Dreaming in Books: The Making of the Bibliographic Imagination in the Romantic Age

Dreaming in Books: The Making of the Bibliographic Imagination in the Romantic Age

by Andrew Piper
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

The New Republic

"Andrew Piper has written a book about the nineteenth century’s romance with books, looking at the many ways in which the physical character of a book and its illustrations shaped a reader’s avidity. Piper’s scholarly history is fueled by a bookish ardor—you can feel the love that went into his footnotes. This writer’s thinking comes straight out of the long afternoons he must have spent in the library, pulling book after book off the shelves, experiencing the power not only of words but also of bindings, typefaces, and illustrations."—Jed Perl, The New Republic, "The Best Art Books of 2009"

— Jed Perl

The New Republic - Jed Perl
"Andrew Piper has written a book about the nineteenth century’s romance with books, looking at the many ways in which the physical character of a book and its illustrations shaped a reader’s avidity. Piper’s scholarly history is fueled by a bookish ardor—you can feel the love that went into his footnotes. This writer’s thinking comes straight out of the long afternoons he must have spent in the library, pulling book after book off the shelves, experiencing the power not only of words but also of bindings, typefaces, and illustrations."
ACLA, Harry Levin Prize, 2011 runner-up - Harry Levin Prize Citation ACLA
“Beyond its value as a contribution to the broader history of the book, Piper’s relational study of the book aims to reassess today’s pervasive discourse of anxiety about the end of book culture in the digital age, suggesting instead that the book and the computer (along with other media) have existed and will continue to coexist side by side.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226103518
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
08/22/2013
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,156,157
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.70(d)

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