Making Meaning: "Printers of the Mind" and Other Essays

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Univ of Massachusetts Press, 2002 - Literary Collections - 286 pages

"The greatest bibliographer of our time," was how historian Robert Darnton described D. F. McKenzie. Yet until now many of McKenzie's major essays, scattered in specialist journals and inaccessible publications, have circulated mainly in tattered photocopies. This volume, edited by two of McKenzie's former students, brings together for the first time a wide range of his writings on bibliography, the book trade, and the "sociology of texts." Selected by the author himself before his sudden death in 1999, the essays range from the material transmission of Shakespeare's plays in the seventeenth century to the connections among oral, manuscript, and print cultures.

Making Meaning reflects McKenzie's virtuosity as a traditional bibliographer and reveals how his thought-provoking scholarship made him a driving force in the genesis and development of the new interdisciplinary field of book history. His refusal to recognize the traditional boundary between bibliography and literary history re-energized the study of the social, political, economic, and cultural aspects of book production and reception.

The editors' introduction and headnotes situate McKenzie's innovative and controversial thinking in the debates of his time.


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Printers of the Mind Some Notes on Bibliographical Theories and PrintingHouse Practices
Indenting the Stick in the First Quarto of King Lear 1608
Stretching a Point Or The Case of the Spacedout Comps
The London Book Trade in 1668
The London Book Trade in 1644
Trading Places? England 1689France 1789
The Staple of News and the Late Plays
Typography and Meaning The Case of William Congreve
Whats Past Is Prologue The Bibliographical Society and History of the Book
Our Textual Definition of the Future The New English Imperialism?
A Chronological Bibliography of McKenzies Writings

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Page 20 - Men may dream in demonstrations, and cut out an illusory world in the shape of axioms, definitions, and propositions, with a final exclusion of fact signed QED No formulas for thinking will save us mortals from mistake in our imperfect apprehension of the matter to be thought about - . - [and]
Page 15 - that we are justified in inferring universal statements from singular ones, no matter how numerous; for any conclusion drawn in this way may always turn out to be false: no matter how many instances of white swans we may have observed, this does not justify the conclusion that

About the author (2002)

D. F. McKenzie was professor of bibliography and textual criticism at Oxford University.

Peter D. McDonald is university lecturer and tutorial fellow at St. Hugh's College, Oxford University.

Michael F. Suarez, S.J. is associate professor of English at Fordham University.

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