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Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-Century England$
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Harold Love

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198112198

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112198.001.0001

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Some Metaphors for Reading

Some Metaphors for Reading

Chapter:
(p.140) (p.141) 4 Some Metaphors for Reading
Source:
Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-Century England
Author(s):

Harold Love

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112198.003.0004

This chapter explores how the production and transmission of scribally published texts were perceived by their original readers to differ from printed and oral texts. It considers drawing on the insights of Walter J. Ong and Jacques Derrida — how the oral, the chirographical, and the printed text each presuppose their own distinct modes of knowing. It then examines these theoretically derived predictions against a range of figurative formulations of the acts of reading and inscription actually current during the seventeenth century. Lastly, it considers the role played by the handwritten text in the constitution of ‘fictions of state’ — those figurative constructs that were invoked to legitimize the exercise of political authority.

Keywords:   Derrida, Ong, oral texts, printed texts, seventeenth century, political authority, fictions of state

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