Literary Cultures And The Material Book

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Overview

While the technological hype that dominated the 1990s eventually collided with reality and subsided, one of the period’s most tenacious ideas has not: the conviction that the future of books is in jeopardy. Yet the promise—or peril—of widespread textual availability on the Internet, along with the economic pressures of globalization, has had the unexpected beneficial effect of sparking interest in the relatively young discipline of the history of the book.

The essays collected in Literary Cultures and the Material Book cast a wide net—from China and Russia to South America and New Zealand—to investigate the vital relationship between actual, physical books and the study of literary cultures. How books are created, sold, and experienced as material objects is a fascinating and little understood element of literary culture, and the contributors to this volume build on the pioneering work of earlier scholars to bring the discipline into the present. As books enter uncharted and uncertain territory in the twenty-first century, understanding their impact on our globalized culture is more important than ever.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Simon Eliot is professor of the history of the book in the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. He is editor of the journal Publishing History and coeditor of The Blackwell Companion to the History of the Book.

Andrew Nash is a lecturer in English literature at the University of Reading and editor of The Culture of Collected Editions.

Ian Willison is a senior research fellow in the Institute of English Studies at the University of London and is one of the general editors of the Cambridge History of the Book in Britain.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations     viii
List of contributors     xi
Preface   Robert Darnton     xvi
Acknowledgements     xix
Introduction   Simon Eliot   Andrew Nash   Ian Willison     1
Some material factors in literary culture 2500BCE-1900CE   Simon Eliot     31
Non-Western Traditions of the Book
A thousand years of printed narrative in China   Glen Dudbridge     53
Marketing the Tale of Genji in seventeenth-century Japan   Peter Kornicki     65
Literary culture and manuscript culture in precolonial India   Sheldon Pollock     77
The Shahnama and the Persian illustrated book   Robert Hillenbrand     95
Towards a history of the book and literary culture in Africa   Isabel Hofmeyr     121
The Western Book in History
Epic, diffusion and identity   Christopher Carey     133
Carolingian manuscript culture and the making of the literary culture of the Middle Ages   David Ganz     147
Petrarca philobiblon: the author and his books   Nicholas Mann     159
The diffusion of literature in Renaissance Italy: the case of Pietro Bembo   Brian Richardson     175
From literary almanacs to'thick journals': the emergence of a readership for Russian literature, 1820s-1840s   Abram Reitblat   Christine Thomas     191
Language Empires
Literary consequences of the peripheral nature of Spanish printing in the sixteenth century   Clive Griffin     207
The conflicts of the canon: printing and literary culture during the Spanish Enlightenment   Maria Luisa Lopez-Vidriero     215
The book and Naturalism in Spain, Portugal and Latin America   Jean-Francois Botrel     231
Friedrich Nicolai: creator of the German republic of letters   Bernhard Fabian     241
The German language and book trade in Europe: cultural transfers and collective identity in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries   Frederic Barbier     253
France between literary culture and mass culture: seventeenth to twentieth centuries   Jean-Yves Mollier     269
Publishing and literature in the French-speaking world: the cultural hegemony of the centre and the creative role of the periphery   Francois Vallotton     281
Jacques Hebert: foremost publisher of the Quiet Revolution   Jacques Michon     297
The Anglophone Tradition
Creating an English literary canon, 1679-1720: Jacob Tonson, Dryden and Congreve   John Barnard     307
Literary culture and literary publishing in inter-war Britain: a view from Chatto & Windus   Andrew Nash     323
'The elixir of life': Richard Garnett, the British Museum Library and literary London   Richard Landon     343
The tradition of A. W. Pollard and the world of literary scholarship   Stephen Bury     355
'In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book?'   Michael Winship     367
From Methodist literary culture to Canadian literary culture: the United Church Publishing House/the Ryerson Press, 1829-1970   Janet B. Friskney     379
'The centennial racket': J. C. Beaglehole, nationalism and the 1940 New Zealand centennial publications   Sydney J. Shep     387
'Heaven forbid that I should think of treating with an English publisher': the dilemma of literary nationalists in federated Australia   John Barnes     399
Afterword
Perspectives for an international history of the book   David McKitterick     413
Index     431
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