The Iconic Page in Manuscript, Print, and Digital Culture

George Bornstein and Theresa Tinkle, Editors
Crystallizes advanced research on the "meanings" that are created by a work's physical construction


Most readers think of a written work as producing its meaning through the words it contains. But what is the significance of the detailed and beautiful illuminations on a medieval manuscript? Of the deliberately chosen typefaces in a book of poems by Yeats? Of the design and layout of text in an electronic format? How does the material form of a work shape its understanding in a particular historical moment, in a particular culture?

The material features of texts as physical artifacts--their "bibliographic codes" --have over the last decade excited increasing interest in a variety of disciplines. The Iconic Page in Manuscript, Print, and Digital Culture gathers essays by an extraordinarily distinguished group of scholars to offer the most comprehensive examination of these issues yet, drawing on examples from literature, history, the fine arts, and philosophy.

Fittingly, the volume contains over two dozen illustrations that display the iconic features of the works analyzed--from Alfred the Great's Boethius through medieval manuscripts to the philosophy of C. S. Peirce and the dustjackets on works by F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Styron.

The Iconic Page in Manuscript, Print, and Digital Culture will be groundbreaking reading for scholars in a wide range of fields.

George Bornstein is C. A. Patrides Professor of English, University of Michigan.

Theresa Tinkle is Associate Professor of English, University of Michigan.

Praise / Awards

  • "The book's great strength is its temporal sweep: iconic pages, as the title suggests, are not limited to print, but reach back to manuscript culture and forward to the digital age. . . . The Iconic Page demonstrates how the iconicity of text can be isolated, analysed, and conceptualized outside of the conventional boundaries of periodization and discipline. And although the subject is rigorously 'the page,' and not 'the book,' the editors and contributors nevertheless help historians of the book, of archives, and of libraries to think about the familiar, perhaps too familiar artefacts [sic] and institutions we handle."
    --Épilogue: Canadian Bulletin for the History of Books, Libraries, and Archives

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 304pp.
  • 25 photographs.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1998
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10865-7

Add to Cart
  • $94.95 U.S.