Print varies from place to place and has different meanings for certain cultures. Print books are set of someone’s ideas, but leaves a door open for someone else to build off those ideas. Readers should be cautious to not take everything that they read as truth. Readers should know that books go through various channels, and translations the messages sometimes get lost. So it is important to know for whom, by whom, under what assumptions, and to what effects.
Printed texts are not always trustworthy. Using print to create knowledge or sustain knowledge was a slippery slope. Printed texts were not always trustworthy because of all the channels an author had to go through. The author had to first finish the book, then the author had to take their product to a publisher. Under the publisher discretion, anything could happen. According to Adrian Johns, “Any printed book is, as a matter of fact, both the product of one complex set of social and technological processes and also the starting point for another” (pg.3). Galileo ideas were rebutted by Orazio Grassi, who was outraged by his ideas. Which shows that truth is in the eye of the beholder. Print is someone’s ideas, and can be built upon even more by their supporters. Also, if someone disagrees he or she can provide print and give ways to be built upon.
In order to properly read a book one must know for whom, by whom, under what assumptions, and to what effects. Writings affect everyone differently, which makes it so intimate. However, writings can be misinterpreted without the appropriate knowledge of whom it was intended for. People like to get their hands on the original because overtime literature gets edited. When literature is translated, it loses some of it effects. Take for instance William Shakespeare plays. They are edited and modernized so that certain cultures can enjoy them. According to Adrian Johns, “It recognizes chat texts, printed or not, cannot compel readers co react in specific ways, but that they must be interpreted in cultural spaces the character of which helps co decide what counts as a proper reading. In short, this recasting has the advantage of positioning the cultural and the social where they should be: at the center of our attention.” (pg. 20). What I got out of this saying, is that when we read the culture and social should be at the center of our attention.
Writers cannot control readers. Whether a writer is writing for persuasion, entertainment, or information he or she cannot tell the reader what to think. Every reading is going to be interpreted differently from person to person. Galileo was a fine mathematician, a profound philosopher, a superb rhetorician, a devious antagonist, and an agile courtier; but even he could not control such readers (pg. 28). Galileo was well accomplished man and he could not even change the minds of certain readers. Some readers look for the fault in your arguments and some readers just take it as truth. As a writer, all you can do is provide the message, but you cannot control the reader’s interpretation of the reading. Even if you give an interpretation of what you meant the reader will walk away with something different.
One concept that I did not understand is how books were key strategies to any patronage opportunity. Was print that powerful of a tool that they could create opportunities for being backed by higher powers. If so, what would happen if your concept changed or if they disagreed with what you say? Would the higher powers try to exile you or bring death upon you?
Another concept that I did not understand if Galileo was so well accomplished and held such honorable status why did his words not hold more weight. He feel victim of someone’s interpretation of his readings. Why would they not go to the source and find out what he actually meant?
Question: If books are intended with a certain reader in mind, how does one know if they are they are the intended audience.