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« This Week's Acquisitions | Main | In which the BOMC convinces me not to buy a book; or, my nominee for worst ad copy of the year »

August 05, 2006


Jon Fernquest

Thanks for these notes. They summarize ideas that are very pertinent to myself and others who are trying to study the dissemination of historical texts in Southeast Asia:

1. "current models of literary history do not adequately account for actual, as opposed to theoretical, readerships"

2. "We cannot delineate the contours of literary influence, unless we know something about reading patterns and textual distribution"

There is probable no analagous study for copying manuscripts during the Middle Ages though.

william st Clair

I am pleased that the little professor has read my book with such care. The best reward of authorship is to find appreciative raeders willing to engage.

The point about price is well taken. The book will be published in a less expensive format [paperback] before the end of 2006.

In addition, the main ideas [without the supporting data] are available in my lecture, The Political Economy of Reading, John Coffin Memorial Lecture in the History of the Book, (University of London, School of Advanced Studies 2005). An edited printed version published in the Times Literary Supplement, no 5380, 12 May 2006. The full lecture is available online at

Published under Creative Commons, a new form of copyright, it can be freely copied, downloaded, emailed, given to students, and otherwise used for in teaching without running into copyright restrictions.

I hope that helps

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