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"Guglielmo Cavallo and Roger Chartier have assembled a remarkable team of international scholars to describe the history of reading in the West from classical times to the present day. Who reads, how they read to themselves and others, what they read, where they read, and what difference reading makes -- these are the questions asked and answered, using the best techniques of social and cultural history and literary theory. An immense body of scholarship has been distilled into accessible and beautifully translated essays. To read is to travel, Chartier and Cavallo tell us in their wide--ranging Introduction. Their volume makes a fascinating voyage." Professor Natalie Zemon Davis, Department of History, Princeton University "The genius of the book is in the analysis of the relationship between reading and society. The act of reading illustrates the cultural mindset and this book is a subtle but sure "re--reading" of history which is a revelation of minds past. It is about far more than reading; it is about spiritual authority and sex, it is about social control, secrets and rebellion ... it is a book--lovera s delight." The Guardian "Ranging from Ancient Greece to the Internet, edited by two leading scholars in this rapidly expanding field and written by a group of specialists in a lucid and accessible style, A History of Reading in the West will be quite indispensable for students and scholars alike." Peter Burke, Professor of Cultural History at the University of Cambridge "! a landmark achievement." San Francisco Chronicle "There is no way to encapsulate here the richness of these explorations." Los Angeles Times Book Review "Mandatory reading for all scholars and their students in the history of the book." Libraries and Culture "[The book] is certainly the best history of reading presently available and will provide book people with a rich and useful perspective on those pratices that we all endeavor to serve." LogosReseña del editor:
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 17th 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 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.
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