Umberto Eco Massimo Valicchia/ZumaPress

La imaginación virtual

MILAN: ¿Acaso los libros, a través del poder de las computadoras y de internet, habrán de transformarse en “estructuras de hipertexto” ilimitadas en las que el lector será también autor?

Hoy en día, existen dos tipos de libros: aquéllos que se leen y aquéllos que se consultan. Con los libros para leer se empieza en la página 1 donde, digamos, el autor explica que se ha cometido un crimen. El lector continúa hasta el final, cuando descubre quién es el culpable. Fin del libro y de la experiencia lectora. Lo mismo sucede aun si se lee sobre filosofía, digamos, Husserl. El autor inicia en la primera página y sigue una serie de cuestiones en orden para que el lector entienda cómo llega a sus conclusiones.

Las enciclopedias, por supuesto, no están hechas para leerse de corrido. Si quiero saber si fue posible que Napoleón conociera a Kant, tomo los volúmenes K y N y descubro que Napoleón nació en 1769 y murió en 1821, mientras que Kant nació en 1724 y murió en 1804. Es posible que los dos se hayan conocido. Para saberlo con precisión, consulto una biografía de Kant. Una biografía de Napoleón, quien conoció a mucha gente, podría obviar un encuentro con Kant; una biografía de Kant, no.

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