Amicable Annotation, Part 4 (Graffiti)

[Image: “Glareanus,” pen-illustration attributed to Hans Holbein the Younger in Oswald Myconius’s copy of the 1515 edition of Erasmus’s Moriae Encomium. More on this picture below.] Part 1 is here. Part 2 here. Part 3. Enjoy Part 4. Finally, we come to graffiti. Or maybe we’ve already been looking at it? Scott-Warren invites us to see nearly all book-markings that “do not qualify as annotations” as graffiti. With such markings, we catch “the ‘real’ reader” not in the act of reading “but doing something else entirely, something that appears to…

Amicable Annotation, Part 3 (Marks of Owning and Recording)

[Image: How Gabriel Harvey marked his Livy. Made available through Annotated Books Online. For details, see below.] Part 1 is here. Part 2 here. Enjoy Part 3. My discussion thus far has focused on scholarly annotation as a friendly practice. In order to account for the role of friendship in humanist times, though, we need a broader sense of the variety of ways early moderns marked up their books. Heidi Brayman Hackel’s Reading Material in Early Modern England sorts the period’s handwritten book-marks into three useful types, to which we will…

Amicable Annotation, Part 2 (Scholarly Annotation)

[Image: An Aldine Press edition of Lactantius’s Divine Institutes (image source here)] Part 1 on “amicable annotaiton” is here. Enjoy Part 2. In the first post in this series (“Friendship by the Book: B by F”), I argued that, among other things, humanism represents a revolution in book culture. Books were the necessary instrument of humanist expression (if not, existence). Humanism was, once again, something that one did with books–preferably those designed to humanist specifications. While the humanists transformed much of the physical nature of the book, they paid particular…

Amicable Annotation, Part 1 (Friendship by Book)

[Image: Page from an annotated early sixteenth-century copy of Erasmus’s Moriae Encomium.] Here begins the second post in the series on the reciprocal relation between friendship and the book–the book facilitating the practice of friendship, friendship shaping the materiality of the book–across the modern era. Readers new to the series are strongly encouraged to read the first post (found here), which discusses 1. what I’ve termed “the relational meanings of books” and 2. why friendship offers an ideal starting point for investigation into this dimension of the book’s usefulness. That…

On Anthology

E-advertisements for new anthologies (or other course texts) usually go straight to the trash bin. But I received one recently that included a passage that caught my eye (and stayed my hand as I moved to delete it) in which the editor Don LePan discussed the process of assembling the team behind an anthology: When we began to search for academics willing to join our group of general editors for the anthology, we were certainly looking for outstanding scholars. But we were also looking for scholars who we knew to…

Reading and Selving

Self-Portrait, Reading in Winter by Rockwell Kent (ca. 1935), an example of the subgenre of self-portraiture in which artists depict themselves reading. Over the last two weeks, I’ve been putting the final touches on the syllabus for a seminar that I’ll be teaching in the fall titled “Reading and Selving” (a nickname that’s stuck). The course arises from frequent encounters with accounts of media-driven transformations of the self across the ages in the works of not only the Toronto Schoolmen but also more recent media theorists, philosophers, literary critics, and…