Friday, August 20, 2010

With Everything Permitted...

David Byrne wonders how access to an unending font of information can trivialize the act of reading. The singer and blogger thinks back to the days of the Communist bloc, "when nothing was permitted, and everything was important."

Richard D.E. Burton echoes this plaint for the vitality that repression gives culture. In his literary history of Prague, he says that any and all printed material in the pre-1989 era meant long lines in front of the bookstore. But after the Velvet Revolution, the cinemas filled up with American trash movies, and the diehards all shrugged.