Nov 11, 2020
Roger Chartier was born in 1945 in Lyon, France. He is a giant in the field of book history and the study of publishing and reading. He teaches at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, the Collège de France, and the University of Pennsylvania.
I interviewed Roger via Zoom in hopes of determining exactly why he's a giant, who's shoulders he stands on, and what he has contributed to the study of book history. Among other things we talk about Roger's book of essays The Author's Hand and the Printer's Mind; Shakespeare and Cervantes; the importance of material texts to history; forms of reading; the codex; translation; intermediaries between the reader and the writer; the commonplace technique; Roland Barthes; reader appropriation; author intention; Marshall McLuhan; D.F. McKenzie's Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts; Robert Darnton; The History of the Book in France; IMEC; maps in fiction; "Sprezzatura;" and literature and the consecration of the life and manuscripts of the writer.