Chapter

Introduction

Ian F. Mcneely

in The Emancipation of Writing

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780520233300
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928527 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520233300.003.0001
Introduction

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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This book argues that the German state's reliance upon writing could just as easily undercut its domination and disperse its influence. It also situates the production and power of official texts amidst the strategies and assumptions governing the use of writing in German society as a whole. The book treats citizenship as a practice, unearthing numerous instances when individuals and groups manipulated official texts to assert power within and against the state. It then reviews the emancipation of writing from the tutelage of powerful, manipulative scribes who acted as political operators in the duchy's towns and villages. The book's narrative falls naturally into two halves, corresponding to the evolution of civil society within, and then in opposition to, the state. Within each half, the sequence of chapters progressively leavens the argument with the concepts. Lastly, an overview of the chapters included in the book is presented.

Keywords: German state; official texts; citizenship; civil society; writing; power; emancipation

Chapter.  4317 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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