Page Turning

As Appendix B to More Letters of Oscar Wilde edited by Rupert Hart-Davis there is “A Reminiscence of 1898 by Wilfred Hugh Chesson” in which Wilde comments on the impact of page size on the experience of reading.

“I do not approve of the shape of the Pseudonym Library [published by Unwin],” he said. “It is too narrow. It is unjust to a good style to print it on a tiny page. Imagine turning Pater over rapidly. It is violence.” [The editor kindly supplies the dimensions: “Its pages measured 6 3/4 inches down and 3 1/2 inches across.”]

At first blush this seems to be about speed. Upon further consideration it is about page-centricism.

And so for day 232

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