The Culture of Print

The Culture of Print : Power and Uses of Print in Early Modern Europe

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This collective work offers an account of the cultural transformation brought about by the discovery and development of printing in Europe. After Gutenburg, all European culture was a culture of print which the printed work penetrated the entire web of social relations, touching people's deepest selves as well as claiming its place in the public sphere. In order to study this cultural form, the authors have been guided by three concerns. First, they have focussed primarily on printed matter other than books, such as broadsheets, flysheets and posters. Second, they have adopted a case study approach, examining particular texts or printed objects concerning specific events. Third, they have tried to understand the use of these materials by placing them within the local specific contexts which gave them meaning. The authors emphasize the multiplicity of ways in which printed materials were used in early modern Europe. Festive, ritual, cultic, civic and pedagogic uses were social activities and involved deciphering texts in a collective way, those who knew how to read leading those who did not.
Only gradually did these collective forms of appropriation give way to a practice of reading - privately, silently, using the eyes alone - which has become common today. This wide-ranging work opens up new historical and methodological perspectives on one of the most important transformations in Western culture. It is a collective work by a group of leading historians, including Roger Chartier, Alain Boureau, Marie-Elisabeth Ducreux, Christian Jouhaud, Paul Saenger and Catherine Velay-Vallentin, and it will become a focal point of debate for historians and sociologists interested in the culture and transformations which accompanied the rise of modern societies.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 350 pages
  • 152.4 x 223.52 x 33.02mm | 703.06g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • French
  • index
  • 0745605753
  • 9780745605753

Table of contents

Foreword: print culture, Roger Chartier. Part 1 Print to capture the imagination: Franciscan piety and voracity - uses and strategems in the hagiographic pamphlet, Alain Boureau ; the hanged woman miraculously saved - an occasionnel, Roger Chartier; tales as a mirror - Perrault in the Bibliotheque Bleue, Catherine Velay-Vallentin. Part 2 Religious uses: books of hours and the reading habits of the later Middle Ages, Paul Saenger; from ritual to the hearth - marriage charters in 17th century Lyons, Roger Chartier; reading unto death - books and readers in 17th century Bohemia, Marie-Elisabeth Decreux. Part 3 Political representation and persuasion: readability and persuasion - political handbills, Christian Jouhaud; books of emblems on the public stage - Cote Jardin and Cote Cour, Alain Boureau; printing the event - from La Rochelle to Paris, Christian Jouhaud.
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