But why is a scrolling blur of disembodied letters closer to the supposed essence of literature than a spoken performance or time spent in the presence of charismatic objects? Manuscripts communicate in ways electronic texts, and even printed books, can’t. They speak to presence — to the presence of a person, to the physicality of their body and the instant of their creation. What’s more, the meaning we derive from any text is inextricable from the web of perceptions and impressions that structures our reception of it: the heft of the paper, the smell of the binding, the shape of the handwriting. The philosopher Gilles Deleuze called this tactile intermediary the logique du sens. Pace Parks, there is no ‘essence of literary experience’ that precedes its embodiment.

Jacob Mikanowski, "Papyralysis," LA Review of Books -