This volume is the first comparative history that studies the practice of impagination across different ages and civilizations. By impagination we mean the act of placing and arranging spatially textual and other information onto a material bearer that could be made of a variety of materials (papyrus, bamboo slips, palm leaf, parchment, paper, and the computer screen). This volume investigates three levels of impagination: what is the page or other unit of the material bearer, what is written or printed on it, and how is writing or print placed on it. It also examines the interrelations of two or all three of these levels. Collectively it examines the material and materiality of the page, the variety of imprints, cultural and historical conventions for impagination, interlinguistic encounters, the control of editors, scribes, publishers and readers over the page, inheritance, borrowing and innovation, economics, aesthetics and socialities of imprints and impagination, and the relationship of impagination to philology. This volume supplements studies on mise en page and layout – an important subject of codicology – first by including non-codex writings, second by taking a closer look at the page or other unit than at the codex (or book), and third by its aspiration to adopt a globally comparative approach. This volume brings together for comparison vast geographical realms of learning, including Europe, China, Tibet, Korea, Japan and the Near Eastern and European communities in which the Hebrew Bible was transmitted. This comparison is significant, for Europe, China, and India all developed great traditions of learning which came into intensive contact. The contributions to this volume are firmly rooted in local cultures and together address global, comparative themes that are significant for multiple disciplines, such as intellectual and cultural history of knowledge (both humanistic and scientific), global history, literary and media studies, aesthetics, and studies of material culture, among other fields.
Ku-ming (Kevin) Chang, Glenn Warren Most