Giannozzo Manetti (1396–1459) was a celebrated humanist orator, historian, philosopher, and scholar of the early Renaissance. Son of a wealthy Florentine merchant, he participated actively in the public life of the Florentine republic and embraced the new humanist scholarship of the quattrocento, oriented to the service of the state and the reform of religion. Mastering not only classical Latin but also Greek and Hebrew, he gained access to a whole library of sources previously unknown in the Latin West. Among the fruits of his studies is his treatise Against the Jews and the Gentiles, an apologia for Christianity in ten books that redefines religion in terms of “true piety,” and relates the historical development of the pagan and Jewish religions to the life of Jesus. The present volume includes the first critical edition of Books I–IV, together with the first translation of those books into any modern language.
Inspiring debate since the early days of its publication, Elizabeth L. Eisenstein's The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Communications and Cultural Transformations in Early-Modern Europe (1979) has exercised its own force as an agent of change in the world of scholarship. Its path-breaking agenda has played a central role in shaping the study of print culture and "book history"—fields of inquiry that rank among the most exciting and vital areas of scholarly endeavor in recent years.
Joining together leading voices in the field of print scholarship, this collection of twenty essays affirms the catalytic properties of Eisenstein's study as a stimulus to further inquiry across geographic, temporal, and disciplinary boundaries. From early modern marginalia to the use of architectural title pages in Renaissance books, from the press in Spanish colonial America to print in the Islamic world, from the role of the printed word in nation-building to changing histories of reading in the electronic age, this book addresses the legacy of Eisenstein's work in print culture studies today as it suggests future directions for the field.
In addition to a conversation with Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, the book includes contributions by Peng Hwa Ang, Margaret Aston, Tony Ballantyne, Vivek Bhandari, Ann Blair, Barbara A. Brannon, Roger Chartier, Kai-wing Chow, James A. Dewar, Robert A. Gross, David Scott Kastan, Harold Love, Paula McDowell, Jane McRae, Jean-Dominique Mellot, Antonio Rodr'guez-Buckingham, Geoffrey Roper, William H. Sherman, Peter Stallybrass, H. Arthur Williamson, and Calhoun Winton.
Presented here for the first time in English translation (from Rufinus's Latin version) is the Apology for Origen, the sole surviving work of St. Pamphilus of Caesarea (d. 310 AD), who was one of the most celebrated priest-martyrs of the ancient Church
Between East and West, Armenian culture bears the influence of the country’s long history of foreign occupation, with a vibrant national art and literature that reinterprets elements from a wide variety of cultures, from the Sasanian dynasty of Iran to the Byzantine Empire.
Published to accompany an exhibition at the Bodleian Library, Armenia: Masterpieces from an Enduring Culture draws on the Libraries’ magnificent collection of Armenian manuscripts and early printed books, as well as works of art and religious artifacts to tell the story of the region. The book contains nearly two hundred color illustrations of some of the most treasured masterpieces, from philosophical treatises to splendidly illuminated gospel manuscripts. Also including four essays by experts in the field, the book affords ample insight into the perseverance of the Armenian people in the face of tremendous adversity.
Although known primarily as the irreverent but dazzlingly witty playwright who penned The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde was also an able and farsighted critic. He was an early advocate of criticism as an independent branch of literature and stressed its vital role in the creative process. Scholars continue to debate many of Wilde's critical positions.
Included in Richard Ellmann's impressive collection of Wilde's criticism, The Artist as Critic, is a wide selection of Wilde's book reviews as well as such famous longer works as "The Portrait of Mr. W.H.," "The Soul Man under Socialism," and the four essays which make up Intentions. The Artist as Critic will satisfy any Wilde fan's yearning for an essential reading of his critical work.
"Wilde . . . emerges now as not only brilliant but also revolutionary, one of the great thinkers of dangerous thoughts."—Walter Allen, New York Times Book Review
"The best of Wilde's nonfictional prose can be found in The Artist as Critic."—Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World
Spanning three decades and a host of subjects, E. M. Forster’s radio broadcasts for the BBC were a major contribution to British cultural history, yet today they are rarely acknowledged by scholars of his life and work. But in their day they reached a larger audience than his fiction and established him as a household figure not only in Britain but also in the farthest reaches of its Empire.
As a frequent contributor to the BBC, Forster generally adhered to literary topics but did not shy away from social commentary. This book offers a new appreciation of his vitality and public importance through seventy annotated broadcasts that present him not only as a literary critic but also as a political activist, an advocate for India, and a wary yet cooperative ally of a colonialist government during World War II.
Gathering material either not in print or, if recast as essays, widely scattered, The BBC Talks of E. M. Forster reveals aspects of Forster’s intellect that have been given short shrift in previous studies. Nearly half the scripts date from 1941 to 1945 and provide an eyewitness account of war from a distinguished perspective. Forster comments on how the arts gallantly survived the blitz—even taking his listeners to the theater as bombing threats loom—and in other cases protests government interference in private life or the limits on free expression caused by the wartime paper shortage.
In these scripts, Forster casts a cosmopolitan eye on contemporary literature from James Joyce to John Steinbeck and provides early exposure for young writers and composers. He also enlarges the scope of European art by pairing Jane Austen or C. S. Lewis with Indian writers and offers pointed comments on contemporary literati such as Aldous Huxley and T. S. Eliot. Annotations to each piece identify Forster’s references and trace his revisions from script to broadcast, while the book’s introduction places his emergence as a distinctive radio voice within the historical, creative, and institutional contexts of broadcasting in his day.
This significant body of writing, too long overlooked, traces Forster’s evolution from novelist to adroit cultural critic and shows how a man who was never comfortable with machines played an important role in shaping a new medium. The BBC Talks of E. M. Forster situates Forster as one of the most poignant voices of the twentieth century as it offers new insight into a nation transfigured by war.
The Big Question
David Lehman University of Michigan Press, 1995 Library of Congress PS3562.E428B54 1995 | Dewey Decimal 814.54
David Lehman's second book in the Poets on Poetry series confirms his stature as one of our leading literary figures. He is also a literary critic with a rare ability to elucidate thorny ideas and controversial issues in a way that is both entertaining and instructive. The Big Question leads off with a major essay explaining and exploring the concept of postmodernism. The next sections include pieces about poetry and fiction, lives and letters, and criticism and controversy.
Other "big questions" addressed include political correctness, the genre of literary biography, academic life and deconstruction. There is a humorous piece on poetry "slams" and the whole "downtown" poetry scene, a feisty op-ed column (on the deconstruction of the Gettysburg Address), a pair of wickedly satirical poems, as well as a group of exceptional book reviews.
The subjects covered range from Philip Larkin to Philip Roth- from the greatest poetry hoax of the twentieth century (which took place in Australia during World War II) to Charles Dickens's unfinished last novel- and from nineteenthth-century American poetry to the political career of Martin Heidegger.
David Lehman is a poet and author of Signs of the Times: Deconstruction and the Fall of Paul de Man. He is series editor of the celebrated Best American Poetry anthology.
The successful transmediation of books and documents through digitization requires the synergetic partnership of many professional figures, that have what may sometimes appear as contrasting goals at heart. On one side, there are those who look after the physical objects and strive to preserve them for future generations, and on the other those involved in the digitization of the objects, the information that they contain, and the management of the digital data. These complementary activities are generally considered as separate and when the current literature addresses both fields, it does so strictly within technical reports and guidelines, concentrating on procedures and optimal workflow, standards, and technical metadata. In particular, more often than not, conservation is presented as ancillary to digitization, with the role of the conservator restricted to the preparation of items for scanning, with no input into the digital product, leading to misunderstanding and clashes of interests. Surveying a variety of projects and approaches to the challenging conservation-digitization balance and fostering a dialogue amongst practitioners, this book aims at demonstrating that a dialogue between apparently contrasting fields not only is possible, but it is in fact desirable and fruitful. Only through the synergetic collaboration of all people involved in the digitization process, conservators included, can cultural digital objects that represent more fully the original objects and their materiality be generated, encouraging and enabling new research and widening the horizons of scholarship.
A book about the role of books in shaping the ancient religious landscape
This collection of essays by leading scholars from a variety of academic disciplines explores the ongoing relevance of Harry Gamble’s Books and Readers in the Early Church (1995) for the study of premodern book cultures. Contributors expand the conversation of book culture to examine the role the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Qur’an played in shaping the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions in the ancient and medieval world. By considering books as material objects rather than as repositories for stories and texts, the essays examine how new technologies, new materials, and new cultural encounters contributed to these holy books spreading throughout territories, becoming authoritative, and profoundly shaping three global religions.
Comparative analysis of book culture in Roman, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic contexts
Art-historical, papyrological, philological, and historical modes of analysis
Essays that demonstrate the vibrant, ongoing legacy of Gamble’s seminal work
Books, Bluster, and Bounty examines a cross-section of Carnegie library applications to determine how local support was mustered for cultural institutions in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century West. This comparative study considers the entire region between the Rockies and the Cascades/Sierras, including all of Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona; western Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado; eastern Oregon and Washington; and small parts of California and New Mexico. The author's purpose is to address not only the how of the process but also the variable why. Although virtually all citizens and communities in the West who sought Carnegie libraries expected tangible benefits for themselves that were only tangentially related to books, what they specifically wanted varied in correlation with the diverse nature of western communities. By looking at the detailed records of the Carnegie library campaigns, the author is able to provide an alternative lens through which to perceive and map the social-cultural makeup and town building of western communities at the turn of the century.
Delving into the origins and development of the Library of Congress, this volume ranges from the first attempt to establish a national legislative library in 1783 to the advent of the Civil War. Carl Ostrowski shows how the growing and changing Library was influenced by—and in turn affected—major intellectual, social, historical, and political trends that occupied the sphere of public discourse in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century America.
The author explores the relationship between the Library and the period's expanding print culture. He identifies the books that legislators required to be placed in the Library and establishes how these volumes were used. His analysis of the earliest printed catalogs of the Library reveals that law, politics, economics, geography, and history were the subjects most assiduously collected. These books provided government officials with practical guidance in domestic legislation and foreign affairs, including disputes with European powers over territorial boundaries.
Ostrowski also discusses a number of secondary functions of the Library, one of which was to provide reading material for the entertainment and instruction of government officials and their families. As a result, the richness of America's burgeoning literary culture from the 1830s to the 1860s was amply represented on the Library's shelves. For those with access to its Capitol rooms, the Library served an important social function, providing a space for interaction and the display and appreciation of American works of art.
Ostrowski skillfully demonstrates that the history of the Library of Congress offers a lens through which we can view changing American attitudes toward books, literature, and the relationship between the federal government and the world of arts and letters.
How cultural categories shaped--and were shaped by--new ideas about controlling nature
Ranging from alchemy to necromancy, "books of secrets" offered medieval readers an affordable and accessible collection of knowledge about the natural world. Allison Kavey's study traces the cultural relevance of these books and also charts their influence on the people who read them. Citing the importance of printers in choosing the books' contents, she points out how these books legitimized manipulating nature, thereby expanding cultural categories, such as masculinity, femininity, gentleman, lady, and midwife, to include the willful command of the natural world.
We usually see the Renaissance as a marked departure from older traditions, but Renaissance scholars often continued to cling to the teachings of the past. For instance, despite the evidence of their own dissections, which contradicted ancient and medieval texts, Renaissance anatomists continued to teach those outdated views for nearly two centuries.
In Books of the Body, Andrea Carlino explores the nature and causes of this intellectual inertia. On the one hand, anatomical practice was constrained by a reverence for classical texts and the belief that the study of anatomy was more properly part of natural philosophy than of medicine. On the other hand, cultural resistance to dissection and dismemberment of the human body, as well as moral and social norms that governed access to cadavers and the ritual of their public display in the anatomy theater, also delayed anatomy's development.
A fascinating history of both Renaissance anatomists and the bodies they dissected, this book will interest anyone studying Renaissance science, medicine, art, religion, and society.
A Wolfson History Prize Finalist A New Statesman Book of the Year A Sunday Times Book of the Year
“Timely and authoritative…I enjoyed it immensely.” —Philip Pullman
“If you care about books, and if you believe we must all stand up to the destruction of knowledge and cultural heritage, this is a brilliant read—both powerful and prescient.” —Elif Shafak
Libraries have been attacked since ancient times but they have been especially threatened in the modern era, through war as well as willful neglect. Burning the Books describes the deliberate destruction of the knowledge safeguarded in libraries from Alexandria to Sarajevo, from smashed Assyrian tablets to the torching of the Library of Congress. The director of the world-famous Bodleian Libraries, Richard Ovenden, captures the political, religious, and cultural motivations behind these acts. He also shines a light on the librarians and archivists preserving history and memory, often risking their lives in the process.
More than simply repositories for knowledge, libraries support the rule of law and inspire and inform citizens. Ovenden reminds us of their social and political importance, challenging us to protect and support these essential institutions.
“Wonderful…full of good stories and burning with passion.” —Sunday Times
“The sound of a warning vibrates through this book.” —The Guardian
“Essential reading for anyone concerned with libraries and what Ovenden outlines as their role in ‘the support of democracy, the rule of law and open society.’” —Wall Street Journal
“Ovenden emphasizes that attacks on books, archives, and recorded information are the usual practice of authoritarian regimes.” —Michael Dirda, Washington Post
When early Christians began to study the Bible, and to write their own history and that of the Jews whom they claimed to supersede, they used scholarly methods invented by the librarians and literary critics of Hellenistic Alexandria. But Origen and Eusebius, two scholars of late Roman Caesarea, did far more. Both produced new kinds of books, in which parallel columns made possible critical comparisons previously unenvisioned, whether between biblical texts or between national histories. Eusebius went even farther, creating new research tools, new forms of history and polemic, and a new kind of library to support both research and book production.
Christianity and the Transformation of the Book combines broad-gauged synthesis and close textual analysis to reconstruct the kinds of books and the ways of organizing scholarly inquiry and collaboration among the Christians of Caesarea, on the coast of Roman Palestine. The book explores the dialectical relationship between intellectual history and the history of the book, even as it expands our understanding of early Christian scholarship. Christianity and the Transformation of the Book attends to the social, religious, intellectual, and institutional contexts within which Origen and Eusebius worked, as well as the details of their scholarly practices--practices that, the authors argue, continued to define major sectors of Christian learning for almost two millennia and are, in many ways, still with us today.,
With the assistance of several scholars, including James M. McPherson and Gary Gallagher, and a long-time specialist in Civil War books, Ralph Newman, David Eicher has selected for inclusion in The Civil War in Books the 1,100 most important books on the war. These are organized into categories as wide-ranging as "Battles and Campaigns," "Biographies, Memoirs, and Letters," "Unit Histories," and "General Works." The last of these includes volumes on black Americans and the war, battlefields, fiction, pictorial works, politics, prisons, railroads, and a host of other topics. Annotations are included for all entries in the work, which is presented in an oversized 8 1/2 x 11 inch volume in two-column format. Appendixes list "prolific" Civil War publishers and other Civil War bibliographies, and the works included in Eicher's mammoth undertaking are indexed by author or editor and by title.
Gary Gallagher's foreword traces the development of Civil War bibliographies and declares that Eicher's annotation exceeds that of any previous comprehensive volume. The Civil War in Books, Gallagher believes, is "precisely the type of guide" that has been needed. The first full-scale, fully-annotated bibliography on the Civil War to appear in more than thirty years, Eicher's The Civil War in Books is a remarkable compendium of the best reading available about the worst conflict ever to strike the United States. The bibliography, the most valuable reference book on the subject since The Civil War Day by Day, will be essential for college and university libraries, dealers in rare and secondhand books, and Civil War buffs.
For anyone who has blanched at the uphill prospect of finishing a long piece of writing, this book holds out something more practical than hope: it offers a plan. The Clockwork Muse is designed to help prospective authors develop a workable timetable for completing long and often formidable projects.
The idea of dashing off a manuscript in a fit of manic inspiration may be romantic, but it is not particularly practical. Instead, Eviatar Zerubavel, a prolific and successful author, describes how to set up a writing schedule and regular work habits that will take most of the anxiety and procrastination out of long-term writing, and even make it enjoyable. The dreaded ‘writer’s block’ often turns out to be simply a need for a better grasp of the temporal organization of work.
The Clockwork Muse rethinks the writing process in terms of time and organization. It offers writers a simple yet comprehensive framework that considers such variables as when to write, for how long, and how often, while keeping a sense of momentum throughout the entire project. It shows how to set priorities, balance ideals against constraints, and find the ideal time to write. For all those whose writing has languished, waiting for the “right moment,” The Clockwork Muse announces that the moment has arrived.
Don’t miss a single volume. Subscribe today! Back volumes are available for purchase. To ensure that you don't miss a single issue, subscribe to The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle today. For more information, click here.
Volume 29 resumes themes begun in earlier letters: Thomas's flirtatious exchanges with Lady Ashburton, the recent death of his mother, the improvement of his soundproof room, and his struggle to pursue his research for Frederick the Great. Other notable items include Dickens's dedication of Hard Times to Thomas and Thomas's support of G. H. Lewes during the scandal over Lewes's affair with George Eliot. The highlight of the volume is a passionate and humorous letter by Jane, subtitled "Budget of a FemmeIncomprise," in which she defends the rising cost of running their house.
How did people in early America understand the authority of print and how was this authority sustained and contested? These questions are at the heart of this set of pathbreaking essays in the history of the book by one of America's leading practitioners in this interdisciplinary field.
David D. Hall examines the interchange between popular and learned cultures and the practices of reading and writing. His writings deal with change and continuity, exploring the possibility of a reading revolution and arguing for the long duration of a Protestant vernacular tradition. A newly written essay on book culture in the early Chesapeake describes a system of scribal publication. The pieces reflect Hall's belief that the better we understand the production and consumption of books, the closer we come to a social history of culture.
Early manuscripts in the English language included religious works, plays, romances, poetry, and songs, as well as charms, notebooks, and scientific documents. Given this vast array, how did scribes choose to arrange the words and images on the page, and what visual guides did they give early readers to help them use and understand each manuscript?
Working beyond the traditions established for Latin, scribes of English needed to be more inventive, using each book as an opportunity to redesign. Surveying eight centuries of graphic design in manuscripts and inscriptions, Designing English focuses on the craft, agency, and intentions of scribes, painters, and engravers from the Anglo-Saxon to the early Tudor periods. The book examines format, layout, and decoration, as well as bilingual manuscripts and oral recitations, weighing the balance of ingenuity and copying, imagination and practicality, behind early English book design. With over ninety illustrations, drawn especially from the holdings of the Bodleian Library, Designing English gives a comprehensive overview of English books and other material texts across the Middle Ages.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, publishing houses in London, New York, Paris, Stuttgart, and Berlin produced books in ever greater numbers. But it was not just the advent of mass printing that created the era’s “bookish” culture. According to Andrew Piper, romantic writing and romantic writers played a crucial role in adjusting readers to this increasingly international and overflowing literary environment. Learning how to use and to want books occurred through more than the technological, commercial, or legal conditions that made the growing proliferation of books possible; the making of such bibliographic fantasies was importantly a product of the symbolic operations contained within books as well.
Examining novels, critical editions, gift books, translations, and illustrated books, as well as the communities who made them, Dreaming in Books tells a wide-ranging story of the book’s identity at the turn of the nineteenth century. In so doing, it shows how many of the most pressing modern communicative concerns are not unique to the digital age but emerged with a particular sense of urgency during the bookish upheavals of the romantic era. In revisiting the book’s rise through the prism of romantic literature, Piper aims to revise our assumptions about romanticism, the medium of the printed book, and, ultimately, the future of the book in our so-called digital age.
A new history explores the commercial heart of evangelical Christianity.
American evangelicalism is big business. For decades, the world’s largest media conglomerates have sought out evangelical consumers, and evangelical books have regularly become international best sellers. In the early 2000s, Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life spent ninety weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list and sold more than thirty million copies. But why have evangelicals achieved such remarkable commercial success?
According to Daniel Vaca, evangelicalism depends upon commercialism. Tracing the once-humble evangelical book industry’s emergence as a lucrative center of the US book trade, Vaca argues that evangelical Christianity became religiously and politically prominent through business activity. Through areas of commerce such as branding, retailing, marketing, and finance, for-profit media companies have capitalized on the expansive potential of evangelicalism for more than a century.
Rather than treat evangelicalism as a type of conservative Protestantism that market forces have commodified and corrupted, Vaca argues that evangelicalism is an expressly commercial religion. Although religious traditions seem to incorporate people who embrace distinct theological ideas and beliefs, Vaca shows, members of contemporary consumer society often participate in religious cultures by engaging commercial products and corporations. By examining the history of companies and corporate conglomerates that have produced and distributed best-selling religious books, bibles, and more, Vaca not only illustrates how evangelical ideas, identities, and alliances have developed through commercial activity but also reveals how the production of evangelical identity became a component of modern capitalism.
Over the past fifty years, knowledge of the natural world, history, and human behavior has expanded dramatically. What has been learned in the academy has become part of political discourse, sermons, and everyday conversation. The dominant medium for transferring knowledge from universities to the public is popularization—books of serious nonfiction that make complex ideas and information accessible to nonexperts. Such writers as Carl Sagan, Stephen Jay Gould, Stephen Hawking, Daniel Boorstin, and Robert Coles have attracted hundreds of thousands of readers. As fields such as biology, physics, history, and psychology have changed the ways we view ourselves and our place in the universe, popularization has played an essential role in helping us to understand our world.
Expanding the American Mind begins by comparing fiction and nonfiction—their relative respectability in the eyes of reading experts and in the opinions of readers themselves. It then traces the roots of popularization from the Middle Ages to the present, examining changes in literacy, education, and university politics. Focusing on the period since World War II, it examines the ways that curricular reform has increased interest in popularization as well as the impact of specialization and professionalization among the faculty. It looks at the motivations of academic authors and the risks and rewards that come from writing for a popular audience. It also explains how experts write for nonexperts—the rhetorical devices they use and the voices in which they communicate.
Beth Luey also looks at the readers of popularizations—their motivations for reading, the ways they evaluate nonfiction, and how they choose what to read. This is the first book to use surveys and online reader responses to study nonfiction reading. It also compares the experience of reading serious nonfiction with that of reading other genres.
Using publishers' archives and editor-author correspondence, Luey goes on to examine what editors, designers, and marketers in this very competitive business do to create and sell popularizations to the largest audience possible. In a brief afterword she discusses popularization and the Web. The result is a highly readable and engaging survey of this distinctive genre of writing.
In Greco-Roman Egypt, recipes for magical undertaking, called magical formularies, commonly existed for love potions, curses, attempts to best business rivals—many of the same challenges that modern people might face. In The Greco-Egyptian Magical Formularies: Libraries, Books, and Individual Recipes, volume editors Christopher Faraone and Sofia Torallas Tovar present a series of essays by scholars involved in a multiyear project to reedit and translate the various magical handbooks that were inscribed in the Roman period in the Greek or Egyptian languages. For the first time, the material remains of these papyrus rolls and codices are closely examined, revealing important information about the production of books in Egypt, the scribal culture in which they were produced, and the traffic in single recipes copied from them. Especially important for historians of the book and the Christian Bible are new insights in the historical shift from roll to codex, complicated methods of inscribing the bilingual papyri (in which the Greek script is written left to right and the demotic script right to left), and the new realization that several of the longest extant handbooks are clearly compilations of two or more shorter handbooks, which may have come from different places. The essays also reexamine and rethink the idea that these handbooks came from the personal libraries of practicing magicians or temple scriptoria, in one case going so far as to suggest that two of the handbooks had literary pretensions of a sort and were designed to be read for pleasure rather than for quotidian use in making magical recipes.
The Harvard List of Books in Psychology was first compiled in the 1930s, when each student in the department enjoyed the luxury of an individual tutorial. Together tutor and student could map out a course of reading. By 1938, the list had proved so useful that its 349 titles were annotated and printed, though mainly for local consumption. Growth of an outside demand from students, librarians, and the reading public led to a supplement in 1944 and a number of successive editions bearing the present title. The present edition updates the List without expanding it beyond useful size: for each new title the compilers have faithfully tried to delete one, and new entries account for almost half of the present total of 744. Each title is annotated with descriptive and evaluative material.
History of Reading
Steven Roger Fischer Reaktion Books, 2003 Library of Congress Z1003.F56 2003 | Dewey Decimal 028.909
Steven Roger Fischer’s fascinating book traces the complete story of reading from the time when symbol first became sign through to the electronic texts of the present day. Describing ancient forms of reading and the various modes that were necessary to read different writing systems and scripts, Fischer turns to Asia and the Americas and discusses the forms and developments of completely divergent dimensions of reading.
With the Middle Ages in Europe and the Middle East, innovative re-inventions of reading emerged – silent and liturgical reading; the custom of lectors; reading’s focus in general education – whereupon printing transformed society’s entire attitude to reading. Fischer charts the explosion of the book trade in this era, its increased audience and radically changed subject-matter; describes the emergence of broadsheets, newspapers and public readings; and traces the effect of new font designs on general legibility.
Fischer discusses society’s dedication to public literacy in the sweeping educational reforms of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and notes the appearance of free libraries, gender differences in reading matter, public advertising and the "forbidden" lists of Church, State and the unemancipated. Finally, he assesses the future, in which it is likely that read communication will soon exceed oral communication through the use of the personal computer and the internet, and looks at "visual language" and modern theories of how reading is processed in the human brain. Asking how the New Reader can reshape reading’s future, he suggests a radical new definition of what reading could be.
Celebrating Harvard's Houghton Library's twenty-fifth anniversary, this large and sumptuous volume highlights the diversity and value of the Houghton's collections. It contains reproductions ranging from ancient and medieval manuscripts to the earliest printed books to the works of some of the twentieth-century's most important and interesting authors, artists, and designers. This work is intended not merely to celebrate the achievement of the past, but also to suggest the exciting vistas of the future.
A stunning facsimile copy of an illuminated manuscript owned by the French queen Marie de Medici.
At the turn of the fifteenth century, private devotionals became a specialty of the renowned Ghent–Bruges illuminators. Wealthy patrons who commissioned work from these artists often spared no expense in the presentation of their personal prayer books, or “books of hours,” from detailed decoration to luxurious bindings and embroidery.
This manuscript owes its name to the French queen, Marie de Medici, widow of King Henri IV. The manuscript was painted by an artist known as the David Master, one of the renowned Flemish illuminators of the sixteenth century. Fine architectural interiors, gorgeous landscapes, and detailed city scenes form the subjects of three full-size illuminations and forty-two full-page miniatures. It is one of the finest examples of medieval illumination in a personal prayer book and the most copiously illustrated work of the David Master to survive.
Together with a scholarly introduction that gives an overview of Flemish illumination and examines each of the illustrations in detail, this full-color facsimile limited edition, bound in linen with a leather quarter binding and beautifully presented in a slipcase, faithfully reproduces all 176 leaves of the original manuscript.
A vital feature of American culture in the nineteenth century was the growing awareness that the literary marketplace consisted not of a single, unified, relatively homogeneous reading public but rather of many disparate, overlapping reading communities differentiated by interests, class, and level of education as well as by gender and stage of life. Tracing the segmentation of the literary marketplace in nineteenth-century America, this book analyzes the implications of the subdivided literary field for readers, writers, and literature itself.
With sections focusing on segmentation by age, gender, and cultural status, In the Company of Books analyzes the ways authors and publishers carved up the field of literary production into a multitude of distinct submarkets, differentiated their products, and targeted specific groups of readers in order to guide their book-buying decisions. Combining innovative approaches to canonical authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, and Henry James with engaging investigations into the careers of many lesser-known literary figures, Sarah Wadsworth reveals how American writers responded to—and contributed to—this diverse, and diversified, market.
In the Company of Books contends that specialized editorial and marketing tactics, in concert with the narrative strategies of authors and the reading practices of the book-buying public, transformed the literary landscape, leading to new roles for the book in American culture, the innovation of literary genres, and new relationships between books and readers. Both an exploration of a fragmented print culture through the lens of nineteenth-century American literature and an analysis of nineteenth-century American literature from the perspective of this subdivided marketplace, this wide-ranging study offers fresh insight into the impact of market forces on the development of American literature.
“Grafton presents largely unfamiliar material…in a clear, even breezy style…Erudite.” —Michael Dirda, Washington Post
In this celebration of bookmaking in all its messy and intricate detail, Anthony Grafton captures both the physical and mental labors that went into the golden age of the book—compiling notebooks, copying and correcting proofs, preparing copy—and shows us how scribes and scholars shaped influential treatises and forgeries.
Inky Fingers ranges widely, from the theological polemics of the early days of printing to the pathbreaking works of Jean Mabillon and Baruch Spinoza. Grafton draws new connections between humanistic traditions and intellectual innovations, textual learning and the delicate, arduous, error-riddled craft of making books. Through it all, he reminds us that the life of the mind depends on the work of the hands, and the nitty gritty labor of printmakers has had a profound impact on the history of ideas.
“Describes magnificent achievements, storms of controversy, and sometimes the pure devilment of scholars and printers…Captivating and often amusing.” —Wall Street Journal
“Ideas, in this vivid telling, emerge not just from minds but from hands, not to mention the biceps that crank a press or heft a ream of paper.” —New York Review of Books
“Grafton upends idealized understandings of early modern scholarship and blurs distinctions between the physical and mental labor that made the remarkable works of this period possible.” —Christine Jacobson, Book Post
“Scholarship is a kind of heroism in Grafton’s account, his nine protagonists’ aching backs and tired eyes evidence of their valiant dedication to the pursuit of knowledge.” —London Review of Books
This innovative collection examines how book history and digital humanities (DH) practices are integrated through approach, access, and assessment. Eight essays by rising and senior scholars practicing in multiple fields—including librarians, literature scholars, digital humanists, and historians—consider and reimagine the interconnected futures and horizons at the intersections of texts, technology, and culture and argue for a return to a more representative and human study of the humanities.
Integrating intermedial practices and assessments, the editors and contributors explore issues surrounding the access to and materiality of digitized materials, and the challenge of balancing preservation of traditional archival materials with access. They offer an assessment in our present moment of the early visions of book history and DH projects. In revisiting these projects, they ask us to shift our thinking on the promises and perils of archival and creative work in different media. Taken together, this volume reconsiders the historical intersections of book history and DH and charts a path for future scholarship across disciplinary boundaries.
The true scale of paper production in America from 1690 through the end of the nineteenth century was staggering, with a range of parties participating in different ways, from farmers growing flax to textile workers weaving cloth and from housewives saving rags to peddlers collecting them. Making a bold case for the importance of printing and paper technology in the study of early American literature, Jonathan Senchyne presents archival evidence of the effects of this very visible process on American writers, such as Anne Bradstreet, Herman Melville, Lydia Sigourney, William Wells Brown, and other lesser-known figures.
The Intimacy of Paper in Early and Nineteenth-Century American Literature reveals that book history and literary studies are mutually constitutive and proposes a new literary periodization based on materiality and paper production. In unpacking this history and connecting it to cultural and literary representations, Senchyne also explores how the textuality of paper has been used to make social and political claims about gender, labor, and race.
Thirteen-year-old Booker leads a sheltered life in Vermont—until a spellbinding relic throws him skidding into a world of magic and myths come to life. Anna is an Unangax̂ teenager looking for answers after her long-absent mother reappears in her life. When a mysterious bookmark brings them together on the Aleutian Islands, they’re sent on a dangerous quest to return a magical amulet to Anna’s Unangan ancestors. As they adventure across islands that glow like moonstones, they cross paths with nineteenth-century chiefs, the mysterious Woman of the Volcano, and the sinister Real Raven. While their journey is tinged with the fantastic, it’s based in real depictions of Unangan culture and history—the first historical novel set in Unangan folklore. It’s a coming-of-age-story that will resonate with young adult readers on their own journeys to discover their personal and cultural identities.
By producing literature in nontraditional forms—books made of cardboard trash, posters in subway stations, miniature shopping bags, digital publications, and even children's toys—Chileans have made and circulated literary objects in defiance of state censorship and independent of capitalist definitions of value. In The Labor of Literature Jane D. Griffin studies amateur and noncommercial forms of literary production in Chile that originated in response to authoritarian state politics and have gained momentum throughout the postdictatorship period. She argues that such forms advance a model of cultural democracy that differs from and sometimes contradicts the model endorsed by the state and the market.
By examining alternative literary publications, Griffin recasts the seventeen-year Pinochet dictatorship as a time of editorial experimentation despite widespread cultural oppression and shows how grassroots cultural activism has challenged government-approved corporate publishing models throughout the postdictatorship period. Griffin's work also points to the growing importance of autogestión, or do-it-yourself cultural production, where individuals combine artisanal forms with new technologies to make and share creative work on a global scale.
Scholars have long emphasized the importance of scripture in studying religion, tacitly separating a few privileged “religions of the Book” from faiths lacking sacred texts, including ancient Roman religion. Looking beyond this distinction, Duncan MacRae delves into Roman religious culture to grapple with a central question: what was the significance of books in a religion without scripture?
In the last two centuries BCE, Varro and other learned Roman authors wrote treatises on the nature of the Roman gods and the rituals devoted to them. Although these books were not sacred texts, they made Roman religion legible in ways analogous to scripture-based faiths such as Judaism and Christianity. Rather than reflect the astonishingly varied polytheistic practices of the regions under Roman sway, the contents of the books comprise Rome’s “civil theology”—not a description of an official state religion but one limited to the civic role of religion in Roman life. An extended comparison between Roman books and the Mishnah—an early Rabbinic compilation of Jewish practice and law—highlights the important role of nonscriptural texts in the demarcation of religious systems.
Tracing the subsequent influence of Roman religious texts from the late first century BCE to early fifth century CE, Legible Religion shows how two major developments—the establishment of the Roman imperial monarchy and the rise of the Christian Church—shaped the reception and interpretation of Roman civil theology.
In September 2011, Occupy Wall Street activists took over New York's Zuccotti Park. Within a matter of weeks, the encampment had become a tiny model of a robust city, with its own kitchen, first aid station, childcare services—and a library of several thousand physical books. Since that time, social movements around the world, from Nuit Debout in Paris to Gezi Park in Istanbul, have built temporary libraries alongside their protests. While these libraries typically last only a few weeks at a time and all have ultimately been dismantled or destroyed, each has managed to collect, catalog, and circulate books, serving a need not being met elsewhere.
Libraries amid Protest unpacks how these protest libraries—labor-intensive, temporary installations in parks and city squares, poorly protected from the weather, at odds with security forces—continue to arise. In telling the stories of these surprising and inspiring spaces through interviews and other research, Sherrin Frances confronts the complex history of American public libraries. She argues that protest libraries function as the spaces of opportunity and resistance promised, but not delivered, by American public libraries.
Shakespeare is synonymous with English literature. Well-loved the world over, his work endures for its ability to speak powerfully to the follies and foibles of human nature. We endlessly debate not only the finer points of each of his plays and sonnets but also the identity of the Bard himself. Yet no fanfare surrounded the initial publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio—no queue of eager readers, no launch to the top of the best seller list. It wasn’t until four hundred years after Shakespeare’s death that the book would be the subject of a national book tour.
The Making of Shakespeare’s First Folio offers the first comprehensive biography of the earliest collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. In November 1623, the book arrived in the bookshop of the London publisher Edward Blount at the Black Bear. Long in the making, Master William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies—as the First Folio was then known—appeared seven years after Shakespeare’s death. Nearly one thousand pages in length, the collection comprised thirty-six plays, half of which had never been previously published. Emma Smith tells the story of the First Folio’s origins, locating it within the social and political context of Jacobean London and bringing in the latest scholarship on the seventeenth-century book trade.
Extensively illustrated, The Making of Shakespeare’s First Folio is a landmark addition to the copious literature on Shakespeare. It will shed much-needed light on the birth of the First Folio—of which fewer than 250 copies remain—and the birth of Shakespeare’s towering reputation.
This volume explores the production and use of medieval manuscripts that contain classical Latin texts. Six experts in the field address a range of topics related to these manuscripts, including how classical texts were disseminated throughout medieval society, how readers used and interacted with specific texts, and what these books look like from a material standpoint. This collection of essays also considers the value of studying classical manuscripts as a distinct group, and demonstrates how such a collective approach can add to our understanding of how classical works functioned in medieval society. Focusing on the period 800-1200, when classical works played a crucial role in the teaching of grammar, rhetoric, and dialectics, this volume investigates how classical Latin texts were copied, used, and circulated in both discrete and shared contexts.
Matisse: The Books
Louise Rogers Lalaurie University of Chicago Press, 2020 Library of Congress NC980.5.M35L35 2020 | Dewey Decimal 709.04082
The livre d’artiste, or “artist’s book,” is among the most prized in rare book collections. Henri Matisse (1869–1954) was one of the greatest artists to work in this genre, and he created his most important during a period of intense personal and physical suffering. Brimming with powerful themes and imagery, these works are crucial to understanding Matisse’s oeuvre.
With deftness and sensitivity, Louise Rogers Lalaurie reintroduces us to Matisse by considering how in each volume, Matisse constructed an intriguing dialogue between word and image. Examining this page-by-page interplay, translating key sequences, and discussing the books’ distinct themes and production histories, Lalaurie offers the thoughtful analysis these works deserve. Together Matisse’s artist books reveal his deep engagement with questions of beauty and truth; his faith; his perspectives on aging, loss, and inspiration; and his relationship to his critics, the French art establishment, and the women in his life. In addition, Lalaurie illuminates Matisse’s often misunderstood political affinities—though Matisse was vilified in his time for choosing to live in the collaborationist Vichy zone, his wartime books reveal a body of work that stands as a deeply personal statement of resistance.
Lavishly illustrated, Matisse: The Books showcases a rich group of underappreciated works and brings unprecedented clarity to a controversial period in the artist’s life.
Merton College Library
Julia C. Walworth Bodleian Library Publishing, 2020 Library of Congress Z792.M46W35 2020 | Dewey Decimal 027.742574
The Merton library is rightly known for its antiquity, its beautiful medieval and early modern architecture and fittings, and its remarkable collection of manuscripts and rare books. However, a nineteenth-century plan to tear the medieval library down and replace it was only narrowly prevented. This brief history of Europe’s oldest surviving academic library begins with its origins in the thirteenth century, when a new type of community of scholars was first being set up, and follows through to the present day and its multiple functions as a working college library, a unique resource for researchers, and a delight for curious visitors.
Drawing on the remarkable wealth of documentation in the college’s archives, this is the first history of the library to explore collections, buildings, readers, and staff across more than seven hundred years. The story is told in part through stunning color images that depict not only exceptional treasures but also the library furnishings and decorations, and which show manuscripts, books, bindings, and artifacts of different periods in their changing contexts. Featuring a historical timeline and a floor plan of the college, this book will be of interest to historians, alumni, and tourists alike.
For the past ninety years the Times Literary Supplement has scrutinized, dissected, applauded, and occasionally disparaged the work of the twentieth century's leading writers. It has taken a major role in the making—and breaking—of literary reputations.
In The Modern Movement, John Gross has assembled an entertaining selection of 155 articles and reviews about and by the great figures of literary modernism. The focus is on twelve key modernist writers: W. B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, Wyndham Lewis, Virginia Wolf, W. H. Auden, Marcel Proust, Thomas Mann, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Franz Kafka. Another section gathers ten reviews and articles by Eliot and Woolf on then current writers and writing. In addition, there are more general articles on literary trends and issues by such prominent writers and critics as Anthony Burgess, Wallace Stevens, Anthony Powell, and Erich Heller.
This fascinating array reveals early opinions on what have come to be the classics of modernist literature. Readers will be treated to astute and often surprising opinions of their favorite writers on the most important literature of this century.
Written by one of Italy's most eminent scholars of music, this book explores music's place in the cultural, artistic, and literary life of medieval Italian courts, paying particular attention to the influence of French culture on Italian artistic and musical traditions.
In the first of three elegant essays, Gallo examines the troubadours who traveled to northern Italian courts from Provence during the thirteenth century. He discusses their performance practices, the verbal and musical sophistication of their songs, and their role in the daily life of courtiers at Genoa, Ferrara, and Monferrato. The second essay concerns the now dispersed collection of the Visconti library at Pavia. Here, Gallo examines how this collection expressed the tastes of the fourteenth-century court of Giangaleazzo Visconti, how French arts were imported and imitated at Pavia, and the effects this had on music heard at the court. In the final essay, Gallo looks at the fifteenth-century tradition of improvised music, and especially the virtuoso lute player Pietrobono. Mythologized in literary circles of his day, Pietrobono becomes a point of departure for a discussion of the entire vision of music of Italian humanists, from Guarino Veronese to Aurelio Brandolini.
In The Nature of the Book, a tour de force of cultural history, Adrian Johns constructs an entirely original and vivid picture of print culture and its many arenas—commercial, intellectual, political, and individual.
"A compelling exposition of how authors, printers, booksellers and readers competed for power over the printed page. . . . The richness of Mr. Johns's book lies in the splendid detail he has collected to describe the world of books in the first two centuries after the printing press arrived in England."—Alberto Manguel, Washington Times
"[A] mammoth and stimulating account of the place of print in the history of knowledge. . . . Johns has written a tremendously learned primer."—D. Graham Burnett, New Republic
"A detailed, engrossing, and genuinely eye-opening account of the formative stages of the print culture. . . . This is scholarship at its best."—Merle Rubin, Christian Science Monitor
"The most lucid and persuasive account of the new kind of knowledge produced by print. . . . A work to rank alongside McLuhan."—John Sutherland, The Independent
"Entertainingly written. . . . The most comprehensive account available . . . well documented and engaging."—Ian Maclean, Times Literary Supplement
Listen to a short interview with Sudhir VenkateshHost: Chris Gondek | Producer: Heron & Crane
In this revelatory book, Sudhir Venkatesh takes us into Maquis Park, a poor black neighborhood on Chicago's Southside, to explore the desperate, dangerous, and remarkable ways in which a community survives. We find there an entire world of unregulated, unreported, and untaxed work, a system of living off the books that is daily life in the ghetto. From women who clean houses and prepare lunches for the local hospital to small-scale entrepreneurs like the mechanic who works in an alley; from the preacher who provides mediation services to the salon owner who rents her store out for gambling parties; and from street vendors hawking socks and incense to the drug dealing and extortion of the local gang, we come to see how these activities form the backbone of the ghetto economy.
What emerges are the innumerable ways that these men and women, immersed in their shadowy economic pursuits, are connected to and reliant upon one another. The underground economy, as Venkatesh's subtle storytelling reveals, functions as an intricate web, and in the strength of its strands lie the fates of many Maquis Park residents. The result is a dramatic narrative of individuals at work, and a rich portrait of a community. But while excavating the efforts of men and women to generate a basic livelihood for themselves and their families, Off the Books offers a devastating critique of the entrenched poverty that we so often ignore in America, and reveals how the underground economy is an inevitable response to the ghetto's appalling isolation from the rest of the country.
Through technological experiments, readers have seen the concept of the book change over the years, and the novel reflects these experiments, acting as a kind of archive for information. Out of Print reveals that the novel continues to shape popular understandings of information culture, even as it adapts to engage with new media and new practices of mediating information in the digital age.
This innovative study chronicles how the print book has fared as both novelists and the burgeoning profession of information science have grappled with unprecedented quantities of data across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. As the novel's archival project took a critical turn from realism to an investigation of the structures, possibilities, and ideologies of information media, novelists have considered ideas about how data can best be collected and stored. Julia Panko pairs case studies from information history with close readings of modernist works such as James Joyce's Ulysses and Virginia Woolf's Orlando and contemporary novels from Jonathan Safran Foer, Stephen King, and Mark Z. Danielewski that emphasize their own informational qualities and experiment with the aesthetic potential of the print book.
Palace of Books
Roger Grenier University of Chicago Press, 2014 Library of Congress PQ2613.R4323P3513 2014 | Dewey Decimal 844.914
For decades, French writer, editor, and publisher Roger Grenier has been enticing readers with compact, erudite books that draw elegant connections between the art of living and the work of art. Under Grenier’s wry gaze, clichés crumble, and offbeat anecdotes build to powerful insights.
With Palace of Books, he invites us to explore the domain of literature, its sweeping vistas and hidden recesses. Engaging such fundamental questions as why people feel the need to write, or what is involved in putting one’s self on the page, or how a writer knows she’s written her last sentence, Grenier marshals apposite passages from his favorite writers: Chekhov, Baudelaire, Proust, James, Kafka, Mansfield and many others. Those writers mingle companionably with tales from Grenier’s half-century as an editor and friend to countless legendary figures, including Albert Camus, Romain Gary, Milan Kundera, and Brassai,.
Grenier offers here a series of observations and quotations that feel as spontaneous as good conversation, yet carry the lasting insights of a lifetime of reading and thinking. Palace of Books is rich with pleasures and surprises, the perfect accompaniment to old literary favorites, and the perfect introduction to new ones.
The field of electronic literature has a familiar catchphrase, "You can't do it on paper." But the field has in fact never gone paperless. Reaching back to early experiments with digital writing in the mainframe era and then moving through the personal computer and Internet revolutions, this book traces the changing forms of paper on which e-lit artists have drawn, including continuous paper, documentation, disk sleeves, packaging, and even artists' books.
Paper Electronic Literature attests that digital literature's old media elements have much to teach us about the cultural and physical conditions in which we compute; the creativity that new media artists have shown in their dealings with old media; and the distinctively electronic issues that confront digital artists. Moving between avant-garde works and popular ones, fiction writing and poetry generation, Richard Hughes Gibson reveals the diverse ways in which paper has served as a component within electronic literature, particularly in facilitating interactive experiences for users. This important study develops a new critical paradigm for appreciating the multifaceted material innovation that has long marked digital literature.
The Power of Words: Anglo-Saxon Studies Presented to Donald G. Scragg on his Seventieth Birthday edited by Jonathan Wilcox and Hugh Magennis will find its place on the same shelf with these and other such valuable tomes in the discipline. This is a complex and carefully edited book, that showcases the work of some of Professor Scragg’s best students and most admiring professional friends. The contents range from several studies in homiletic literature, one of Professor Scragg’s own passions, to other of his pursuits, including editing theory and orthography. These are not, however, derivative essays that recommend a single adjustment in a reading or to a source study; instead, they are studies that do what Professor Scragg himself did: they observe clues to larger realities, and they point the way to a broader comprehension of our discipline and its several methodologies.
Printing and Prophecy: Prognostication and Media Change 1450-1550 examines prognostic traditions and late medieval prophetic texts in the first century of printing and their effect on the new medium of print. The many prophetic and prognostic works that followed Europe's earliest known printed book---not the Gutenberg Bible, but the Sibyl's Prophecy, printed by Gutenberg two years earlier and known today only from a single page---over the next century were perennial best sellers for many printers, and they provide the modern observer with a unique way to study the history and inner workings of the print medium. The very popularity of these works, often published as affordable booklets, raised fears of social unrest. Printers therefore had to meet customer demand while at the same time channeling readers' reactions along approved paths. Authors were packaged---and packaged themselves---in word and image to respond to the tension, while leading figures of early modern culture such as Paracelsus, Martin Luther, and Sebastian Brant used printed prophecies for their own purposes in a rapidly changing society.
Based on a wide reading of many sources, Printing and Prophecy contributes to the study of early modern literature, including how print changed the relationship among authors, readers, and texts. The prophetic and astrological texts the book examines document changes in early modern society that are particularly relevant to German studies and are key texts for understanding the development of science, religion, and popular culture in the early modern period. By combining the methods of cultural studies and book history, this volume brings a new perspective to the study of Gutenberg and later printers.
With Qur'ans: Books of Divine Encounter, Keith E. Small has written a rich visual history of the Qur'an focused on more than fifty manuscripts in the collection of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. One of the oldest and finest collections of Qur'an in the English-speaking world, it includes treasures from parchment pages from Islam’s earliest centuries to a highly adorned copy of the Qur'an that once belonged to Tipu Sultan, the eighteenth-century ruler of the Islamic Kingdom of Mysore. Beginning with a brief introduction, Small takes readers through the Qur'an’s origins. The book then follows the development of the Qur'an chronologically and geographically, treating in each chapter the themes of textual development, divine presence, and political and religious identity. A wealth of full-color illustrations facilitates an examination of the artistic legacy of the Qur'an, including the beautiful calligraphy that became the foundation of Islamic visual culture for centuries to come.
A lavishly illustrated historical overview,Qur'ans: Books of Divine Encounter brings together in one volume a magnificent range of Qur'ans, bearing singular insight into these beautiful and significant sacred texts.
Over the past half-century, bookselling, like many retail industries, has evolved from an arena dominated by independent bookstores to one in which chain stores have significant market share. And as in other areas of retail, this transformation has often been a less-than-smooth process. This has been especially pronounced in bookselling, argues Laura J. Miller, because more than most other consumer goods, books are the focus of passionate debate. What drives that debate? And why do so many people believe that bookselling should be immune to questions of profit?
In Reluctant Capitalists, Miller looks at a century of book retailing, demonstrating that the independent/chain dynamic is not entirely new. It began one hundred years ago when department stores began selling books, continued through the 1960s with the emergence of national chain stores, and exploded with the formation of “superstores” in the 1990s. The advent of the Internet has further spurred tremendous changes in how booksellers approach their business. All of these changes have met resistance from book professionals and readers who believe that the book business should somehow be “above” market forces and instead embrace more noble priorities.
Miller uses interviews with bookstore customers and members of the book industry to explain why books evoke such distinct and heated reactions. She reveals why customers have such fierce loyalty to certain bookstores and why they identify so strongly with different types of books. In the process, she also teases out the meanings of retailing and consumption in American culture at large, underscoring her point that any type of consumer behavior is inevitably political, with consequences for communities as well as commercial institutions.
The Rise of the Arabic Book
Beatrice Gruendler Harvard University Press, 2020 Library of Congress Z8.I79G78 2020 | Dewey Decimal 002.091767
The little-known story of the sophisticated and vibrant Arabic book culture that flourished during the Middle Ages.
During the thirteenth century, Europe’s largest library owned fewer than 2,000 volumes. Libraries in the Arab world at the time had exponentially larger collections. Five libraries in Baghdad alone held between 200,000 and 1,000,000 books each, including multiple copies of standard works so that their many patrons could enjoy simultaneous access.
How did the Arabic codex become so popular during the Middle Ages, even as the well-established form languished in Europe? Beatrice Gruendler’s The Rise of the Arabic Book answers this question through in-depth stories of bookmakers and book collectors, stationers and librarians, scholars and poets of the ninth century.
The history of the book has been written with an outsize focus on Europe. The role books played in shaping the great literary cultures of the world beyond the West has been less known—until now. An internationally renowned expert in classical Arabic literature, Gruendler corrects this oversight and takes us into the rich literary milieu of early Arabic letters.
Biondo Flavio (1392–1463), humanist and historian, was a pioneering figure in the Renaissance discovery of antiquity; famously, he was the author who popularized the term “Middle Age” to describe the period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of antiquity in his own time. While serving a number of Renaissance popes, he inaugurated an extraordinary program of research into the history, cultural life, and physical remains of the ancient world.
The capstone of this research program, Rome in Triumph (1459), has been said to bear comparison with the Encyclopédie of Diderot as the embodiment of the ideals of an age, seeking as it does to answer the overarching question of humanists from Petrarch to Machiavelli: what made Rome great? To answer the question Biondo undertakes a comprehensive reconstruction of Rome’s religion, government, military organization, customs and institutions over its thousand-year history. This volume contains the first edition of the Latin text since 1559 and the first translation into any modern language.
The biography of Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee, who was awarded the highly prestigious Melvil Dewey Medal by the American Library Association in 2015, will be welcomed by readers interested in knowing not only more about Lee’s personal achievements and contributions in librarianship but also about the rapid changes in the library profession in general. The biography, written by Ms. Yang Yang of China Central Television in Beijing, was first published in Chinese in China in 2011. It was republished in Taiwan with added information in 2014. This English edition, translated by Dr. Ying Zhang of the Universityof California in Irvine, was updated by Lee.
Throughout his childhood and youth, Lee experienced tremendous hardship during the brutal Sino-Japanese War and then the Chinese civil war, described in the first three chapters. After arriving in the United States as a graduate student from Taiwan in 1957, he struggled to realize the American dream by studying hard and working diligently in the field of librarianship for nearly half a century.
The biography explores Lee’s career at major academic libraries, beginning at the University of Pittsburgh to his retirement from Ohio University, including his seven years of library directorship at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand, under the sponsorship of the U.S. Agency for International Development. After his first retirement, Lee was invited by OCLC to become a Visiting Distinguished Scholar. From there he was appointed Chief of the Asian Division at the Library of Congress and retired for the second time in 2008.
The biography also highlights Lee’s contributions in international librarianship, especially in the promotion of library cooperation between the United States and China.
The passage of texts from scroll to codex created a revolution in the religious life of late antiquity. It played a decisive role in the Roman Empire’s conversion to Christianity and eventually enabled the worldwide spread of Christian faith. The Scriptural Universe of Ancient Christianity describes how canonical scripture was established and how scriptural interpretation replaced blood sacrifice as the central element of religious ritual. Perhaps more than any other cause, Guy G. Stroumsa argues, the codex converted the Roman Empire from paganism to Christianity.
The codex permitted a mode of religious transmission across vast geographical areas, as sacred texts and commentaries circulated in book translations within and beyond Roman borders. Although sacred books had existed in ancient societies, they were now invested with a new aura and a new role at the core of religious ceremony. Once the holy book became central to all aspects of religious experience, the floodgates were opened for Greek and Latin texts to be reimagined and repurposed as proto-Christian. Most early Christian theologians did not intend to erase Greek and Roman cultural traditions; they were content to selectively adopt the texts and traditions they deemed valuable and compatible with the new faith, such as Platonism. The new cultura christiana emerging in late antiquity would eventually become the backbone of European identity.
In The Search for the Codex Cardona, Arnold J. Bauer tells the story of his experiences on the trail of a cultural treasure, a Mexican “painted book” that first came into public view at Sotheby’s auction house in London in 1982, nearly four hundred years after it was presumably made by Mexican artists and scribes. On folios of amate paper, the Codex includes two oversized maps and 300 painted illustrations accompanied by text in sixteenth-century paleography. The Codex relates the trajectory of the Nahua people to the founding of the capital of Tenochtitlán and then focuses on the consequences of the Spanish conquest up to the 1550s. If authentic, the Codex Cardona is an invaluable record of early Mexico. Yet there is no clear evidence of its origin, what happened to it after 1560, or even where it is today, after its last known appearance at Christie’s auction house in New York in 1998.
Bauer first saw the Codex Cardona in 1985 in the Crocker Nuclear Laboratory at the University of California, Davis, where scholars from Stanford and the University of California were attempting to establish its authenticity. Allowed to gently lift a few pages of this ancient treasure, Bauer was hooked. By 1986, the Codex had again disappeared from public view. Bauer’s curiosity about the Codex and its whereabouts led him down many forking paths—from California to Seville and Mexico City, to the Firestone Library in Princeton, to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and Christie’s in New York—and it brought him in contact with an international cast of curators, agents, charlatans, and erudite book dealers. The Search for the Codex Cardona is a mystery that touches on issues of cultural patrimony, the workings of the rare books and manuscripts trade, the uncertainty of archives and evidence, and the ephemerality of the past and its remains.
This revised and enlarged edition of A Selected List of Books and Articles on Japan in English, French, and German, first published in 1940, contains more than seventeen hundred titles which have been carefully chosen to guide the general reader and to aid the serious student of Japanese civilization in his research. Certain items included in the first edition have been eliminated, and hundreds of new entries, including material published during and after World War II, have been added. The list is divided into section which deal with bibliography, geography, history, political and social sciences, religion and philosophy, language, literature, art, et cetera. Subdivision of these sections facilitates the search for books and articles on a particular subject. The entries are arranged alphabetically by author and are individually numbered. An author, title, and subject index also contributes to the usefulness of the book.
There is no other convenient selected list of this sort on Japan. Scholars, journalists, government personnel, and other who wish to obtain information concerning books and articles on Japan will find this book an invaluable guide.
The Smell of Books investigates the ways in which the olfactory sense has manifested itself in Italian, German, French, Russian, and English literature of the past 150 years. Against a broad interdiscriplinary backdrop that includes linguistics, psychology, aesthetics, and sociology, Hans J. Rindisbacher takes a new approach to literary history – one centered on the sense of smell.
Rindisbacher examines the works of the German Expressionists and of Baudelaire, Huxley, Rimbaud, Wilde, and Turgenev, as well as Holocaust memoirs and contemporary German books such as Patrick Suskind’s Das Parfum and Christa Wolf’s Storfall. He demonstrates that the sense of smell, which has heretofore occupied a position at the bottom of the sensory hierarchy, plays a consequential role in romantic, modern, and contemporary European and Russian literature.
Although nearly forgotten today, the prophetic writing of Wilhelm Friess was the most popular work of its kind in Germany in the second half of the sixteenth century. While the author “Wilhelm Friess” was a convenient fiction, his text had a long and remarkable history as it moved from the papal court in fourteenth-century Avignon, to Antwerp under Habsburg oppression, to Nuremberg as it was still reeling from Lutheran failures in the Schmalkaldic War, and then back to Antwerp at the outbreak of the Dutch revolt.
Dutch scholars have recognized that Frans Fraet was executed for printing a prognostication by Willem de Vriese, but this prognostication was thought to be lost. A few scholars of sixteenth-century German apocalypticism have briefly noted the prophecies of Wilhelm Friess but have not studied them in depth. The Strange and Terrible Visions of Wilhelm Friess is the first to connect de Vriese and Friess, as well as recognize the prophecy of Wilhelm Friess as an adaptation of a French version of theVademecum of Johannes de Rupescissa, making these pamphlets by far the most widespread source for Rupescissa’s apocalyptic thought in Reformation Germany. The book explains the connection between the first and second prophecies of Wilhelm Friess and discovers the Calvinist context of the second prophecy and its connection to Johann Fischart, one of the most important German writers of the time.
Jonathan Green provides a study of how textual history interacts with print history in early modern pamphlets and proposes a model of how early modern prophecies were created and transmitted. The Strange and Terrible Visions of Wilhelm Friess makes important contributions to the study of early modern German and Dutch literature, apocalypticism and confessionalization during the Reformation, and the history of printing in the sixteenth century.
Teaching the History of the Book
Edited by Matteo Pangallo and Emily B. Todd University of Massachusetts Press, 2023 Library of Congress Z4.3 | Dewey Decimal 002.0711
With original contributions from a diverse range of teachers, scholars, and practitioners in literary studies, history, book arts, library science, language studies, and archives, Teaching the History of the Book is the first collection of its kind dedicated to book history pedagogy. Presenting a variety of methods for teaching book history both as its own subject and as an approach to other material, each chapter describes lessons, courses, and programs centered on the latest and best ways of teaching undergraduate and graduate students.
Expansive and instructive, this volume introduces ways of helping students consider how texts were produced, circulated, and received, with chapters that cover effective ways to organize courses devoted to book history, classroom activities that draw on this subject in other courses, and an overview of selected print and digital tools. Contributors, many of whom are leading figures in the field, utilize their own classroom experiences to bring to life some of the rich possibilities for teaching book history in the twenty-first century.
In addition to the volume editors, contributors include Ryan Cordell, Brigitte Fielder, Barbara Hochman, Leslie Howsam, Matthew Kirschenbaum, Clare Mullaney, Kate Ozment, Leah Price, Jonathan Rose, Jonathan Senchyne, Sarah Wadsworth, and others.
Combining insights from imperial studies and transnational book history, this provocative collection opens new vistas on both fields through ten accessible essays, each devoted to a single book. Contributors revisit well-known works associated with the British empire, including Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Thomas Macaulay's History of England, Charles Pearson's National Life and Character, and Robert Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys. They explore anticolonial texts in which authors such as C. L. R. James and Mohandas K. Gandhi chipped away at the foundations of imperial authority, and they introduce books that may be less familiar to students of empire. Taken together, the essays reveal the dynamics of what the editors call an "imperial commons," a lively, empire-wide print culture. They show that neither empire nor book were stable, self-evident constructs. Each helped to legitimize the other.
Contributors. Tony Ballantyne, Elleke Boehmer, Catherine Hall, Isabel Hofmeyr, Aaron Kamugisha, Marilyn Lake, Charlotte Macdonald, Derek Peterson, Mrinalini Sinha, Tridip Suhrud, André du Toit
During the Renaissance, artists and illustrators developed the representation of truthful three-dimensional forms into a highly skilled art. As reliable illustrations of three-dimensional subjects became more prevalent, they also influenced the ways in which disciplines developed: architecture could be communicated much more clearly, mathematical concepts and astronomical observations could be quickly relayed, and observations of the natural world moved towards a more realistic method of depiction.
Through essays on some of the world’s greatest artists and thinkers—such as Leonardo da Vinci, Luca Pacioli, Andreas Vesalius, Johann Kepler, Galileo Galilei, William Hunter, and many more—this book tells the story of how of we learned to communicate three-dimensional forms on the two-dimensional page. It features some of Leonardo da Vinci’s ground-breaking drawings now in the Royal Collections and British Library as well as extraordinary anatomical illustrations, early paper engineering such as volvelles and flaps, beautiful architectural plans, and even views of the moon. With in-depth analysis of more than forty manuscripts and books, Thinking 3D also reveals the impact that developing techniques had on artists and draftsmen throughout time and across space, culminating in the latest innovations in computer software and 3D printing.
Thinking Outside the Book
Augusta Rohrbach University of Massachusetts Press, 2014 Library of Congress PS149.R64 2014 | Dewey Decimal 810.9928709034
In Thinking Outside the Book, Augusta Rohrbach works through the increasing convergences between digital humanities and literary studies to explore the meaning and primacy of the book as a literary, material, and cultural artifact. Rohrbach assembles a rather unlikely cohort of nineteenth-century women writers—Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, Sojourner Truth, Hannah Crafts, Augusta Evans, and Mary Chesnut—to consider the publishing culture of their period from the perspective of our current digital age, bringing together scholarly concepts from both print culture and new media studies.
In nineteenth-century America, women from a variety of racial and class affiliations were bombarding the print market with their literary productions, taking advantage of burgeoning rates of literacy and advances in publishing technology. Their work challenged prevailing modes of authorship and continues to do so today. Each chapter of Thinking Outside the Book positions a focal figure as both paradigmatic and problematic within the context of key terms that define the study of the book. In lieu of terms such as literacy, authorship, publication, edition, and editor, Rohrbach develops an alternate typology that includes mediation, memory, history, testimony, and loss. Recognizing that the field spans radio, cinema, television, and the Internet, she draws comparisons to the present day, when Web 2.0 allows writers from varying backgrounds and positions to seek out readers without "gatekeepers" limiting their exposure.
More than a literary history, this book takes up theories of recovery, literacy, authorship, narrative, the book, and new media in connection with race, gender, class, and region.
To Train His Soul in Books explores numerous aspects of this rich religious culture, extending previous lines of scholarly investigation and demonstrating the activity of Syriac-speaking scribes and translators busy assembling books for the training of biblical interpreters, ascetics, and learned clergy.
This book looks particularly at the shift from manuscripts to the physical book, while taking into account the medieval book as not only as a source of information, but also as an aesthetic experience, a status symbol, and a shrewd investment. Tracing the rise of the book in the ninth and tenth century, this insightful study looks at the way in which the scribes eased the shift from manuscript to book through additions such as running titles and chapter numbers. A rich and intriguing history, Turning over a New Leaf examines how readers and the reading experience shape books, and vice versa.
In Western thought, the modern period signals a break with stagnant social formations, the advent of a new rationalism, and the emergence of a truly secular order, all in the context of an overarching globalization. In The Twilight of the Literary, Terry Cochran links these developments with the rise of the book as the dominant medium for recording, preserving, and disseminating thought. Consequently, his book explores the role that language plays in elaborating modern self-understanding. It delves into what Cochran calls the "figures of thought" that have been an essential component of modern consciousness in the age of print technology--and questions the relevance of this "print-bound" thinking in a world where print no longer dominates.
Cochran begins by examining major efforts of the eighteenth century that proved decisive for modern conceptions of history, knowledge, and print. After tracing late medieval formulations of vernacular language that proved crucial to print, he analyzes the figures of thought in print culture as they proceed from the idea of the collective spirit (the "people"), an elaboration of modern history. Cochran reconsiders basic texts that, in his analysis, reveal the underpinnings of modernity's formation--from Dante and Machiavelli to Antonio Gramsci and Walter Benjamin. Moving from premodern models for collective language to competing theories of history, his work offers unprecedented insight into the means by which modern consciousness has come to know itself.
"A splendid book. I cannot think of one so calculated to delight, intrigue, beguile, and inform. To pick up and browse through it . . . is like meeting some venerable old man of letters comfortably ensconced in his library, only to ready to reveal some pear of humor or wisdom about each of the writers he has chosen to deal with."—Kate Wharton, Evening Standard
"Powell is one of the great novelists of our time, much more interested in other people than in his own views and ideas. The result is that his extraordinary richness of act and detail also embodies a far more arresting and penetrating quantity of critical judgements on books, authors, fashions, developments, than are to be found in the theoretical pronouncement of modern academic criticism."—John Bayley, The Sunday Times
"These delightful reviews could be said to amount to a latter-day Brief Lives."—David Plante, Times Literary Supplement
The Use of Books and Libraries was first published in 1933. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.This is the tenth edition, revised, of the books of the same title by Harold G. Russell, Blanche E Moen, and Raymond H. Shove. A guide to reference books, it is intended primarily for use in courses in library instruction for college undergraduates. The material in this edition has been reorganized for more convenient use, following in general the arrangement in general of Constance Winchell’s Guide to Reference Books, the major reference guide in English. This new edition lists as main entries some 440 reference books and other bibliographical aids, as compared with about 315 such entries in the previous edition. Additional titles mentioned in annotations have been increased from 75 to 165.
The first half of the nineteenth century witnessed an extraordinary transformation in British political, literary, and intellectual life. There was widespread social unrest, and debates raged regarding education, the lives of the working class, and the new industrial, machine-governed world. At the same time, modern science emerged in Europe in more or less its current form, as new disciplines and revolutionary concepts, including evolution and the vastness of geologic time, began to take shape.
In Visions of Science, James A. Secord offers a new way to capture this unique moment of change. He explores seven key books—among them Charles Babbage’s Reflections on the Decline of Science, Charles Lyell’s Principles ofGeology, Mary Somerville’s Connexion of the Physical Sciences, and Thomas Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus—and shows how literature that reflects on the wider meaning of science can be revelatory when granted the kind of close reading usually reserved for fiction and poetry. These books considered the meanings of science and its place in modern life, looking to the future, coordinating and connecting the sciences, and forging knowledge that would be appropriate for the new age. Their aim was often philosophical, but Secord shows it was just as often imaginative, projective, and practical: to suggest not only how to think about the natural world but also to indicate modes of action and potential consequences in an era of unparalleled change.
Visions of Science opens our eyes to how genteel ladies, working men, and the literary elite responded to these remarkable works. It reveals the importance of understanding the physical qualities of books and the key role of printers and publishers, from factories pouring out cheap compendia to fashionable publishing houses in London’s West End. Secord’s vivid account takes us to the heart of an information revolution that was to have profound consequences for the making of the modern world.
When Novels Were Books
Jordan Alexander Stein Harvard University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PN3491.S68 2020 | Dewey Decimal 808.3
A literary scholar explains how eighteenth-century novels were manufactured, sold, bought, owned, collected, and read alongside Protestant religious texts. As the novel developed into a mature genre, it had to distinguish itself from these similar-looking books and become what we now call “literature.”
Literary scholars have explained the rise of the Anglophone novel using a range of tools, from Ian Watt’s theories to James Watt’s inventions. Contrary to established narratives, When Novels Were Books reveals that the genre beloved of so many readers today was not born secular, national, middle-class, or female.
For the first three centuries of their history, novels came into readers’ hands primarily as printed sheets ordered into a codex bound along one edge between boards or paper wrappers. Consequently, they shared some formal features of other codices, such as almanacs and Protestant religious books produced by the same printers. Novels are often mistakenly credited for developing a formal feature (“character”) that was in fact incubated in religious books.
The novel did not emerge all at once: it had to differentiate itself from the goods with which it was in competition. Though it was written for sequential reading, the early novel’s main technology for dissemination was the codex, a platform designed for random access. This peculiar circumstance led to the genre’s insistence on continuous, cover-to-cover reading even as the “media platform” it used encouraged readers to dip in and out at will and read discontinuously. Jordan Alexander Stein traces this tangled history, showing how the physical format of the book shaped the stories that were fit to print.
In the last few decades it has become abundantly clear how important is the "archaeology of the manuscript-book" in literary and textual scholarship. This method offers essential contexts for an editor's understanding of a manuscript, and helps to set the manuscript in the historical matrix in which the work was first brought out and understood.
This group of papers, edited by two well-known scholars of the medieval world, offers both general and particular approaches to the issues surrounding manuscripts produced in the medieval habit of "miscellany," works of seemingly diverse natures bound together into one volume. Julia Boffey investigates how certain poetical miscellanies came to be assembled, for example, while Sylvia Huot suggests that the miscellany had many different sorts of function and significance. Siegfried Wenzel considers a taxonomy of such collections, and A. S. G. Edwards' paper considers Bodleian Selden B.24 as an example of how the notions of canon, authorship, and attribution might come into play. Ann Matter's final chapter offers the notion that what we call "miscellanies" are likely to have an internal logic that we have been trained to miss, but can come to understand. Other contributors are Ralph Hanna III, Georg Knauer, Stephen Nichols, James J. O'Donnell, and Barbara A. Shailor.
Because The Whole Book deals not only with the content of miscellanies but also with contemporary literary principles, this volume will be of interest to a wide circle of literary critics and historians, as well as to students of the survival of literature and of cultural values.
Stephen G. Nichols is James M. Beall Professor of French and Chair of the Department of French, The Johns Hopkins University. Siegfried Wenzel is Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania.
A timeless selection of Wonderful Things, this book highlights the tremendous range of the Bodleian Library's collections. From the sixth-century Laudian Acts—a manuscript probably used by Bede himself—to modern treasures such as one of Tolkein's own illustrations for TheHobbit, the objects chosen show the extent, variety, and quality of the Library's holdings and how they came to the Bodleian. Each work is sumptuously displayed in full-page color with facing-page descriptions. Collectively, they offer a fascinating glimpse into the principles, history, and future of collecting by a world-class institution.
Paleography, which often overlaps with archaeology, deciphers ancient inscriptions and modes of writing to reveal the knowledge and workings of earlier societies. In this now-classic paleographic study of China, Tsuen-Hsuin Tsien traces the development of Chinese writing from the earliest inscriptions to the advent of printing, with specific attention to the tools and media used. This edition includes material that treats the many major documents and ancient Chinese artifacts uncovered over the forty years since the book’s first publication, as well as an afterword by Edward L. Shaughnessy.
Written on Bamboo and Silk has long been considered a landmark in its field. Critical in this regard is the excavation of numerous sites throughout China, where hundreds of thousands of documents written on bamboo and silk—as well as other media—were found, including some of the earliest copies of historical, medical, astronomical, military, and religious texts that are now essential to the study of early Chinese literature, history, and philosophy. Discoveries such as these have made the amount of material evidence on the origins and evolution of communication throughout Chinese history exceedingly broad and rich, and yet Tsien succeeds in tackling it all and building on the earlier classic work that changed