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From Parchment to Cyberspace

Medieval Literature in the Digital Age


Stephen G. Nichols

From Parchment to Cyberspace argues the case for studying high-resolution digital images of original manuscripts to analyze medieval literature. By presenting a rigorous philosophical argument for the authenticity of such images (a point disputed by digital skeptics) the book illustrates how digitization offers scholars innovative methods for comparing manuscripts of vernacular literature – such as The Romance of the Rose or texts by Christine de Pizan – that reveal aspects of medieval culture crucial to understanding the period.

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Introduction: Why I Wrote This Book, or Medieval Manuscripts Unchained

PART ONE Technologies of the Medieval Book: The Manuscript Matrix

1. What Is a Manuscript Culture?

2. Materiality and Mimesis: Anatomy of an Illusion

3. No Fool of Time: The Paradox of Manuscript Transmission

PART TWO Technologies of Manuscript Knowledge: How We Read Now in the Digital Middle Ages

4. The Work of Reading

5. Variance as Dynamic Reading

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