The Tutelage of the Scribes

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:
The Tutelage of the Scribes

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter investigates the tensions and frustrations inherent in the scribes' tutelage, and how they lent dynamism to Württemberg's culture of formality. It was not the scribe's literacy but his involvement in the formalities of daily life that endowed him with enormous practical influence. The scribe maintained a passive watch on local affairs from his perch in the Schreiberei and actively attended a host of official occasions out in the community. Furthermore, cases that show the manipulation of authorities are explained. The crisis besetting the scribes' younger generation had its origins in dynamics of state expansion familiar from the Schorndorf case. At the end of the eighteenth century, a few activist scribes living through the crisis of their Stand would parlay crisis into opportunity and redeem the historic virtues of the craft against its detractors.

Keywords: scribes; tutelage; Württemberg; dynamism; literacy; formality; Schreiberei

Chapter.  12562 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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