By Joseph A. Dane
What is a ebook within the examine of print tradition? For the coed of fabric texts, it isn't just a singular replica sporting the original strains of printing and maintenance efforts, or an variation, repeated and repeatable, or a motor vehicle for concepts to be abstracted from the actual reproduction. but if the bibliographer situates a e-book replica in the equipment of e-book heritage, Joseph A. Dane contends, it's the identified set of assumptions which govern the self-discipline that bibliographic arguments privilege, repeat, or problem. "Book history," he writes, "is us."
In Blind Impressions, Dane reexamines the sphere of fabric ebook background by means of wondering its most simple assumptions and definitions. How is print outlined? What are the bounds of printing background? What constitutes proof? His concluding part takes shape as a sequence of brief experiences in subject matter and version, contemplating such issues as two-color printing, the composing stick utilized by hand-press printers, the bibliographical prestige of booklet fragments, and the functionality of scholarly representation within the electronic Age. Meticulously targeted, deeply discovered, and infrequently contrarian, Blind Impressions is a bracing critique of ways students outline and resolve problems.
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Additional resources for Blind impressions : methods and mythologies in book history
The Type has been carefully imitated, and the cuts traced from the copy in the British Museum. The Paper has also been made expressly, as near as possible like the original. (“Tribute”) When placed next to the original or a photographic facsimile, Figgins’s Caxton is easily distinguishable from the original. It is not an image of Caxton, but an idealization of one. Figgins’s idealized history of Caxton isolates editions from their histories and typesorts from their contexts: each is an individual, just as were the individually cut typesorts Figgins imagined Caxton used, just as were the individual type images isolated in a typefont array by Tupper.
I do not know what sort of information I should get from a survey of over a million books (meaning in this case “bibliographical items”), and I thus am in no position to judge the quality of any results I would obtain by using this one. The ﬁrst STC by Pollard and Redgrave (1926) covered the years from the earliest printed English book (1476) to 1640; the 30,000 entries ﬁt into one volume. Overall a reasonably consistent set of principles and standards was applied to each entry, since the same two bibliographers, with their same prejudices, wrote or edited each entry.
The autonomy and integrity of the typefont was essential to this work. Mixed or problematic typefonts made identiﬁcation of printers diﬃcult, as did notions of borrowed typefonts, recast typefonts, or anything of the kind. And typefonts recast with old typesorts? There is simply no room for such histories. Blades Redivivus: BMC XI The most important recent discussion of Caxton is in the latest volume of BMC XI: England. Lotte Hellinga accepts the distinction of Blades; there are two fonts, 2 and 2*.