The Long and the Short of It: A Practical Guide to European Versification Systems

University of Notre Dame Pess
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Students of English literature now rarely receive instruction in versification (theory or practice) at either the undergraduate or the graduate level. The Long and the Short of It is a clear, straightforward account of versification that also functions as an argument for a renewed attention to the formal qualities of verse and for a renewed awareness of the forms and traditions that have shaped the way we think about English verse. After an introduction and discussion of basic principles, Joseph A. Dane devotes a chapter to quantitative verse (Latin), syllabic or isosyllabic verse (French), and accentual verse (Old English/Germanic). In addition to basic versification systems, the book includes a chapter on musical forms, since verse was originally sung. Most serious studies of these systems in English have been designed for language students, and are not accessible to students of English literature or general readers. This book will enable the reader to scan verse in all three systems, and it will also provide a framework within which students can understand points of contention about particular verse forms. The guide includes a chapter addressed to teachers of English, an appendix with examples of verse types, and a glossary of commonly used terms.
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About the author

Joseph A. Dane is professor of English at the University of Southern California. He is the author of a number of books, including The Myth of Print Culture: Essays on Evidence, Textuality, and Bibliographical Method.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Notre Dame Pess
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Published on
Mar 15, 2010
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Pages
144
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ISBN
9780268077686
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Study & Teaching
Literary Criticism / Poetry
Literary Criticism / Reference
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Joseph A. Dane
Joseph A. Dane
"As bibliographers or book historians, we perform our work by changing the function of the objects we study. We rarely pick up an Aldine edition to read one of the classical texts it contains. . . . Print culture, under this notion, is not a medium for writing or thought but a historical object of study; our bibliographical field, our own concoction, becomes the true referent of the objects we define as its foundation."—From the Introduction

What is a book in the study of print culture? For the scholar of material texts, it is not only a singular copy carrying the unique traces of printing and preservation efforts, or an edition, repeated and repeatable, or a vehicle for ideas to be abstracted from the physical copy. But when the bibliographer situates a book copy within the methods of book history, Joseph A. Dane contends, it is the known set of assumptions which govern the discipline that bibliographic arguments privilege, repeat, or challenge. "Book history," he writes, "is us."

In Blind Impressions, Dane reexamines the field of material book history by questioning its most basic assumptions and definitions. How is print defined? What are the limits of printing history? What constitutes evidence? His concluding section takes form as a series of short studies in theme and variation, considering such matters as two-color printing, the composing stick used by hand-press printers, the bibliographical status of book fragments, and the function of scholarly illustration in the Digital Age. Meticulously detailed, deeply learned, and often contrarian, Blind Impressions is a bracing critique of the way scholars define and solve problems.

Joseph A. Dane
The new history of the book has constituted a vibrant academic field in recent years, and theories of print culture have moved to the center of much scholarly discourse. One might think typography would be a basic element in the construction of these theories, yet if only we would pay careful attention to detail, Joseph A. Dane argues, we would find something else entirely: that a careful consideration of typography serves not as a material support to prevailing theories of print but, rather, as a recalcitrant counter-voice to them.

In Out of Sorts Dane continues his examination of the ways in which the grand narratives of book history mask what we might actually learn by looking at books themselves. He considers the differences between internal and external evidence for the nature of the type used by Gutenberg and the curious disconnection between the two, and he explores how descriptions of typesetting devices from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have been projected back onto the fifteenth to make the earlier period not more accessible but less. In subsequent chapters, he considers topics that include the modern mythologies of so-called gothic typefaces, the presence of nontypographical elements in typographical form, and the assumptions that underlie the electronic editions of a medieval poem or the visual representation of typographical history in nineteenth-century studies of the subject.

Is Dane one of the most original or most traditional of historians of print? In Out of Sorts he demonstrates that it may well be possible to be both things at once.

Joseph A. Dane
In this book, Joseph Dane critiques the use of material evidence in studies of manuscript and printed books by delving into accepted notions about the study of print culture. He questions the institutional and ideological presuppositions that govern medieval studies, descriptive bibliography, and library science. Dane begins by asking what is the relation between material evidence and the abstract statements made about the evidence; ultimately he asks how evidence is to be defined. The goal of this book is to show that evidence from texts and written objects often becomes twisted to support pre-existing arguments; and that generations of bibliographers have created narratives of authorship, printing, reading, and editing that reflect romantic notions of identity, growth, and development. The first part of the book is dedicated to medieval texts and authorship: materials include Everyman, Chaucer's Legend of Good Women, the Anglo-Norman Le Seint Resurrection, and Adam de la Helle's Le Jeu de Robin et Marion. The second half of the book is concerned with abstract notions about books and scholarly definitions about what a book actually is: chapters include studies of basic bibliographical concepts ("Ideal Copy") and the application of such a notion in early editions of Chaucer, the combination of manuscript and printing in the books of Colard Mansion, and finally, examples of the organization of books by an early nineteenth-century book-collector Leander Van Ess. This study is an important contribution to debates about the nature of bibliography and the critical institutions that have shaped its current practice.
Joseph A. Dane
"As bibliographers or book historians, we perform our work by changing the function of the objects we study. We rarely pick up an Aldine edition to read one of the classical texts it contains. . . . Print culture, under this notion, is not a medium for writing or thought but a historical object of study; our bibliographical field, our own concoction, becomes the true referent of the objects we define as its foundation."—From the Introduction

What is a book in the study of print culture? For the scholar of material texts, it is not only a singular copy carrying the unique traces of printing and preservation efforts, or an edition, repeated and repeatable, or a vehicle for ideas to be abstracted from the physical copy. But when the bibliographer situates a book copy within the methods of book history, Joseph A. Dane contends, it is the known set of assumptions which govern the discipline that bibliographic arguments privilege, repeat, or challenge. "Book history," he writes, "is us."

In Blind Impressions, Dane reexamines the field of material book history by questioning its most basic assumptions and definitions. How is print defined? What are the limits of printing history? What constitutes evidence? His concluding section takes form as a series of short studies in theme and variation, considering such matters as two-color printing, the composing stick used by hand-press printers, the bibliographical status of book fragments, and the function of scholarly illustration in the Digital Age. Meticulously detailed, deeply learned, and often contrarian, Blind Impressions is a bracing critique of the way scholars define and solve problems.

Joseph A. Dane
The new history of the book has constituted a vibrant academic field in recent years, and theories of print culture have moved to the center of much scholarly discourse. One might think typography would be a basic element in the construction of these theories, yet if only we would pay careful attention to detail, Joseph A. Dane argues, we would find something else entirely: that a careful consideration of typography serves not as a material support to prevailing theories of print but, rather, as a recalcitrant counter-voice to them.

In Out of Sorts Dane continues his examination of the ways in which the grand narratives of book history mask what we might actually learn by looking at books themselves. He considers the differences between internal and external evidence for the nature of the type used by Gutenberg and the curious disconnection between the two, and he explores how descriptions of typesetting devices from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have been projected back onto the fifteenth to make the earlier period not more accessible but less. In subsequent chapters, he considers topics that include the modern mythologies of so-called gothic typefaces, the presence of nontypographical elements in typographical form, and the assumptions that underlie the electronic editions of a medieval poem or the visual representation of typographical history in nineteenth-century studies of the subject.

Is Dane one of the most original or most traditional of historians of print? In Out of Sorts he demonstrates that it may well be possible to be both things at once.

Joseph A. Dane
In this book, Joseph Dane critiques the use of material evidence in studies of manuscript and printed books by delving into accepted notions about the study of print culture. He questions the institutional and ideological presuppositions that govern medieval studies, descriptive bibliography, and library science. Dane begins by asking what is the relation between material evidence and the abstract statements made about the evidence; ultimately he asks how evidence is to be defined. The goal of this book is to show that evidence from texts and written objects often becomes twisted to support pre-existing arguments; and that generations of bibliographers have created narratives of authorship, printing, reading, and editing that reflect romantic notions of identity, growth, and development. The first part of the book is dedicated to medieval texts and authorship: materials include Everyman, Chaucer's Legend of Good Women, the Anglo-Norman Le Seint Resurrection, and Adam de la Helle's Le Jeu de Robin et Marion. The second half of the book is concerned with abstract notions about books and scholarly definitions about what a book actually is: chapters include studies of basic bibliographical concepts ("Ideal Copy") and the application of such a notion in early editions of Chaucer, the combination of manuscript and printing in the books of Colard Mansion, and finally, examples of the organization of books by an early nineteenth-century book-collector Leander Van Ess. This study is an important contribution to debates about the nature of bibliography and the critical institutions that have shaped its current practice.
Joseph A. Dane
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