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In gratitude to Judith Butler: for her legacy. The performative aspects of print in the 18th century in colonial Calcutta, India: Telling a story on ... Volume 1 (Colonial print and Performativity.)

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9789384281151: In gratitude to Judith Butler: for her legacy. The performative aspects of print in the 18th century in colonial Calcutta, India: Telling a story on ... Volume 1 (Colonial print and Performativity.)
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What happens if we construe print technology as being performative? Undoubtedly – such a concept is indebted to Judith Butler, but are we not all cognizant of it? In the colonial context in India (1780-)– which was essentially a scribal culture, manuscripts were construed as corrupt and many variants existed. Print had to perform the role of being absolute and fixed; but what if this performance of print fails? What if we considered manuscripts as being equally valid forms of communication as was print? The onslaught of certain aspects of print technology in the last two decades of the 19th century in colonial Calcutta, India – initiated an epistemic shift in a manuscript-scribal realm. The socio-cultural characteristics of print – that it was more authoritative and correct/truthful than manuscripts- were also imported. But is there any ontological truth to these socially ascribed aspects of print? Is the advent of print an inevitable progression from a manuscript-scribal society? Religious manuscripts were transferred onto printed texts and the desire was to arrive at the perfect narrative; there existed many variants of the same text and the translators would consult many editions that had been written in different time periods and collate them. What becomes evident is that there was no single authoritative text and there existed many variants of the same religious text. What would we have gained if we knew for a truth that there existed different variants of the same Hindu shastras and that they were altered as they were handed down over the centuries? The emergence of print in colonial Calcutta in the last two decades of the 19th century is a story that we know about. But what if the onslaught of modernity and of print – took a different trajectory? What if manuscripts were also seen as being viable modes of communication? For example, religious texts were mostly always corrupt; and when they were transferred onto print, it was deemed as a necessity that the many versions would be collated so that a final textual product would emerge. There is, thus, no definitive version of any religious text. As they were handed down over the centuries – the scribes who were also priests – would have made many changes – as they deemed needful. Empire making was made possible through the realm of print culture. Not only was the technology transferred, but so were the socially ascribed characteristics of print. Sir William Jones, operating within the ideology of eighteenth century print culture that associated print with truth, assumed that the technology of print had the power to transform a pre-modern, Indian scribal culture into western modernity. But this equation between print and truth was not intrinsic to letterpress technology as till the early decades of the eighteenth century there was a suspicion of the printed word. A printed book could never be trusted to be what it claimed. Manuscripts are seen as being less than perfect while printed texts allow for true, correct knowledge to emerge. Print technology is invested with a kind of truth power that is denied to manuscripts. Power resides in the capacity to be able to use print, and in the process, to make it accessible to larger groups of people. Mechanical reproducibility, made possible as a result of letterpress technology, would make knowledge more reproducible but also more authentic. The realm of print spread across continents, and made it possible to control the colonial territories.

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Bharadwaj, Tapati
Edité par Lies and Big Feet. (2017)
ISBN 10 : 9384281158 ISBN 13 : 9789384281151
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Tapati Bharadwaj
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Description du livre Paperback. Etat : New. Language: English. Brand new Book. What happens if we construe print technology as being performative? Undoubtedly - such a concept is indebted to Judith Butler, but are we not all cognizant of it? In the colonial context in India (1780-)- which was essentially a scribal culture, manuscripts were construed as corrupt and many variants existed. Print had to perform the role of being absolute and fixed; but what if this performance of print fails? What if we considered manuscripts as being equally valid forms of communication as was print? The onslaught of certain aspects of print technology in the last two decades of the 19th century in colonial Calcutta, India - initiated an epistemic shift in a manuscript-scribal realm. The socio-cultural characteristics of print - that it was more authoritative and correct/truthful than manuscripts- were also imported. But is there any ontological truth to these socially ascribed aspects of print? Is the advent of print an inevitable progression from a manuscript-scribal society? Religious manuscripts were transferred onto printed texts and the desire was to arrive at the perfect narrative; there existed many variants of the same text and the translators would consult many editions that had been written in different time periods and collate them. What becomes evident is that there was no single authoritative text and there existed many variants of the same religious text. What would we have gained if we knew for a truth that there existed different variants of the same Hindu shastras and that they were altered as they were handed down over the centuries? The emergence of print in colonial Calcutta in the last two decades of the 19th century is a story that we know about. But what if the onslaught of modernity and of print - took a different trajectory? What if manuscripts were also seen as being viable modes of communication? For example, religious texts were mostly always corrupt; and when they were transferred onto print, it was deemed as a necessity that the many versions would be collated so that a final textual product would emerge. There is, thus, no definitive version of any religious text. As they were handed down over the centuries - the scribes who were also priests - would have made many changes - as they deemed needful. Empire making was made possible through the realm of print culture. Not only was the technology transferred, but so were the socially ascribed characteristics of print. Sir William Jones, operating within the ideology of eighteenth century print culture that associated print with truth, assumed that the technology of print had the power to transform a pre-modern, Indian scribal culture into western modernity. But this equation between print and truth was not intrinsic to letterpress technology as till the early decades of the eighteenth century there was a suspicion of the printed word. A printed book could never be trusted to be what it claimed. Manuscripts are seen as being less than perfect while printed texts allow for true, correct knowledge to emerge. Print technology is invested with a kind of truth power that is denied to manuscripts. Power resides in the capacity to be able to use print, and in the process, to make it accessible to larger groups of people. Mechanical reproducibility, made possible as a result of letterpress technology, would make knowledge more reproducible but also more authentic. The realm of print spread across continents, and made it possible to control the colonial territories. N° de réf. du vendeur APC9789384281151

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Tapati Bharadwaj
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Description du livre Etat : New. N° de réf. du vendeur 6666-ING-9789384281151

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Bharadwaj, Tapati
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