Sunday Book-Thought 137

In the case of deluxe printings, the irony is that, for obvious technical reasons, notice of these printings (‘proof of printing’) is printed in all copies, including the ordinary ones that are not in any way affected by it. But it does not follow that readers of these ordinary copies have no interest in the notice, for to them it is a piece of bibliographical information like any other, and perhaps the occasion for regret – and the thought of their regret can only increase the pleasure of the privileged few. For it is not enough to be happy; one must also be envied.
Gérard Genette, Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation, trans. by Jane E. Lewin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 36.

Sunday Book-Thought 96

Greg’s vision of a bibliography not limited to books but ‘to the transmission of all symbolic representation of speech or other ordered sound or even logical thought’ has already taken on substance and will in time demand an account of its history. Finding the terms in which it’s to be written is an intellectual challenge of the highest order, demanding energy, foresight, and (most important of all) an imaginative hospitality to those new forms of texts. Only if the Society meets such a challenge will its role continue to be central to our understanding of the making and communication of meaning as the defining characteristic of human societies.
– D. F. McKenzie, ‘”What’s Past Is Prologue”: The Bibliographical Society and History of the Book’, in Making Meaning: ‘Printers of the Mind’ and Other Essays, ed by Peter D. McDonald and Michael F. Suarez, S.J. (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2002) pp. 259-275 (p. 275).