Thursday, March 01, 2018


Artificial Subdivisions

Lucien Febvre and Henri-Jean Martin, The Coming of the Book: The Impact of Printing, 1450-1800, tr. David Gerard (London: NLB, 1976), p. 11:
We will not use those quite puerile subdivisions based on the artificial distinctions of dates, the kind of thing that is fed to schoolchildren to keep them happy: 'On what day, month, and year did the Middle Ages end?' (We would translate such a question thus: 'What date, in the mind of its inventors, marked the birth and the death of that intellectual abstraction, with no claim to existence other than pedagogic convenience?')

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