October 25, 2013

The Last Reader



In schools and colleges, in these audio-visual days, doubt has been raised as to the future of reading – whether the printed word is on its last legs. One college president has remarked that "in fifty years only five per cent of the people will be reading.” For this, of course, one must be prepared. But how prepare? To us it would seem that even if only one person out of a hundred and fifty million should continue as a reader, he would be the one worth saving, the nucleus around which to found a university. We think this not impossible person, this Last Reader, might very well stand in the same relation to the community as the queen bee to the colony of bees, and that the others would quite properly dedicate themselves wholly to his welfare, serving special food and building special accommodations. From his nuptial, or intellectual, flight would come the new race of men, linked perfectly with the long past by the unbroken chain of the intellect, to carry on the community. But it is more likely that our modern hive of bees, substituting a coaxical cable for spinal fluid, will try to perpetuate the rave through audio-visual devices, which ask no discipline of the mind and which are already giving the room the languor of an opium parlor.
                                                                                       --- E. B. White

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. কিন্তু অক্ষরে অক্ষরে সত্যি। বিশেষ করে শেষের বাক্যটা আমার খুব মনে ধরেছে।

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  2. E. B white er lekha amar khub bhalo lage. ekta minimalistic byapar achey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. একদম যথার্থ বর্ণনা শম্পা। স্ট্রাংক বাবুর সঙ্গে লেখা ওঁর এলিমেন্টস্‌ অফ স্টাইল-টা বাইবেল কিংবা বেদের থেকে কোনও অংশে কম বলে আমি মনে করি না।

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