In The Nature of the Book, Johns writes about the importance print culture and how this media is created. He wishes to explore the natural knowledge that comes from print. He does this by looking at scientists like Brahe and Galileo and how print brought their findings to life.
- On page 2, Johns says, “The Nature of the Book claims that the very identity of print itself has to be ” The point he is trying to make here is essentially that Rome wasn’t built in a day. The knowledge that print media brings took a lot of time to be built up. The “print culture” had to be shaped by intensive labor and research. One of the main aspects Johns is portraying in Chapter One/Introduction is the making of this print culture.
- The second aspect of this reading that I feel is important is that the knowledge found in print culture is “natural.” He’s arguing, beginning on page 6, that print has been used throughout the years to explore natural discoveries. He focuses on those made in science, particularly those made by Tycho Brahe. He also says that discoveries made in the history of print culture were not limited to science, though it was a main part.
- The third aspect I want to point out is Johns’ argument that “A new historical understanding of print is needed (28).” In order to appreciate where print is today, we need to look at the works of others that brought print culture to where it is today.
- For me, this was a particularly difficult read. One thing I wish was discussed in more detail is the other places in history where print culture was formed. Johns stated that there was more to print history than science, yet science was the only one discussed. I can see how the scientific discoveries made by men such as Brahe and Galileo shaped the use of print media. However, I would like to know more about other aspects of the history of the media.
- Another aspect I do not understand is why Johns would bring up the question if we should trust print media on page 30. I think that kind of undoes everything he was discussing about the historical importance of print media. How can he call something historic and significant if he himself cannot trust its origin? And how can we as readers trust what he is saying in his print?
What I think we should discuss in class is the relationship between Eisenstein and Johns. Johns discusses Eisenstein several times throughout his writing. I think it would be important to discuss how their separate ideas work together to create print culture.