Reading by Design: The Visual Interface of the English Renaissance Book

Reading by Design: The Visual Interface of the English Renaissance Book

by Pauline Reid

NOOK Book(eBook)

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Renaissance readers perceived the print book as both a thing and a medium - a thing that could be broken or reassembled, and a visual medium that had the power to reflect, transform, or deceive. At the same historical moment that print books remediated the visual and material structures of manuscript and oral rhetoric, the relationship between vision and perception was fundamentally called into question.

Investigating this crisis of perception, Pauline Reid argues that the visual crisis that suffuses early modern English thought also imbricates sixteenth and seventeenth century print materials. These vision troubles in turn influenced how early modern books and readers interacted. Platonic, Aristotelian, and empirical models of sight vied with one another in a culture where vision had a tenuous relationship to external reality. Through situating early modern books’ design elements, such as woodcuts, engravings, page borders, and layouts, as important rhetorical components of the text, Reading by Design articulates how the early modern book responded to epistemological crises of perception and competing theories of sight.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781487511630
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 04/08/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 20 MB
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About the Author

Pauline Reid is an Assistant Teaching professor at the University of Denver's Writing Program.

Table of Contents

1. Through a Looking-Glass: Rhetorical Vision and Imagination in William Caxton’s Mirrour of the World and Stephen Hawes’s Pastime of Pleasure
2. Memory-Machines or Ephemera? : Annotated Almanacs, Edmund Spenser’s Shepheardes Calender, and the Problem of Recollection
3. Devising the Page: Poly-olbion’s Troubled Boundaries
4. Image and Illusion in Francis Quarles’s Emblems and Pamphlets: Duplication, Duality, Duplicity
5. Dead Lambs, False Miracles, and “Taintured Nests”: The Crisis of Visual Ecologies in Shakespeare’s 2 Henry VI 3
Mediated Vision

What People are Saying About This

Abigail Shinn

"Reading by Design explores the printed book’s unstable visual interfaces as a way of charting early modern theories about perception and knowledge. The broad range of material covered, including almanacs, emblem books, maps, and woodcuts, is to be applauded, and the effort made to connect more obviously ‘literary’ forms to their non-literary counterparts is one of this book’s major strengths."

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