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How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain

How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain PDF Author: Leah Price
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691159548
Category : Literary Criticism
Languages : en
Pages : 360

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Book Description
How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain asks how our culture came to frown on using books for any purpose other than reading. When did the coffee-table book become an object of scorn? Why did law courts forbid witnesses to kiss the Bible? What made Victorian cartoonists mock commuters who hid behind the newspaper, ladies who matched their books' binding to their dress, and servants who reduced newspapers to fish 'n' chips wrap? Shedding new light on novels by Thackeray, Dickens, the Brontës, Trollope, and Collins, as well as the urban sociology of Henry Mayhew, Leah Price also uncovers the lives and afterlives of anonymous religious tracts and household manuals. From knickknacks to wastepaper, books mattered to the Victorians in ways that cannot be explained by their printed content alone. And whether displayed, defaced, exchanged, or discarded, printed matter participated, and still participates, in a range of transactions that stretches far beyond reading. Supplementing close readings with a sensitive reconstruction of how Victorians thought and felt about books, Price offers a new model for integrating literary theory with cultural history. How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain reshapes our understanding of the interplay between words and objects in the nineteenth century and beyond.

How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain

How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain PDF Author: Leah Price
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691159548
Category : Literary Criticism
Languages : en
Pages : 360

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Book Description
How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain asks how our culture came to frown on using books for any purpose other than reading. When did the coffee-table book become an object of scorn? Why did law courts forbid witnesses to kiss the Bible? What made Victorian cartoonists mock commuters who hid behind the newspaper, ladies who matched their books' binding to their dress, and servants who reduced newspapers to fish 'n' chips wrap? Shedding new light on novels by Thackeray, Dickens, the Brontës, Trollope, and Collins, as well as the urban sociology of Henry Mayhew, Leah Price also uncovers the lives and afterlives of anonymous religious tracts and household manuals. From knickknacks to wastepaper, books mattered to the Victorians in ways that cannot be explained by their printed content alone. And whether displayed, defaced, exchanged, or discarded, printed matter participated, and still participates, in a range of transactions that stretches far beyond reading. Supplementing close readings with a sensitive reconstruction of how Victorians thought and felt about books, Price offers a new model for integrating literary theory with cultural history. How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain reshapes our understanding of the interplay between words and objects in the nineteenth century and beyond.

The Objects and Textures of Everyday Life in Imperial Britain

The Objects and Textures of Everyday Life in Imperial Britain PDF Author: Janet C. Myers
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134797257
Category : Literary Criticism
Languages : en
Pages : 244

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Book Description
Focusing on everyday life in nineteenth-century Britain and its imperial possessions”from preparing tea to cleaning the kitchen, from packing for imperial adventures to arranging home décor”the essays in this collection share a common focus on materiality, the nitty-gritty elements that helped give shape and meaning to British self-definition during the period. Each essay demonstrates how preoccupations with common household goods and habits fueled contemporary debates about cultural institutions ranging from personal matters of marriage and family to more overtly political issues of empire building. While existing scholarship on material culture in the nineteenth century has centered on artifacts in museums and galleries, this collection brings together disparate fields”history of design, landscape history, childhood studies, and feminist and postcolonial literary studies”to focus on ordinary objects and practices, with specific attention to how Britons of all classes established the tenets of domesticity as central to individual happiness, national security, and imperial hegemony.

When Novels Were Books

When Novels Were Books PDF Author: Jordan Alexander Stein
Publisher:
ISBN: 0674987047
Category : Literary Criticism
Languages : en
Pages : 256

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Book Description
The novel was born religious, alongside Protestant texts produced in the same format by the same publishers. Novels borrowed features of these texts but over the years distinguished themselves, becoming the genre we know today. Jordan Alexander Stein traces this history, showing how the physical object of the book shaped the stories it contained.

Strange Gods

Strange Gods PDF Author: Timothy L. Carens
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1000484882
Category : Literary Criticism
Languages : en
Pages : 210

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Book Description
Despite frequent declarations of the sanctity of love and marriage, British Protestant culture nurtured the fear that human affection might easily slip into idolatry. Throughout the nineteenth-century, theological essays, sermons, hymns, and didactic fiction and poetry urged the faithful to maintain a constant watch over their hearts, lest they become engrossed by human love, guilty of worshipping the creature rather than the Creator. Strange Gods: Love and Idolatry in the Victorian Novel traces the concerns produced in Protestant culture by this broad interpretation of idolatry. In chapters focusing on Charles Kingsley and Charlotte Brontë, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, George Eliot, Oscar Wilde, and Thomas Hardy, this volume shows that even supposedly secular novels obsessively reenact an ideological clash between Protestant faith and human love. Anxiety about adoring humans more than God frequently overshadows and sometimes derails the progress of romance in Victorian novels. By probing this anxiety and its narrative effects, Strange Gods uncovers how a central Protestant belief exerts its influence over stories about love and marriage.

The Nature of the Page

The Nature of the Page PDF Author: Joshua Calhoun
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812296745
Category : Literary Criticism
Languages : en
Pages : 288

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Book Description
An innovative study of books and reading that focuses on papermaking in the Renaissance In The Nature of the Page, Joshua Calhoun tells the story of handmade paper in Renaissance England and beyond. For most of the history of printing, paper was made primarily from recycled rags, so this is a story about using old clothes to tell new stories, about plants used to make clothes, and about plants that frustrated papermakers' best attempts to replace scarce natural resources with abundant ones. Because plants, like humans, are susceptible to the ravages of time, it is also a story of corruption and the hope that we can preserve the things we love from decay. Combining environmental and bibliographical research with deft literary analysis, Calhoun reveals how much we have left to discover in familiar texts. He describes the transformation of plant material into a sheet of paper, details how ecological availability or scarcity influenced literary output in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and examines the impact of the various colors and qualities of paper on early modern reading practices. Through a discussion of sizing—the mixture used to coat the surface of paper so that ink would not blot into its fibers—he reveals a surprising textual interaction between animals and readers. He shows how we might read an indistinct stain on the page of an early modern book to better understand the mixed media surfaces on which readers, writers, and printers recorded and revised history. Lastly, Calhoun considers how early modern writers imagined paper decay and how modern scholars grapple with biodeterioration today. Exploring the poetic interplay between human ideas and the plant, animal, and mineral forms through which they are mediated, The Nature of the Page prompts readers to reconsider the role of the natural world in everything from old books to new smartphones.

Romanticism, Self-Canonization, and the Business of Poetry

Romanticism, Self-Canonization, and the Business of Poetry PDF Author: Michael Gamer
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108132812
Category : Literary Criticism
Languages : en
Pages :

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Book Description
This is the first book to examine how Romantic writers transformed poetic collections to reach new audiences. In a series of case studies, Michael Gamer shows Romantic poets to be fundamentally social authors: working closely with booksellers, intimately involved in literary production, and resolutely concerned with current readers even as they presented themselves as disinterested artists writing for posterity. Exploding the myth of Romantic poets as naive, unworldly, or unconcerned with the practical aspects of literary production, this study shows them instead to be engaged with intellectual property, profit and loss, and the power of reprinting to reshape literary reputation. Gamer offers a fresh perspective on how we think about poetic revision, placing it between aesthetic and economic registers and foregrounding the centrality of poetic collections rather than individual poems to the construction of literary careers.

Anti-Book

Anti-Book PDF Author: Nicholas Thoburn
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1452951993
Category : Literary Criticism
Languages : en
Pages : 368

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Book Description
No, Anti-Book is not a book about books. Not exactly. And yet it is a must for anyone interested in the future of the book. Presenting what he terms “a communism of textual matter,” Nicholas Thoburn explores the encounter between political thought and experimental writing and publishing, shifting the politics of text from an exclusive concern with content and meaning to the media forms and social relations by which text is produced and consumed. Taking a “post-digital” approach in considering a wide array of textual media forms, Thoburn invites us to challenge the commodity form of books—to stop imagining books as transcendent intellectual, moral, and aesthetic goods unsullied by commerce. His critique is, instead, one immersed in the many materialities of text. Anti-Book engages with an array of writing and publishing projects, including Antonin Artaud’s paper gris-gris, Valerie Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto, Guy Debord’s sandpaper-bound Mémoires, the collective novelist Wu Ming, and the digital/print hybrid of Mute magazine. Empirically grounded, it is also a major achievement in expressing a political philosophy of writing and publishing, where the materiality of text is interlaced with conceptual production. Each chapter investigates a different form of textual media in concert with a particular concept: the small-press pamphlet as “communist object,” the magazine as “diagrammatic publishing,” political books in the modes of “root” and “rhizome,” the “multiple single” of anonymous authorship, and myth as “unidentified narrative object.” An absorbingly written contribution to contemporary media theory in all its manifestations, Anti-Book will enrich current debates about radical publishing, artists’ books and other new genre and media forms in alternative media, art publishing, media studies, cultural studies, critical theory, and social and political theory.

Participatory reading in late-medieval England

Participatory reading in late-medieval England PDF Author: Heather Blatt
Publisher: Manchester University Press
ISBN: 1526118017
Category : Literary Criticism
Languages : en
Pages : 272

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Book Description
This electronic version has been made available under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) open access license. This book traces affinities between digital and medieval media, exploring how reading functioned as a nexus for concerns about increasing literacy, audiences’ agency, literary culture and media formats from the late fourteenth to the early sixteenth centuries. Drawing on a wide range of texts, from well-known poems of Chaucer and Lydgate to wall texts, banqueting poems and devotional works written by and for women, Participatory reading argues that making readers work offered writers ways to shape their reputations and the futures of their productions. At the same time, the interactive reading practices they promoted enabled audiences to contribute to – and contest – writers’ burgeoning authority, making books and reading work for everyone.

Book Presence in a Digital Age

Book Presence in a Digital Age PDF Author: Kiene Brillenburg Wurth
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1501321196
Category : Literary Criticism
Languages : en
Pages : 280

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Book Description
Contrary to the apocalyptic pronouncements of paper media's imminent demise in the digital age, there has been a veritable surge of creative reimaginings of books as bearers of the literary. From typographic experiments (Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves, Steven Hall's The Raw Shark Texts) to accordion books (Anne Carson's Nox), from cut ups (Jonathan Safran Foer's Tree of Codes) to collages (Graham Rawle's Woman's World), from erasures (Mary Ruefle's A Little White Shadow) to mixups (Simon Morris's The Interpretations of Dreams), print literature has gone through anything but a slow, inevitable death. In fact, it has re-invented itself materially. Starting from this idea of media plurality, Book Presence in a Digital Age explores the resilience of print literatures, book art, and zines in the late age of print from a contemporary perspective, while incorporating longer-term views on media archeology and media change. Even as it focuses on the materiality of books and literary writing in the present, Book Presence also takes into consideration earlier 20th-century "moments" of media transition, developing the concepts of presence and materiality as analytical tools to perform literary criticism in a digital age. Bringing together leading scholars, artists, and publishers, Book Presence in a Digital Age offers a variety of perspectives on the past, present, and future of the book as medium, the complex relationship of materiality to virtuality, and of the analog to the digital.

Readers' Liberation

Readers' Liberation PDF Author: Jonathan Rose
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191035416
Category : Literary Criticism
Languages : en
Pages : 208

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Book Description
The Literary Agenda is a series of short polemical monographs about the importance of literature and of reading in the wider world and about the state of literary education inside schools and universities. The category of 'the literary' has always been contentious. What is clear, however, is how increasingly it is dismissed or is unrecognised as a way of thinking or an arena for thought. It is sceptically challenged from within, for example, by the sometimes rival claims of cultural history, contextualized explanation, or media studies. It is shaken from without by even greater pressures: by economic exigency and the severe social attitudes that can follow from it; by technological change that may leave the traditional forms of serious human communication looking merely antiquated. For just these reasons this is the right time for renewal, to start reinvigorated work into the meaning and value of literary reading. For the Internet and digitial generation, the most basic human right is the freedom to read. The Web has indeed brought about a rapid and far-reaching revolution in reading, making a limitless global pool of literature and information available to anyone with a computer. At the same time, however, the threats of censorship, surveillance, and mass manipulation through the media have grown apace. Some of the most important political battles of the twenty-first century have been fought—and will be fought—over the right to read. Will it be adequately protected by constitutional guarantees and freedom of information laws? Or will it be restricted by very wealthy individuals and very powerful institutions? And given increasingly sophisticated methods of publicity and propaganda, how much of what we read can we believe? This book surveys the history of independent sceptical reading, from antiquity to the present. It tells the stories of heroic efforts at self-education by disadvantaged people in all parts of the world. It analyzes successful reading promotion campaigns throughout history (concluding with Oprah Winfrey) and explains why they succeeded. It also explores some disturbing current trends, such as the reported decay of attentive reading, the disappearance of investigative journalism, 'fake news', the growth of censorship, and the pervasive influence of advertisers and publicists on the media—even on scientific publishing. For anyone who uses libraries and Internet to find out what the hell is going on, this book is a guide, an inspiration, and a warning.