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Although we can never go through the same transformation as those living in the time pre- and post-Gutenberg, we may be able to replicate a similar shift in our relation to text. Well, if not exactly similar, there are a couple of quick exercises that might give us occasion to consider the changes that occurred.

Keep track of any changes you notice in your response to the text. I'd be interested in learning if you experienced any differences in how you interacted with the material.


A famous example of visual differences in text could be Mallarme's poem:

Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard [French]

A throw of the dice will never abolish chance [English]

Compare the following two versions. One has the original visual display of the poem, while the other has a punctuated version in the more common visual display.

    Link to the English translation in its original format

     Link to the English translation in regular display