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 Investigation

The Investigator is a man quite like any other. He is balding, of medium build, dresses conservatively—in short, he is unremarkable in every way. He has been assigned to conduct an Investigation of a series of suicides (twenty-two in the past eighteen months) that have taken place at the Enterprise, a huge, sprawling complex located in an unnamed town.
new titles

Saving Mona Lisa

In late August 1939, as war loomed over Europe, curators at the Louvre nestled the world's most famous painting into a special red velvet-lined case and spirited her away to the Loire Valley. Thus began the biggest evacuation of art and antiques in history.
new titles

The Map and the Territory

The most celebrated and controversial French novelist of our time now delivers his magnum opus—about art and money, love and friendship and death, fathers and sons.