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The eighteenth century has long been associated with realism and objective description, modes of representation that deemphasize writing. But in the middle decades of the century, Christina Lupton observes, authors described with surprising candor the material and economic facets of their own texts' production. In Knowing Books Lupton examines a variety of eighteenth-century sources, including sermons, graffiti, philosophical texts, and magazines, which illustrate the range and character of mid-century experiments with words announcing their status as physical objects. Books that "know" their own presence on the page and in the reader's hand become, in Lupton's account, tantalizing objects whose entertainment value competes with that of realist narrative.
Knowing Books introduces these mid-eighteenth-century works as part of a long history of self-conscious texts being greeted as fashionable objects. Poststructuralist and Marxist approaches to literature celebrate the consciousness of writing and economic production as belonging to revolutionary understandings of the world, but authors of the period under Lupton's gaze expose the facts of mediation without being revolutionary. On the contrary, their explication of economic and material processes shores up their claim to material autonomy and economic success. Lupton uses media theory and close reading to suggest the desire of eighteenth-century readers to attribute sentience to technologies and objects that entertain them.
Rather than a historical study of print technology, Knowing Books offers a humanist interpretation of the will to cede agency to media. This horizon of theoretical engagement makes Knowing Books at once an account of the least studied decades of the eighteenth century and a work of relevance for those interested in new attitudes toward media in the twenty-first.
"Knowing Books demonstrates how ideas can be shaped by the physical form in which they are conveyed. It recovers historical reactions to new technologies and the way in which those new processes were inscribed in writing. It is a study of mediation registered in discourse and as such is a notable extension of the recent characterization of the Enlightenment as a 'media event.'"--TLS
"Compellingly argued, original in its approach and insights, thoroughly researched, and ranging widely in the theoretical voices it invokes, Knowing Books opens up fresh ways of thinking about the eighteenth century. The project capitalizes on some of the most exciting work in the fields of book history, media studies, materiality, and 'thing theory, ' and applies it to a body of texts until recently slighted in traditional literary histories of the period."--Lynn Festa, Rutgers University
Title: Knowing Books: The Consciousness of ...
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publication Date: 2011
Book Condition: Good
Book Description University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Publisher overstock or return with minor shelfwear. May have remainder mark. Leaves our warehouse same or next business day. Most continental U.S. orders lead time 4-10 days. International - most countries 10-21 days, others 4 weeks. Seller Inventory # mon0000904493
Book Description University of Pennsylvania Press. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. 0812243722 Item in very good condition! Textbooks may not include supplemental items i.e. CDs, access codes etc. Seller Inventory # Z0812243722Z2
Book Description University of Pennsylvania Press. Condition: Used - Like New. 2011. Hardcover. Fine. Dust Jacket is Fine. Seller Inventory # C50404
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Book Description University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0812243722
Book Description University of Pennsylvania Press. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. 0812243722 Minor shelf wear. Seller Inventory # Z0812243722Z2
Book Description University of Pennsylvania Press October 2011, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Lightly used hardcover in dust jacket. Moderate shelfwear to boards; dust jacket is lightly worn, but is not chipped or torn. Binding and pages remain solid, with no marks to text. Seller Inventory # 1034900
Book Description University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Very Good. Missing dustjacket; otherwise nearly perfect. Ships with tracking the same or next business day from New Haven, CT. We fully guarantee to ship the exact same item as listed and work hard to maintain our excellent customer service. Seller Inventory # W0O-GU1-5O7
Book Description University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0812243722