The Impermanent Text in Catullus and Other Roman Poets
To us, who have lived our entire lives in a culture saturated with print, it seems obvious that the survival of a verbal artifact for any length of time would be impossible without material texts. To a writer, getting published is the necessary first step toward a potentially limitless Nachleben. The fact that, ceteris paribus, a new book is more likely to be pulped within a few years than to survive into the following century doesn't really enter into consideration. In a general way, publication itself is considered a form of immortality.