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An Introduction To Bibliographical Politics

An Introduction To Bibliographical Politics

(p.3) Chapter One An Introduction To Bibliographical Politics
The Author's Due
Joseph Loewenstein
University of Chicago Press

This chapter introduces the bibliographical politics. Copyright law functions to protect authorial creativity, to provide a statutory hedge against industrial concerns around an author's somewhat mysterious, if not mystified, creative act. The Copyright Act of 1911 quite literally closed a book on the history of literary culture. Graham Pollard approaches the history of the text as a problem in the history of regulation. The Author is a censorship-effect, and also a book-effect, a press-effect, a market-effect. The history of literary culture as an appendix to Henry C. Lea's History of the Inquisition or to Eli Heckscher's Mercantilism is addressed. The arguments in Donaldson v. Becket indicate that rival reifications of the cultural status of intellectual property may coexist. Furthermore, the chapters in this book show the historical investigations of the institutions that interpellate English authorship.

Keywords:   bibliographical politics, Copyright Act of 1911, Henry C. Lea, History of the Inquisition, Eli Heckscher, Mercantilism, Donaldson v. Becket, English authorship

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