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Book History Colloquium at Columbia
Columbia University
Faculty House, Seminar Room, 2nd floor
New York
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Robert Darnton (Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the Harvard) speaks about "Bloggin, Now and Then (250 years ago)". Long before the Internet, Europeans exchanged information in ways that anticipated blogging. The key element of their information system was the “anecdote,” a term that meant nearly the opposite then from what it means today. Anecdotes, dispensed by “libellistes” and “paragraph men,” became a staple in the daily diet of news consumed by readers in eighteenth-century France and England. They were also pilfered, reworked, and served up in books. By tracking anecdotes through texts, we can reassess a rich strain of history and literature.