Grafton 1980

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"For all of the excitement it inspires, however, Eisenstein's book also leaves the reader with a certain uneasiness. It is not surprising that in 700 pages of vigorous argument she has sometimes missed her aim, or that at times she seems to be tilting at windmills rather than real opponents. What is more surprising, and causes more concern, is that many of her errors and exaggerations seem to stem directly from the goals at which she aims and the methods she has chosen." (269)
  • research in secondary, not archival, sources
"Facts as well as obiter dicta tend to be pulled out of shape by the force with which she sets upon them." (272)

she "minimizes the extent to which any text could circulate in stable form before mechanical means of reproduction became available" (273)

  • scholars could amass large libraries of diverse texts

printing house not as much of a intellectual center as Eisenstein makes it out to be

"I am not entirely convinced that that process of publication itself changed so radically as Eisenstein holds, especially from the author's point of view. Kristeller showed long ago that publication followed the same course for a fifteenth-century author whether the book in question was to be copied or printed. The author either made or had made a fair copy of his work, called the archetypum. This he gave either to a scribe to copy or to a printer to print. The book was said to be "published" (editus) "on the day on which the author first allowed the completed archetypum to be reproduced by others." In either case, the author's part of the activity of publication remained scribal in character." (280)