Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Reading society
(2,035 words)

1. Definition and history of scholarship

Scholars view reading as an understanding appropriation of texts. With Paul Ricœur, we assign an active role to the reader, since every reader gives the text a unique new meaning each time it is read [5. 406 f.]. Anthropological studies treat reading as a form of social praxis, tied into a complex interplay of forms of human communication [2].

The study of European social reading began with the …

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Prass, Reiner, “Reading society”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 30 May 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_023348>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107

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