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Tag: South Africa

Isabel Hofmeyr. Gandhi’s Printing Press: Experiments in Slow Reading

Isabel Hofmeyr. Gandhi’s Printing Press: Experiments in Slow Reading. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2013. 218p, ill. ISBN 9780674072794. US $24.95 (hardback).

Can we really ignore a man whose face keeps appearing on every banknote printed in the Republic of India during the last 69 years? More importantly, given Gandhi’s known hostility to the Western ideals of politics and technological progress, can we ignore the nature of contradictions inherent in his use of the printing press as an experimental device for political and spiritual communication?

If printing, according to McLuhan, was a ditto device which first outlined the contours of the West-European idea of ‘nationalism,’ the ubiquitous Gandhi face on the Indian banknote is an important reminder of the fact as how that idea was appropriated, reinterpreted, and powerfully reinforced by the medium of print in non-Western societies.

W. A. Kelly and G. Trentacosti, eds. The Book in the Low Countries

W. A. Kelly  and G. Trentacosti, eds. The Book in the Low Countries. Edinburgh: Merchiston Publishing, 2015. viii, 182 p., ill. ISBN 9780956613622. Price not available (paperback).

The Book in the Low Countries features seven essays elaborating on topics and themes discussed at a Scottish Centre for the Book seminar held in April 2010 at the National Library of Scotland. With support from the London-based Culture Department of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, this seminar broadly addressed Flemish and Dutch book history from the manuscript era to the present day.