By Laura Mandell
Breaking the Book is a manifesto at the cognitive results and emotional results of human interactions with actual books that finds why the normal humanities disciplines are immune to 'digital' humanities.
- Explores the explanations why the conventional humanities disciplines are immune to 'digital humanities'
- Reveals elements of publication background, supplying it as an instance of ways various media form our modes of considering and feeling
- Gathers jointly an important publication background and literary feedback in regards to the hundred years prime as much as the early 19th-century emergence of mass print culture
- Predicts results of the electronic revolution on disciplinarity, services, and the institutional restructuring of the humanities
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Extra resources for Breaking the Book: Print Humanities in the Digital Age
Clarity is not a matter of finding referents and then legislating interpretation accordingly, as does Molyneux. Pope rebels on behalf of gentlemen to any notion of legislating meaning through clarity conceived of as transparency— for him as for Blake later, language is not a window through which one sees things. For Pope, linguistic meaning is warmed, improved, by the “eminent hands” of oligarchy. I wouldn’t want to claim that Swift is a man of the people, in contrast to Pope, but, at the least, for Swift, “women along with vulgar and illiterate” are just as capable of seeing that the empirical projectors and philologists want to seize control of meaning, want to legislate it, by making things more clear.
For him, communication must be rationalized, which is to say, “blind tradition” must be corrected by experts. ” What he imagines in bringing expert and popular culture back together is actually identical to what is imagined by the cultural studies critics whose work is grounded theoretically in the very “neoconservatives” whom Habermas deplores: bringing disciplinary knowledge back into the world is a one-way endeavor, and so it can only happen by the people “appropriating” disciplinary knowledge as a means for solving the problem which is that our “living heritage” has been “impoverished by mere traditionalism” (Habermas 1997: 45–6, 52).
Print did not by itself turn the world into a school, for reasons that can be tracked. Although Cathy Davidson was the Vice President for Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke for many years, her original scholarship is in American revolutionary print culture: she already knows the utopian claims that were staked on mass-circulation of printed matter, but not quite realized. My argument is therefore not directed at her but at historically unaware interpretations of her more recent digital advocacy.
Breaking the Book: Print Humanities in the Digital Age by Laura Mandell