Forms and Meanings: Texts, Performances, and Audiences from Codex to Computer / Edition 1

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In this provocative work, Roger Chartier continues his extraordinarily influential consideration of the forms of production, dissemination, and interpretation of discourse in Early Modern Europe. Chartier here examines the relationship between patronage and the market, and explores how the form in which a text is transmitted not only constrains the production of meaning but defines and constructs its audience.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Drawing on a wide variety of evidence, including inventories of the costumes, program notes, and contemporary correspondence, Chartier provides a wonderfully rich account of what the performances meant."—Robert Darnton, New York Review of Books

A collection of four studies (three of which were given as the 1994 U. of Pennsylvania Rosenbach Lectures), each addressing how the forms that transmit text to readers or hearers constrain the production of meaning. Paper edition (unseen), $12.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812215465
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Series: New Cultural Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger Chartier is Directeur d'Etudes at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales, Professor in the College de France, and Annenberg Visiting Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of numerous books, including Inscription and Erasure: Literature and Written Culture from the Eleventh to the Eighteenth Century, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.
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Table of Contents


Ch. 1. Representations of the Written Word
Ch. 2. Princely Patronage and the Economy of Dedication
Ch. 3. From Court Festivity to City Spectators
Ch. 4. Popular Appropriation: The Readers and Their Books

Selected Bibliography

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2000

    The study of Georges Dandin is important and deserves greater discussion

    The chapters dedicated to the study of Georges Dandin constitutes a seminal example of how histoire du livre scholarship can be employed to illuminate the interpretation of literary texts. Much has been discussed in recent years about how the study of past modes of reading can be used to investigate the history of a particular text's receptions, which many imagined would be quite different from modern appraisals, but this is the first concrete study of one particular dramatic text in different contemporary milieus: performance before the court, performance in Paris, and on the printed page. If the project of a 'sociology of the text' prospers in years to come, this book will become a classic of the field.

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