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By Joseph A. Dane

What is a booklet within the examine of print tradition? For the student of fabric texts, it's not just a singular reproduction sporting the original strains of printing and maintenance efforts, or an variation, repeated and repeatable, or a car for ideas to be abstracted from the actual replica. but if the bibliographer situates a ebook replica in the equipment of booklet heritage, Joseph A. Dane contends, it's the recognized set of assumptions which govern the self-discipline that bibliographic arguments privilege, repeat, or problem. "Book history," he writes, "is us."

In Blind Impressions, Dane reexamines the sphere of fabric booklet historical past via wondering its most elementary assumptions and definitions. How is print outlined? What are the boundaries of printing historical past? What constitutes proof? His concluding part takes shape as a sequence of brief experiences in subject and edition, contemplating such issues as two-color printing, the composing stick utilized by hand-press printers, the bibliographical prestige of publication fragments, and the functionality of scholarly representation within the electronic Age. Meticulously designated, deeply discovered, and infrequently contrarian, Blind Impressions is a bracing critique of ways students outline and remedy problems.

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Extra info for Blind impressions : methods and mythologies in book history

Example text

The date 1800, I seemed to think, or thereabouts, terminates the field, and something else takes over: the iron press, stereotyping, self-reflection, or modern bibliography itself. I look at printing history, 1450 to the present. But as I give that history my attention as a print historian or as a bibliographer, the field begins to change, or perhaps narrow in a gerrymandering way to exclude all the things I know or care nothing about. At first it seems to begin in 1450 or so and last until whenever it lasts until.

1800”: What’s in a Date? When Rabelais and others characterized their own period as involved in “la restitution des bonnes lettres,” they created what we now know as the Middle Ages, a period between two points of interest, Roman classical times and contemporary times, with both periods romanticized through a Renaissance or Early Modern perspective. The medieval period was equivalent to the Dark Ages: inaccessible, empty, barbaric, devoid of interest. Even what should have been seen as its literary achievements were defined out of existence: humanists saw Carolingian script as classical.

Mixed or problematic typefonts made identification of printers difficult, as did notions of borrowed typefonts, recast typefonts, or anything of the kind. And typefonts recast with old typesorts? There is simply no room for such histories. Blades Redivivus: BMC XI The most important recent discussion of Caxton is in the latest volume of BMC XI: England. Lotte Hellinga accepts the distinction of Blades; there are two fonts, 2 and 2*. Caxton Type 2*: A recasting of the type with the same measurement, appeared in 1479 in the Cordiale, Duff 109.

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