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This course examines printing, book production, and the production, dissemination, and reception of print cultures after 1800. As modern industrial technologies increased both the abundance of cheap paper and the speed and output of the printing press, industrializing societies became increasingly literacy-dependent; printed products became characteristic of industrialized societies, and the ability to "navigate" those products increasingly came to characterize their inhabitants. In this class, we will
Readings include both works of history and historical bibliography and a number of "literary" works that vivify certain themes relevant to the subject of this class. Both will concentrate on the history of, and on products deriving from, the Anglo-American tradition. Interested students are encouraged to consider the growing number of studies tracing developments in other languages and cultures, as well.
This course is intended to introduce some of the issues that the concatenation of changes mentioned above raises. These issues include, but are not limited to:
The instructor urges students who have not taken English 297, the "first half" of this course, to read the following works, or as much of them as possible, during the first two to three weeks of the course. NOTE that "urges" is NOT equivalent to "requires"!
Not only are these books readable but also they provide helpful historicizing contexts for thinking about some of the issues raised by the works to be read during this "second" semester.
This course meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. in the Lea Library (sixth floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library). We may occasionally reschedule or relocate in order to accommodate the showing of movies or tapes.
The instructor's office is nearby in the Department of Special Collections (sixth floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library). You can reach him by telephone (215 898 7088) or in person at that location. He is normally in the office between 9 and 5 weekdays but his whereabouts vary so please telephone before showing up. You can also communicate by e-mail (directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the class list at email@example.com).
Students are responsible for several one- to two-page response papers intended to facilitate class discussion. The syllabus calls for a single-topic response from every member of the class due at the 4th session (January 23rd, the second class of the second week). The syllabus lists other topics for other weeks. Students will be assigned a regular rotation--its frequency will depend on the number of students in the course--and will be responsible for reading their responses aloud at the class for which each is relevant. TIMELINESS MATTERS: the instructor will not accept responses after the class which discusses the materials they were supposed to discuss and WILL assign a failing grade to missed responses. Such stringency reflects the fact that classes will be in some significant part dependent upon the presentation of these responses. Students had better be in a documentably near-death state if they don't show up to deliver assigned responses. Written versions should be available for the instructor at the class at which they are presented.
Students must write and submit by March 3rd a four-to-five page description of a nineteenth-century book. How this description is to be done will be discussed in class.
On May 8th (during exam week) a FINAL PAPER of some ten-to-fifteen pages is due. The final essay should consider some materials not otherwise read in class and use primary materials of some sort in doing so. Sample topics may be considered here. Choose a topic and write this paper ONLY after discussing it with the instructor. Follow MLA or Chicago format rules in its preparation. Death (preferably yours) is the acceptable excuse for lateness.
In general, the instructor appreciates good writing. Not only does he look with disfavor upon poorly-written essays, he will also actively, eagerly, and with malice aforethought, lower their grade. Sloppy writing normally means sloppy thinking. USE THE WRITING CENTER IF THIS IS AN AREA IN WHICH YOU KNOW--OR LEARN--THAT YOU NEED HELP. Click here for information about the writing center; and click here for the instructor's composition links.
There is no final examination in this class. The instructor reserves the right to spring quizzes unannounced--and he will do so if the class gives evidence that it is falling behind with the assigned readings.
This class will work largely through discussion, often prompted by your response papers, and (more rarely) through lectures. Your meeting of deadlines for responses and your attendance will make a difference in the success of this class--and your promptness, attendance, and participation will make a difference in your grade. Ground rules: talk; interrupt; open your mouths. Be polite but do not let politeness get in the way of making your points.
NOTE: The instructor is eager but (perhaps) not entirely lunatic. He has noticed that he is asking you to read a lot. Do as much as you can. He hopes that relatively light writing and few or no exam requirements will help make the reading load a bit more palatable (and possible). He is interested in your responses to the books he has assigned: when you love (or hate) something, don't keep your reaction a secret from him.
Honoré de Balzac, Lost Illusions, trans. H. J. Hunt
Fanny Fern, Ruth Hall, ed. Joyce W. Warren (Rutgers)
Philip Gaskell, A New Introduction to Bibliography (Oak Knoll)
John Grisham, The Runaway Jury (Dell)
Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure (Penguin)
Mario Puzo, The Godfather (Signet)
Susannah Rowson, Charlotte Temple, ed. Cathy N. Davidson (Oxford)
The instructor appends below a list of books either on reserve in the Rosengarten Reserve Room (Van Pelt Library, basement level) or books that he recommends for your general self-improvement.
Week 1--14 and 16 January:
Introduction to the course
read (or skim) Gaskell, New introduction, "Book Production: The
Hand-Press Period 1500-1800."
ALSO: begin Balzac's Lost illusions. (This is a long book. You'll be sorry if you don't start it sooner rather than later.)
Week 2--21 and 23 January
Looking at books
General response topic (NOTE that this first response paper comes from the entire class and is due 23 January):
Find a pre-1820 book published in France, Germany, England, or the United States, in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library general stacks. (HINT: If you were an early nineteenth-century [or earlier] book, where would you hang out?) Charge the book out to yourself. Write 1-2 pages about what you can see of its means of production and history. Submit the book (or its call number) along with your paper. The closer the book is to its "original condition" (e.g., not rebound), the better; illustrations and annotations would also improve it; and you will get if you find a real eighteenth-century imprint.
Week 3--28 and 30 January
Looking at books, part 2
Week 4--4 and 6 February
Response topic (due 4 February):
What qualities convinced so many readers of this melodrama of its apparent vitality and significance? and what qualities lost its readership as the nineteenth century drew to its end?
Week 5--11 and 13 February
The Republic of Letters / The Literary Marketplace
Response topic (due 11 February):
The most important product of the provincial printing office that Balzac opens Lost Illusions by describing is _________________ [fill in the blank and then expand on this thought].
Week 6--18 and 20 February
The Republic of Letters / The Literary Marketplace, part 2
Response topic (due 18
Compare and contrast the "ethos" of the provincial printing office with which Balzac's novel opens with that of the editorial offices in Paris to which Balzac quickly moves his hero. (And where does our papermaker fit into this world?)
Week 7--25 and 27 February
Impacts of literacy
Response topic (due 25 February only if
someone volunteers to finish the entire book by that date; otherwise,
there will be no response paper due this week):
Comment on the relationship(s) between literacy, class, and status in the world Hardy portrays, and the nature of the problems it/they cause(s) Jude.
Week 8--1 and 3 March
Impacts of literacy, part 2
Read: Philip Gaskell, From writer to reader: studies in editorial method (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), chap. 10 (on Hardy's Woodlanders). (You should also read Gaskell's next two chapters in this books during the coming weeks.)
Read: Roger Schofield, "Dimensions of illiteracy in England 1750-1850," and Harvey J. Graff, "Literacy, jobs, and industrialization: the nineteenth century"--these are chapters 10 and 12 in Literacy and social development in the west: a reader, ed. Harvey J. Graff, Cambridge studies in oral and literate culture (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981).
Week 9--11 and 13 March
SPRING BREAK; NO CLASSES
Week 10--18 and 20 March
The Republic of Letters / The Literary Marketplace, part 3
Response topic (due 20 March--NOTE: because of
spring break, this response is due Thursday, not Tuesday):
RESPONSE TOPIC ASSIGNMENT TK.
Week 11--25 and 27 March
The Republic of Letters / The Literary Marketplace, part 4
RESPONSE TOPIC ASSIGNMENT TK
Week 12--1 and 3 April
Response topic (due 1 April):
"Puzo's novel is both a page-turner and a 'guilty pleasure.' We read it eagerly, but feel somehow 'soiled' as we do." Comment.
Week 13--8 and 10 April
Mass markets, part 2
Read: Marianna Torgovnick's chapter on The Godfather in her Crossing Ocean Parkway (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994).
"Torgovnick may be right that Puzo's novel is 'typical'; but its typicality serves only to explain its rise to bestsellerdom and does not 'justify' it as a work of literary merit." Agree/disagree (your choice).
Week 14--15 and 17 April
Targeted / segmented markets
This week, no response topic assigned.
Week 15--22 and 24 April
Ballou, Ellen B. The building of the house: Houghton Mifflin's
formative years. Boston 1970.
BOOKS WORTH KNOWING OR ON RESERVE (*) FOR
Barker, Nicolas. Stanley Morison. London 1972.
Barnes, James J. Authors, publishers, and politicians: the quest for an Anglo-American copyright agreement 1815-1854. Columbus 1974.
----------, and Patience P. Barnes. Hitler's Mein Kampf in Britain and America: a publishing history. Cambridge 1980.
Bidwell, John. "The Brandywine paper mill and the Anglo-American book trade 1787-1837." [Oxford] 1992.
* Brodhead, Richard H. Cultures of letters: scenes of reading and writing in nineteenth-century America. Chicago 1993.
Brooks, Jeffrey. When Russia learned to read. Princeton 1985.
Cave, Roderick. The private press. 2nd ed. New York 1983. A copy can be found in Special Collections.
Cerf, Bennett. At Random. New York 1977.
Chartier, Roger. Cultural history. Ithaca 1988.
* Charvat, William. Literary publishing in America, 1790-1850. Philadelphia 1959.A 1993 paperback reprint edited by Michael Winship (University of Massachusetts Press) can still be obtained.
----------. The profession of authorship in America, 1800-1870. The papers of William Charvat. Ed. Matthew J. Bruccoli. Columbus, OH, 1968.
* The construction of authorship: textual appropriation in law and literature. Ed. Martha Woodmansee and Peter Jaszi. Durham, NC, 1994.
Coser, Lewis, Charles Kadushin, and Walter W. Powell, Books: the culture and commerce of publishing. New York 1982.
Crutchley, Brooke. To be a printer. London 1980.
* Davidson, Cathy N. Revolution and the word. New York 1986.
Davis, Kenneth S. Two-bit culture: the paperbacking of America. Boston 1984.
Eisenstein, Elizabeth L. The printing press as an agent of change. Cambridge 1979. 2 vols.
* ----------. The printing revolution in early modern Europe. Cambridge 1983.
* Erickson, Lee. The economy of literary form: English literature and the industrialization of publishing 1800-1850. Baltimore 1996.
Exman, Eugene. The brothers Harper. New York 1965.
----------. The house of Harper. New York 1967.
* Febvre, Lucien. The coming of the book. Trans. David Gerard. London 1976.
* Feltes, N. N. Literary capital and the late Victorian novel. Madison 1993.
* ----------. Modes of production of Victorian novels. Chicago 1986.
Furet, François, and Jacques Ozouf. Reading and writing: literacy in France from Calvin to Jules Ferry. Cambridge 1982.
* Gaskell, Philip. From writer to reader. Oxford 1978.
* ----------. A new introduction to bibliography. Oxford 1972; rpt. 1974.A copy can also be found in Special Collections; another in the Furness Shakespeare Library.
* Literacy and social development in the west. Ed. Harvey J. Graff. Cambridge 1981.
* McGaw, Judith A. Most wonderful machine: mechanization and social change in Berkshire paper making, 1801-1885. Princeton 1987.
* Macherey, Pierre. A theory of literary production. London 1978.
* McKenzie, Donald F. Bibliography and the sociology of texts. The Panizzi lectures 1985. London 1986.Read this short book if you possibly can!
McLean, Ruari. Victorian book design and colour printing. Berkeley 1972.
Mardersteig, Giovanni. The Officina Bodoni. Verona 1980. A copy can be found in Special Collections.
Martin, Henri-Jean. The history and power of writing. Chicago 1994.
Meltzer, Françoise. Hot property: the stakes and claims of literary originality. Chicago 1994.
Munby, A. N. L. Connoisseurs and medieval miniatures 1750-1850. Oxford 1972.The title seems wrong; you aren't interested. But trust me. You will never--not ever--read better scholarly prose in any field; and--mirabile dictu!--the book is even relevant to this class. If the Library has the next title (it isn't on FRANKLIN, however), read it, too. The guy is terrific. You might like Munby's ghost stories, too: The alabaster hand was written while he was a POW in German camps after the British collapse at Dunkirk.
----------. The cult of the autograph letter. London 1962.
* Needs and opportunities in the history of the book: America 1639-1876. Ed. David D. Hall and John B. Hench. Worcester 1987.
Nelson, James G. The early nineties: the view from the Bodley Head. Cambridge, Mass., 1971.
Ong, Walter J. Orality and literacy. New York 1982.
* Patten, Robert L. Charles Dickens and his publishers. Oxford 1978.
* Radway, Janice. Reading the romance. Chapel Hill 1984.
Ray, Gordon N. The art of the French illustrated book 1700 to 1914. New York and Ithaca 1982. 2 vols.A copy can be found in Special Collections.
----------. The illustrator and the book in England from 1790 to 1914. New York 1976.
* Remer, Rosalind. Printers and men of capital: Philadelphia book publishers in the new Republic. Philadelphia 1996.
* Rose, Mark. Authors and owners: the invention of copyright. Cambridge, Mass., 1993.
* Rubin, Joan Shelley. The making of middlebrow culture. Chapel Hill 1992.
Sheehan, Donald. This was publishing. Bloomington 1952.
Steinberg, S. H. Five hundred years of printing. 3rd ed. Harmondsworth 1974.
* Sutherland, John. Bestsellers: popular fiction of the 1970s. London 1981.
----------. Victorian novelists and publishers. London 1976.
Thompson, Susan Otis. American book design and William Morris. New York 1977.
* Twyman, Michael. Printing 1770-1970. London 1970.
Unseld, Siegfried. The author and his publisher. Trans. Hunter Hannum and Hildegarde Hannum. Chicago 1980.
----------. Goethe and his publishers. Trans. Kenneth J. Northcott. Chicago 1996.
* West, James L. W., III, American authors and the literary marketplace since 1900. Philadelphia 1988.
* Winship, Michael. American literary publishing in the mid-nineteenth century: the business of Ticknor and Fields. Cambridge 1995.
Remember to consult the bibliography in Gaskell for special
topics (bearing in mind its 1972 terminus).
Ballou, Ellen B. The building of the house: Houghton Mifflin's
formative years. Boston 1970.