Friday, June 08, 2007

Book Announcement

The Australian National University's e-Press has just put online what should be a fabulous new book for those interested in the history of manuscript texts and how they were used over time. Elizabeth Keen's The Journey of a Book: Bartholomew the Englishman and the Properties of Things examines how a medieval text originally written for Franciscan preachers, De Proprietatibus Rerum, was interpreted and reinterpreted over several hundred years in Britain. Along the way, she investigates many intricacies in the use and interpretation of manuscript, and later printed, texts. I admit I have not yet read the book as it has only just hit cyberspace, but I have been in close contact with the development of the thesis, published articles, conference papers and fascinating lunchtime conversations with somebody so immersed in the thought patterns of the middle ages that you would swear she had been there. As is fitting for someone who has investigated how a text has survived changing reproduction technology, the book is being produced as online text, with print-on-demand paper copies available. It can be downloaded for free from here, while a modest oultlay of AU$24-99 will secure you a printed copy. It is hard to explain this book, but if you are interested in the medieval concept of text, then this may intrigue you.

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