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 Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer

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Caro
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PostSubject: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Sun 13 Aug 2017, 03:02

I have just read Gutenberg's Apprentice by Alix Christie.  It is her first novel and perhaps that showed. 
It was chockful of detail about the printing process and the politics of Germany in the 15th century.  But I had not heard of Peter Schoeffer before though the author at the end detailed his life and achievements which seemed to include many printing firsts.  It was good to have the writer show how important religious belief was at that time and integral to the characters' lives. The possibility of a machine taking over the monks' roles to make a printed Bible was anathema to some people who saw it as usurping God's role, and Schoeffer is shown as having doubts at the beginning - his step-father, Johann Fust, encourages (forces) him to change from hand-printing to working on the print machine - but eventually he accepts that it is just as awe-inspiring to do this work in a different way. 

I found the various political and religious factions hard to come to terms with - there was the king at the top, and the over-reaching archbishop who had his hands in every pie, the Elders, the guilds, the workers who weren’t part of the guilds, and then women, who didn’t seem to fit into any of these.    The machinations of these factions were a bit confusing and Gutenberg was shown as a very hard task-master and not above his own disturbing intrigues (though I never quite understood what he was up to and how it all fitted together). 

And speaking of ‘fitted’ there were a couple of Americanisms that jarred.  Mostly the way American English uses ‘fit’ where I want to use ‘fitted’.  And I was unsure about the use of ‘mauve’ at that time.  I know the colour was first made in the 19th century, but was the word used before that?  Nordmann would know but he is not around.  And it’s not in my Oxford Wold Histories.  Christie doesn’t try to use 15th century words unless there are no modern equivalents, and I prefer that to the mishmash that can come if authors try for ‘authenticity’.

Do any of you know this period and the town of Mainz?  or more about Gutenberg, who doesn’t sound a particularly attractive man.
180 Bibles were printed and I think there are still a few around now.
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Sun 13 Aug 2017, 13:26

Caro,

coincidentally I red the book during my hours of kidney dialysis some months ago.
Interesting book and I loved it. I don't understand the critics, who say: no plot, bit boring. The plot is the difficult way to the printing press and in my eyes are the personages well pictured including their character and what they think.
These critics had then to read once:
Blood and Roses from Helen Castor
https://reshistorica.historyboard.net/t1126-the-paston-family
The pros and contras:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20483102-gutenberg-s-apprentice

https://www.amazon.ca/Gutenbergs-Apprentice-Novel-Alix-Christie/dp/0062336010
https://alixchristie.jimdo.com/biography/




Kind regards from your friend Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Sun 13 Aug 2017, 13:42

And Caro,

for fear of losing my text, in addendum.

About mauve
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/mauve
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/mallow
And even a British engineer...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauve


And Caro about Americanisms:
Alix seems to be a female American... Wink

And you seems to have a sense of detail, equaling mine... Wink

Kind regards from Paul.
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Hatshepsut
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Wed 18 Oct 2017, 21:15

About Mainz, we went there a couple of years ago and visted the Gutenberg Museum. There are some original Bibles there, in a specially darkened and secure room (like a bank vault).

Fast forward to this summer holiday, and we were in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia USA. There is, amongst many other interesting trades and professions, a printers workshop that you can visit. When asked who invented the printing press, all Americans think that it was Benjamin Franklin.
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Wed 18 Oct 2017, 22:52

Binky wrote:
About Mainz, we went there a couple of years ago and visted the Gutenberg Museum. There are some original Bibles there, in a specially darkened and secure room (like a bank vault).

Fast forward to this summer holiday, and we were in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia USA. There is, amongst many other interesting trades and professions, a printers workshop that you can visit. When asked who invented the printing press, all Americans think that it was Benjamin Franklin.

Binky,

I was in Colonial Williamsburg with my father, one of the highlights of that American trip. Those Americans when they do something they do it well...really exiting...
And those re-enactors in their heavy clothes in the heat of the summer sun...we admired them...one speaks many times of the so called German discipline...but there...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Tue 07 Nov 2017, 21:51

Caro, Meles meles, Lady in Retirement

I saw today a documentary about Gutenberg. But sadly it is in French. You can use subtitles in French, reading is easier to understand than spoken language...and you can always return if you don't understand a sentence...perhaps for Meles meles and for Lady to learn some French...
And it is all as we read in the book, Caro. Chapeau for the author, who sticks that close to the real history...



And if someone understands better German I think I can find it in German too.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Wed 08 Nov 2017, 13:40

Paul, thanks for the film. How do we get the subtitles though?
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Wed 08 Nov 2017, 17:46

Hattie ... once it's playing, click on the star shape just to the left of where it says YouTube at the bottom right ... when you put your mouse-pointer over it it'll say 'paramètres' and show you some options ... if you click on 'sous-titres' ie 'sub-titles' .... there's only one option available for this film: 'français génerérés automatiquement' ... select that ... et voila!
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Wed 08 Nov 2017, 18:03

Merci, mon ami!!
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Wed 08 Nov 2017, 18:53

Je vous en prie.
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Wed 08 Nov 2017, 19:19

No kidding, I need all the help I can get. My school French is 44 years out of date, but I love to say a few words to people when on holiday. It makes all the difference I have found.
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Wed 08 Nov 2017, 20:07

@Hatshepsut wrote:
No kidding, I need all the help I can get. My school French is 44 years out of date, but I love to say a few words to people when on holiday. It makes all the difference I have found.


That's right Hattie. I mean about the holidays. I was once in Russia, in fact in the former SSSR (as guests of the SSSR). The holidays were cheaper in that case and we were all treated as VIPs, even a Belgian Communist senator with us and his friends. The rest were all fathers and sons, and all opportunists Wink . And there with my few words and sentences Russian that I had learned in evening school I was pampered by the common hotel personnel...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Wed 08 Nov 2017, 21:11

Caro,

I have now seen the whole film today. And it is conform to our book, but at the end there is something new that I don't recall from the book.



In fact after the divorce of Gutenberg and Fust, Peter Schoeffer is gone with Fust. And then there were two printing houses in Mainz. But Gutenberg was the real entrepreneur, focussing on mass production as indulgence papers...one paper to set in letters and then let the press print thousands of copies...one had only to sign the indulgence paper and give the money...
While Fust set on the better work, but too expensive to be bought...as that one bible sample...excellent but never bought...to see at 1h15 in the film. And after 1507 it exploded all over Europe...and then the commentators become "lyric" Wink  At 1h18...
Without the art of printing the Renaissance couldn't have expanded that quickly...and they had to look at the original texts to print it as original as possible and because it was in vernacular more people could read it and criticize the society...and if there was a leading critic as Luther, the critic could be spread thousandfold on paper...pamphlets?...on a French history messageboard we discussed already the link between Renaissance and Protestantism...the vast diffusion of the knowledge by the press...the internet avant la lettre...

I can borrow again the book from the local library Caro to check it all, but having now already not enough time to...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Gutenberg and Peter Schoeffer   Mon 20 Nov 2017, 19:54

Caro,

perhaps I will have to be concentrated on my thread "No Renaissance without Islam?" on Historum for a few days as it seems to start exploding overthere. It is pure coincidence (pure coincidence in French) that now the nordmann and Temperance seem to be absent for a while, what I deeply deplore. I have still three messages from him to answer, but for the moment lack of time...
I hope that the old fellows will keep the board (or have I have to say the boat?) going in the meantime.
Sparked by a message of nordmann I did some additional research about the printing before Gutenberg, even at the period when Gutenberg started.
https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/wdct/hd_wdct.htm
https://io9.gizmodo.com/5910249/5910249/5910249/printed-books-existed-nearly-600-years-before-gutenbergs-bible
http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab78
http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/samples/cam033/2002023373.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Block_book
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodblock_printing
https://www.artelino.com/articles/woodblock-prints.asp

From the wiki of "block book"
"Block books are short books, 50 or fewer leaves, that were printed in the second half of the 15th century from wood blocks in which the text and illustrations were both cut. Some block books, called chiro-xylographic (from the Greek cheir (χειρ) "hand") contain only the printed illustrations, with the text added by hand. Some books also were made with the illustrations printed from woodcuts, but the text printed from movable metal type, but are nevertheless considered block books because of their method of printing (only on one side of a sheet of paper) and their close relation to "pure" block books. Block books are categorized as incunabula, or books printed before 1501. The only example of the blockbook form that contains no images is the school textbook Latin grammar of Donatus."

Kind regards, Paul.
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