Eisenstein 2011

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Eisenstein, Elizabeth L. Divine Art, Infernal Machine: The Reception of Printing in the West from First Impressions to the Sense of an Ending. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

First Impressions

Fust, "the split identity of the inventive craftsman/thieving financiesr" (3)

"Despite the well-documented existence of commercial copying centers before Gutenberg's day, the sinister figure of the exploitative capitalist appears to have no equivalent in stories about scribes and copyists. It makes its debut only after the advent of printing, when would-be authors became reliant on 'the commercial judgment of publishers to establish their place in the world of letters'." (4)
"how did Gutenberg's contemporaries and immediate successors react to the advent of printing?" (4)
"there is little evidence of absolute rejection. The foundation myths that depict hostile monks and urban crowds making accusations of witchcraft, profiteers engaged in industrial sabotage, or scribes deprived of their livelihood seem to be baseless." (7)
"it was the capacity of print to standardize liturgy that evoked enthusiasm from churchmen who had long been troubled by local variations in prayer books and service books" (14)
"As one might expect, in view of the enthusiastic support given by fifteenth-century scholars and churchmen, engative views of printing were quite muted at first. Opponents of the new art were especially disadvantaged because the most powerful organs of publicity were lodged in enemy hands. Probably the most celebrated opponent of printing was no a churchman but the Florentine manuscript book dealer, Vespasiano da Bisticci. When printing came to Florence, Vespasiano closed shop and then wrote his memoirs." (17)
"For the most part, howerver, the duplicative powers of print were welcomed by members of the learned community. They were pleased to gain increased access to the texts they required." (19)
"early modern writers were by no means of one mind about the advantages and disadvantages of printing. In their dealings with early printers, as in their later dealings with publishers and booksellers, authors often began by expressing gratitude only to end by expressing disgust. Few were likely to hold the same view throughout their lives." (24)
"Fromt he very beginning, attitudes toward printing were shaped by its originating as a German invention and its having been introduced over the Alps and Pyrenees by itinerant German craftsmen. The English tradition is somewhat anomalous in this respect. Instead of Germans coming to England, an English merchant went to Germany: Caxton learned the craft in Cologne and practiced it in Bruges before setting up shop in London and earning immortality among his countrymen." (28-29)
"the enthusiastic welcome printing received in the West stands out in bold relief. In Europe, indeed, positive responses far outweighed negative ones." (32) -- c.f. to in Islam

After Luther: Civil War in Christendom

"Gutenberg's invention was celebrated, not for initiating an indefinitely expanding knowledge industry, but rather as a signal that the anti-Christ (whether Turk or pope) was destined to be defeated and that he last days were close at hand." (35

exiles in Geneva, John Knox, William Whittingham

exiles in Basel, John Bale, John Foxe

"The first Latin versions of what later was known as the Book of Martyrs were written when their author was collaborating with Continental master printers, first in Strasbourg and then, most notably, in Basel, where Foxe worked for four years as a proofreader in the shop of Vesalius's printer, Oporinus." (36)
"Decisions taken at the Council of Trent thus had the unanticipated effect of dividing the spoken word from the printed pge." (45)
"Religious polarization thus split apart two modes of communication, oral and written, that had been, for the most part, previously joined." (45)
"The binary opposition between oral tradition and written text had a counterpart in the opposition between ceremonial object and written word." (46)

After Erasmus: Propelling the Knowledge Industry

printing as antithesis of gunpowder (64)

"The sixteenth century saw Gutenberg's invention assigned a prominent position in celebratory discourse about new stars, new worlds, and new powers acquired by Western Europeans." (78)

listening only book titles; Biblioteca Universalis, by Conrad Gesner (1545)

Sir Thomas Browne, complaining about too many books; suggested a new bonfire similar to the combustion of the Library of Alexandria (88)

Eighteenth-Century Attitudes

Constantia Grierson, "The Art of Printing: A Poem" (1764)

A Contemplation on the Myster of Man's Regeneration in Allusion to the Myster of Printing

Minerva, "a kind of patron saint for journeymen typographers" (102)

"The commodification of literature served as a prelude to the commercialization of politics." (134)

The Zenith of Print Culture (Nineteenth Century)

The Newspaper Press: The End of Books?

Toward the Sense of an Ending (Fin de Siecle to the Present)

Octave Uzanne, "The End of Books" (1894); described "talking books" killing off print