toxins, dangerous for dogs. The anecdote in her book ends with the question of whether dogs sometimes have an instinctive aversion to grapes and raisins. Information that about the toxicity of these fruits she found out later, got in the footnotes.
After the book appeared, to her surprise, the author began to receive letters from readers outraged by the fact that she had lied to her merciful grape. In the letters, people asked if he did not know that these fruits are poisonous, and why he did not mention it in his work. What was it? Most outraged readers bought the book in electronic form, where footnotes were put forward at the end of the publication.
I have since found that attitudes on footnotes tend toward the hyperbolic
According to Horowitz, these practices are threatened by the fact that over time, the footer will disappear from the literature, primarily non-academic. Why? Because pushing the bottom footnotes at the end of a book can prevent authors from using them. If almost no one reads the footnotes, the more so.
Someone might ask, ” so what?”. The point is that the disappearance of a footnote is the deprivation of literature of a tool that effectively enriches the work with things or information not necessarily important for the text itself. Just call from the history of literature songs that without rules will not be the same and will often be forgotten. Like John Hodgson’s “Northumberland story,” which includes countless footnotes, footnotes, footnotes to footnotes. One of them is 165 pages long!
The footnote also provokes extreme reactions among critics themselves. For some, this is a necessary element of the work (especially scientific or popularnonaukowego), which allows us to understand the course of the author’s reasoning, enriches the text, digressions, makes it possible to show the reverse shooting of this question. For others it should be absolutely forbidden because it violates the reception of the text.
Regardless of the rightness of the topic researchers, the slow extinction of footnotes in e-books becomes a reality. Moving them to the end footnote function is no longer a trend, or a trend, but a daily occurrence. And even attempts to save him, choosing his words, probably not in any shape to help. Interestingly, this problem, contrary to appearances, is not in the case of audiobooks.
The footnote jousting could soon be moot
Fears that the development of technology will kill the traditionally captured book turned out to be burning. Paper is still the most important carrier of literature, and probably it is, because no computer screen will replace the roughness of paper, the smell of printing ink, or the rustle of a rotating page. The same screen kills, however the format of the website. Who pays attention to the footnotes with a scroll in the mouse?
Horowitz argues that if the footnotes disappear completely, he will mourn them later. And it is difficult to disagree with it, because literature is the future of fiction, which wants to get out of the impasse in which there was a form of literature in the postmodern world. It seems to be perfectly created for the implementation of the postulates of fashionable in recent years hypertext.
The fact that in the case of work in digital form is simply a cliché, begins to complicate the movement of the work on paper. Without a footnote, such a procedure would not be possible. A small and modest footnote, underestimated and ignored, can reopen the door for writers to experiment with form and at least therefore worth fighting for its survival.