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Index, A History Of The: A Bookish Adventure [Hardback-2021]
Dennis Duncan
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Description

Category:Literary CriticismLiterary CriticismLiterary Criticism-Cri
Publisher: Allen Lane Uk | ISBN: 9780241374238 | Pages: 352

Hilarious Sam Leith I loved this book Susie Dent Witty and affectionate Lynne Truss Perfect for book lovers, a delightful history of the wonders to be found in the humble book index Most of us give little thought to the back of the book - it s just where you go to look things up. But here, hiding in plain sight, is an unlikely realm of ambition and obsession, sparring and politicking, pleasure and play. Here we might find Butchers, to be avoided, or Cows that sh-te Fire, or even catch Calvin in his chamber with a Nonne. This is the secret world of the index: an unsung but extraordinary everyday tool, with an illustrious but little-known past. Here, for the first time, its story is told. Charting its curious path from the monasteries and universities of thirteenth-century Europe to Silicon Valley in the twenty-first, Dennis Duncan reveals how the index has saved heretics from the stake, kept politicians from high office and made us all into the readers we are today. We follow it through German print shops and Enlightenment coffee houses, novelists living rooms and university laboratories, encountering emperors and popes, philosophers and prime ministers, poets, librarians and - of course - indexers along the way. Revealing its vast role in our evolving literary and intellectual culture, Duncan shows that, for all our anxieties about the Age of Search, we are all index-rakers at heart, and we have been for eight hundred years.

About the Author

Dennis Duncan is a writer, translator, lecturer in English at University College London, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He has published numerous academic books, including Book Parts and The Oulipo and Modern Thought, as well as translations of Michel Foucault, Boris Vian, and Alfred Jarry. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, and the London Review of Books, and recent articles have considered Mallarmé and jugs, James Joyce and pornography, and the history of Times New Roman.

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