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Cover image for product 0745619363
Cavallo
ISBN: 978-0-7456-1936-1
Hardcover
488 pages
August 1999, Polity
This is an out of stock title.
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Books and other texts have not always been read in the way that we read them today. The modern practice of reading - privately, silently, with the eyes alone - is only one way of reading which, for many centuries, existed alongside other forms. In the ancient world, in the Middle Ages and as late as the seventeenth century, many texts were written for the voice, and they used forms that were oriented towards the demands of oral performance.


This is one of the central themes explored in this wide-ranging and authoritative account of the changing practices of reading from the ancient world to the present day. An international team of leading historians analyses the transformations of reading methods and material over the ages, and shows that revolutions in reading generally precede revolutions of the book. They examine not only the technical innovations which change physical aspects of books and other texts, but also the changing forms of reading and the growth and transformation of the reading public. Contributors include Robert Bonfil, Guglielmo Cavallo, Roger Chartier, Jean-François Gilmont, Anthony Grafton, Jacqueline Hamesse, Dominique Julia, Martyn Lyons, M. B. Parkes, Armando Petrucci, Paul Saenger, Jesper Svenbro and Reinhard Wittmann.


This path-breaking study will become the standard work on the history of reading in the West. It will be indispensable to students of cultural history, and to all those who want a fresh perspective on the history of books and their uses.

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