Friendship by the Book: The Book by Friendship

[Image: Jean Grolier’s copy of Baptista Mantuanus‘sĀ Omnia Opera, which features Grolier’s famous inscription “Jo[hanni] Grolierii et amicorum,” meaning “This book belongs to Jean G. and his friends.”] Here begins a series of posts of the “comparative textual media” variety regarding the relationship between friendship and the book, which I hope to intersperse with other threads over the coming months. This post is a two-for-one deal. First, I offer prefatory remarks about what I’ve taken to calling “the relational meanings of books.” These words seek to set up some of the…

An Artifact from Xerox-land

[Image Source: The Linotype Line (ca. 1960)] In Bibliographical Analysis: A Historical Introduction (2009), the great textual critic Thomas Tanselle observes that “books of the past two centuries are particularly resistant to the analysis of the underlying manufacturing procedures because the paper and type to seem to offer few usable clues.” Paper and type quality/style, as Tanselle observes in earlier chapters, represent the most revealing features of books printed in earlier periods due to their particularities, their irregularities. Machine-made paper (which lack, Tanselle laments, tell-tale chain-lines) and the rise of…