Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance

Ellen Gruber Garvey

Anno: 2012
Rilegatura: Hardback
Pagine: 320 p.
Testo in English
Dimensioni: 242 x 162 mm
Peso: 586 gr.
  • EAN: 9780195390346
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Scrapbooks have been around since printed matter began to flow into the lives of ordinary people, a flow that became an ocean in nineteenth-century America. Though libraries can show us the vast archive-literally thousands of dailies, weeklies, monthlies, quarterlies, and annuals were flooding the public once mass-circulation was common-we have little knowledge of what, and particularly how people read. Writing with Scissors follows swimmers through that first ocean of print. We know that thousands of people were making meaning out of the swirl of paper that engulfed them. Ordinary readers processed the materials around them, selected choice examples, and created book-like collections that proclaimed the importance of what they read. Writing with Scissors explores the scrapbook making practices of men and women who had varying positions of power and access to media. It considers what the bookmakers valued and what was valued by the people or institutions that sheltered them over time. It compares nineteenth-century scrapbooking methods with current techniques for coping with an abundance of new information on the Web, such as bookmarks, favorites lists, and links. The book is part of a developing literature in cultural studies and book history exploring reading practices of ordinary readers. Scholars interested in the burgeoning field of print culture have not yet taken full advantage of scrapbooks, these great repositories of American memory. Rather than just using evidence from scrapbooks, Garvey turns to the scrapbook as a genre on its own. Her book offers a fascinating view of the semi-permeable border between public and domestic realms, illuminating the ongoing negotiation between readers and the press.