There’s a lot more to reading books than just reading for the enjoyment of it- even in kids books-It may seem silly that I’m talking so much about children’s literature, but there is a lot more to it than simply stories; the literature has to be thought of in the context, the time it was written, the culture it was a part of, we can’t dismiss something as ‘simple’ just because it isn’t something that is meant for ‘our audience’ and if I have to be blunt- a writer really shouldn’t put age ranges on books. (I despise those age suggestions on the back cover of a book- ‘Ages 8-12, Ages 9 and up’ There’s nothing more insulting than being told ‘These books aren’t for you.’ Reading is for everybody, as long as they enjoy the books and learn something from it, does it matter if they’re ‘too old’ or ‘too young’? I think the people who do this aren’t looking deep enough into the culture of the books. There can be great things to find, but only if you look hard enough.
I am going to be publishing a version of my lecture notes for a theory course as blog posts, because, let’s face it, the writing style for blogs is more entertaining than academic writing and it’s vastly easier to include images and video in this space than in, for example, Word.
Print culture is a relatively new field that has a long history. Seems like a contradiction – right? How can something be new but have a long history? What I mean is that capital “P” Print and capital “C” Culture as a field in literary studies is fairly new – around the late 1970s, print culture studies caught on or gained ethos with the publication of Elizabeth Eisenstein’s The Printing Press as Agent of Change: Communications and Cultural Transformations of Early Modern Europe. The book radically changed how literary scholars thought about the advent of print and its…
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