Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Materiality and Meaning

Rare Book School Director Michael Suarez is quoted in “The Career Risks of Scrutinizing the Physical Side of Books” (The Chronicle): 
"We sometimes wrongly believe that literacy means knowing how to read and interpret these linguistic codes in the books … Meaning resides in the materiality of books as well."
In his opening address at Rare Book School a few weeks ago, Suarez said: “There is no meaning without materiality.”

More from the above article:
"What book history does, particularly for students, is make them aware of how suspicious and changeable text can be, and that's really good," [Ann Hawkins] says. That applies to texts being produced today as much as it does to anything from the early modern period. So having bibliographic skills becomes part of students' arsenal for life. "I hope it helps them think more critically about all the texts that surround them and who's producing those texts and the agendas of those texts."