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Medieval Habit, Modern Sensation: Reading Manuscripts in the Digital Age

Medieval Habit, Modern Sensation: Reading Manuscripts in the Digital Age Medieval Habit, Modern Sensation: Reading Manuscripts in the Digital Age [H]abit is an immensely powerful agent for regulating, even creating, the acuity of sentience. Just as one may regulate the amount of light by opening and closing one's eyelids or by turning and tilting one's head through hundreds of angles and planes, so habit acts to set in place countless gateways that either open and allow the world to rush toward one or instead close it to keep it wholly at bay. --elaine scarry 1 Before the emergence of electronic reading devices like the Kindle or iPad, the practice of reading a printed book was a deeply ingrained habit that crossed boundaries dividing cultures, time periods, and places. Books were subject to local variation, of course, but they shared many features in common, including a repertoire of bodily motions and gestures related to their reading and handling. Although new habits form very quickly, digital reading lacks the near-global commonality of holding a book in the hands, feeling the sharp or subtle edges of the pages, hearing the rustle of each leaf as it is turned, smelling the scents of paper and ink, even tasting the book by touching http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Chaucer Review Penn State University Press

Medieval Habit, Modern Sensation: Reading Manuscripts in the Digital Age

The Chaucer Review , Volume 47 (4) – Apr 5, 2013

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © The Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
1528-4204
Publisher site
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Abstract

Medieval Habit, Modern Sensation: Reading Manuscripts in the Digital Age [H]abit is an immensely powerful agent for regulating, even creating, the acuity of sentience. Just as one may regulate the amount of light by opening and closing one's eyelids or by turning and tilting one's head through hundreds of angles and planes, so habit acts to set in place countless gateways that either open and allow the world to rush toward one or instead close it to keep it wholly at bay. --elaine scarry 1 Before the emergence of electronic reading devices like the Kindle or iPad, the practice of reading a printed book was a deeply ingrained habit that crossed boundaries dividing cultures, time periods, and places. Books were subject to local variation, of course, but they shared many features in common, including a repertoire of bodily motions and gestures related to their reading and handling. Although new habits form very quickly, digital reading lacks the near-global commonality of holding a book in the hands, feeling the sharp or subtle edges of the pages, hearing the rustle of each leaf as it is turned, smelling the scents of paper and ink, even tasting the book by touching

Journal

The Chaucer ReviewPenn State University Press

Published: Apr 5, 2013

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