James W. Watts: 0000-0002-4872-4986
iconic books, miniatures, size, relics, digital texts, secrecy
Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Religion
Rhetoric about books usually emphasizes their semantic contents. Larger-than-average and smaller-than-average books, however, draw our attention to their material form. Size therefore provides one means for ritualizing the iconic dimension of books. While enlarging books quickly exceeds any practical purpose for the sake of public display, shrinking books tends to carry with it pragmatic rhetoric about portability, low expense, and mass production. Yet the popularity of textual amulets across history and cultures suggests that private ritualization drives much of the market for miniatures.
James W. Watts, "Ritualizing the Size of Books," Postscripts 9.2-3 (2019 ), 104-13; reprinted in Miniature Books: The Format and Function of Tiny Religious Texts, (ed. Kristina Myrvold and Dorina Miller Parmenter; Sheffield: Equinox, 2019), 12-21.
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