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By Lothar Müller

Paper is older than the printing press, or even in its unprinted kingdom it used to be the nice community medium at the back of the emergence of recent civilization. within the form of debts, banknotes and accounting books it used to be indispensible to the economic system. As types and records it used to be necessary to forms. As letters it turned the environment for the discovery of the trendy soul, and as newsprint it grew to become a level for politics. during this significant new publication Lothar Müller describes how paper made its method from China during the Arab international to Europe, the place it permeated lifestyle in a number of codecs from the 13th century onwards, and the way the paper know-how revolution of the 19th century prepared the ground for the production of the fashionable day-by-day press. His key witnesses are the works of Rabelais and Grimmelshausen, Balzac and Herman Melville, James Joyce and Paul Valéry. Müller writes not just approximately books, despite the fact that: he additionally writes approximately pamphlets, cards, papercutting and criminal pads. we predict we comprehend the ?Gutenberg era?, yet we will comprehend it greater after we discover the area that underpinned it: the paper age. this day, with the proliferation of electronic units, paper could appear to be a residue of the prior, yet Müller indicates that the standard expertise of paper is in lots of methods the main primary medium of the fashionable international.

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The use of stiff metal screens was the most important European innovation at the heart of the papermaking process. Paper mills therefore benefited from the metalworking industry both indirectly, through stamp mill technology, and directly, through the use of wire-pulling techniques to make the dip molds. While rag stampers intensified the pulping process, both the degree of fiber mingling and the speed of the dipping procedure increased during the sheet formation phase. The vatman would vertically tilt the mold with the waterlogged sheet to drain, and before the coucher transferred or “couched” the sheet to a felt blanket to dry, he would pass the vatman another empty mold.

Breitkopf’s account of the fusion of paper and woodcuts in the production of playing cards is a prototypical example of the circulation of a medium through mass reproduction which antedates printing. 53 This does not detract from Breitkopf’s core insight, however. Card games had made their way from Egypt to Italy, where they experienced their first major European success. Clear evidence of this The Rustling Grows Louder 31 migration can be found in both the figures depicted on European cards and the history of paper terminology.

In its riposte, parchment counters paper’s pomposity by sneering that paper actually comes from rags, and it goes so far as to accuse its rival of causing “most of the quarrels and squabbles” in the world: “â•›‘What are playing cards besides paper which the Latin scholars call charta? 3. The Rise of the File: Paper Kings, Chanceries, and Secretaries When the titular hero of Goethe’s tragedy Egmont returns home in the play’s second act, he is met by his impatient secretary who does not want to miss an evening rendezvous: “Still he comes not!

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