The Author's Hand and the Printer's Mind: Transformations of the Written Word in Early Modern Europe

Written by Roger Chartier | November 18, 2013
The Author's Hand and the Printer's Mind: Transformations of the Written Word in Early Modern Europe, by Roger Chartier, Polity Books, November 2013

Synopsis

In Early Modern Europe the first readers of a book were not those who bought it. They were the scribes who copied the author’s or translator’s manuscript, the censors who licensed it, the publisher who decided to put this title in his catalogue, the copy editor who prepared the text for the press, divided it and added punctuation, the typesetters who composed the pages of the book, and the proof reader who corrected them. The author’s hand cannot be separated from the printers’ mind.

This book is devoted to the process of publication of the works that framed their readers’ representations of the past or of the world. Linking cultural history, textual criticism and bibliographical studies, dealing with canonical works - like Cervantes’ Don Quixote or Shakespeare’s plays - as well as lesser known texts, Roger Chartier identifies the fundamental discontinuities that transformed the circulation of the written word between the invention of printing and the definition, three centuries later, of what we call 'literature'.

More info


Roger Chartier is professor of history at the Collège de France, Director of Studies at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales and Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Sign in or register to post comments.

More new titles

new titles

The Child

Simone and Claude live in a house with a lush garden, enclosed by a gate that barely protects them from the growing violence and unrest of the surrounding low-income neighborhood. Simone mourns the loss of youth and possibility as Claude, a gym teacher who has been diagnosed with cancer, edges toward death. This is an unflinching portrait of a couple ravaged by illness and locked into mutual isolation—that is, until the arrival of a young boy brings hope and upsets their delicate danse macabre to devastating effect.
new titles

Pomelo's Opposites

Pomelo, our elefantastic hero, is here he again in a surprisingly comic and playful book of opposites.
new titles

Rimbaud the Son

Rimbaud the Son, widely celebrated upon its publication in France, investigates the life of a writer, the writing life, and the art of life-writing. Pierre Michon in his groundbreaking work examines the storied life of the French poet Arthur Rimbaud by means of a new literary genre: a meditation on the life of a legend as witnessed by his contemporaries, those who knew him before the legends took hold.