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Playful letters : a study in early modern alphabetics

Author: Erika Mary Boeckeler
Publisher: Iowa City : University of Iowa Press, 2017.
Series: Impressions, Studies in the art, culture, and future of books
Edition/Format:   Print book : Government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Alphabetic letters are ubiquitous, multivalent, and largely ignored. Playful Letters reveals their important cultural contributions through Alphabetics--a new interpretive model for understanding artistic production that attends to the signifying interplay of the graphemic, phonemic, lexical, and material capacities of letters. A key period for examining this interplay is the century and a half after the invention  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Erika Mary Boeckeler
ISBN: 9781609384746 1609384741 9781609384753 160938475X
OCLC Number: 1061268738
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (pages 263-276) and index.
Description: xi, 285 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm.
Series Title: Impressions, Studies in the art, culture, and future of books
Responsibility: Erika Mary Boeckeler.
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Abstract:

"Alphabetic letters are ubiquitous, multivalent, and largely ignored. Playful Letters reveals their important cultural contributions through Alphabetics--a new interpretive model for understanding artistic production that attends to the signifying interplay of the graphemic, phonemic, lexical, and material capacities of letters. A key period for examining this interplay is the century and a half after the invention of printing, with its unique media ecology of print, manuscript, sound, and image. Drawing on Shakespeare, anthropomorphic typography, figured letters, and Cyrillic pedagogy and politics, this book explores the ways in which alphabetic thinking and writing inform literature and the visual arts, and it develops reading strategies for the "letterature" that underwrites such cultural production. Playful Letters begins with early modern engagements with the alphabet and the human body--an intersection where letterature emerges with startling force. The linking of letters and typography with bodies produced a new kind of literacy. In turn, educational habits that shaped letter learning and writing permeated the interrelated practices of typography, orthography, and poetry. These mutually informing processes render visible the persistent crumbling of words into letters and their reconstitution into narrative, poetry, and image. In addition to providing a rich history of literary and artistic alphabetic interrogation in early modern Western Europe and Russia, Playful Letters contributes to the continuous story of how people use new technologies and media to reflect on older forms, including the alphabet itself"-- Provided by publisher.

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"This is a lively and intriguing book. Apart from the value of the particular studies, the author's specific innovative contribution is that she deals not just with key moments of Western European Read more...

 
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