From bookface to facebook

SlapstickWhy facebook? Why not faceweb? The web is not a book. Then again, what is a book? What is a web? The web is like an illuminated manuscript.


We used to call prolific readers bookworms, their faces buried in books. Bookworm is a misnomer; worms are quite social, as my compost pile reveals. But the bookworm does prefer the warmth of an open, airy book, lives within the book. The bookworm feeds on the book, a moist book, an organic book, destroying the book in the process of reading it, a deconstructionist.


facebook…facebook, face + book, already a metaphor, specialized. Books are sequential, linear; facebook is mosaic, multidirectional: The face as book, borrowing book as ethos for the face that is prepared, so a face with credibility, reliability, with a fixed point of view. Really? Eye contact; I contact, enter-face. “Manuscript culture is conversational if only because the writer and his audience are physically related by the form of publication as performance” (McLuhan, [The Gutenberg Galaxy], 1962, p. 105). Webworm.

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