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How do the qualities of reading practices outlined in McKenzie and Grafton and Jardine's texts enable imperialism How did rea - Essay Example

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How do the qualities of reading practices outlined in McKenzie and Grafton and Jardine’s texts enable imperialism? How did reading practices effect political change? Various factors may influence one’s understanding of a text and one crucial factor influencing the meaning and interpretation of the texts is the quality of reading practice…
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Download file to see previous pages A discussion on the various qualities of reading practices helps in a historical understanding of the ways in which humanistic-ally trained readers assimilated and responded to imperialism and political change. For example, the introduction of printed text to the Maori people in New Zealand had a crucial influence on their understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi. In other words, the reading practices of the Maori had a critical influence on the meaning of imperialism and political change in the region. This paper makes a reflective exploration of how the qualities of reading practices outlined in McKenzie and Grafton and Jardine’s texts enable imperialism. One of the major studies of the principles of bibliography, Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts by D.F. McKenzie establishes that the material form of texts remarkably determines their meanings. According to McKenzie, texts take on different forms and meanings as they are reproduced and re-read. He maintains that a reader in the pursuit of historical meanings moves from “the most minute feature of the material form of the book to questions of authorial, literary, and social context. These all bear in turn on the ways in which texts are then re-read, re-edited, re-designed, re-printed, and re-published. If a history of readings is made possible only by a comparative history of books, it is equally true that a history of books will have no point if it fails to account for the meanings they later come to make.” (McKenzie, 1999, p. 23). The meaning gained in the beginning is completely changed in the reading of the new forms of the text which is re-read, re-edited, re-designed, re-printed, and re-published. Therefore, one’s reading practice is influenced by the material form of the book which, in turn, affects the meaning of the text. Lisa Jardine and Anthony Grafton’s seminal article “‘Studied for Action’: How Gabriel Harvey Read His Livy” is a classic example of how reading practice can influence one’s understanding and meaning of the text. Based on an exploration of how Gabriel Harvey practiced the reading of Livy, Jardine and Grafton establish that Harvey’s interpretation of Livy is considerably changed each time he reads it with different purposes in his mind. The article maintains that the different reading practices carried out by Harvey led to different outcomes. In fact, the different reading practices can lead to different meanings of the same text and this fluctuation in the meaning can affect the overall outcome of the reading practice. “Thus critical reading, skillful annotation and active appropriation emerge as the central skills, not just of the student of history, but of the intellectual tout court. Reading always leads to action – but only proper reading in the manner of a Gabriel Harvey.” (Jardine and Grafton, 1990, p. 76). According to Jardine and Grafton, the early modern readers used to actively reinterpret their texts rather than passively receive it. In this article, the authors provide a convincing illustration of how the ‘reading as intended to give rise to something else’ can influence the meaning of the text and, in turn, affect political changes. To them, scholarly reading has always been goal-oriented and conducted under conditions of strenuous attentiveness. Therefore, “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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