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Dennis Duncan. Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age.

he history of the index, it turns out in Duncan’s equally excellent and entertaining historical survey, has much to tell us about the history of how texts were used between the thirteenth century and the present day, and how producers of books have aimed to answer the demands of those developing uses within the confines of the available technologies of their times.

Simone Murray, The Digital Literary Sphere

Simone Murray’s The Digital Literary Sphere has a set of ambitious and interrelated objectives. The book proposes to understand digital writing as the product of an industry that is also becoming digital, touching on the ways that the digital sphere creates its own conceptualizations of authorship, marketing, book reviewing and reading. The Digital Literary Sphere additionally features a rationale for thinking of “the digital’s significance for literary culture” (1) via some of the methods and concerns of book history, media studies, and a specific aspect of electronic literary studies. Along the way, Murray considers, and for the most part discards, other ways of understanding digital writing, including literary studies more generally, the Digital Humanities, cultural studies, approaches making use of Bourdieu’s conception of the literary field, and literary sociology. ☛ ☞