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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 'geneaology' of text, March 1, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts (Paperback)
Bibliography is not the subject of this book. If you are a teacher, don't assign it to students as a guide to citing sources.
Sociology of text ('histoire du livre,' as the author says) is the subject. Do assign it to advanced undergraduate or graduate students who want a lucid explanation of this basic reciprocity: text is historically, socially, culturally produced and received; in turn, text creates or alters history, society, and culture.
The author was a British bibliographer concerned with text in any medium, not only print. He was widely known for his work on orality and literacy in New Zealand. In this accessible book (based on a series of lectures), McKenzie lays out a critical theory of text as a cultural artifact that applies to any form of recorded information in any medium, and that is useful in any text-dependent discipline. His topic is how the material form of texts determines their potential meanings.
His primary examples, the 1835 Declaration of Indendence and 1840 Treaty of Waitangi by which sovereignty in New Zealand shifted from the Maori to the British, is a superb case study of textual authority as it is complicated by oral culture, literacies, technologies of rhetoric, and print culture. By itself, this chapter's material analysis and textual criticism of documentation in treaty-making between indigenous people and colonizers is worth the price of the book.
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Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts
Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts by D. F. McKenzie (Paperback - October 13, 1999)
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