Paper is older than the printing press, and even in its unprintedstate it was the great network medium behind the emergence ofmodern civilization. In the shape of bills, banknotes andaccounting books it was indispensible to the economy. As forms andfiles it was essential to bureaucracy. As letters it became thesetting for the invention of the modern soul, and as newsprint itbecame a stage for politics. In this brilliant new book LotharMüller describes how paper made its way from China through theArab world to Europe, where it permeated everyday life in a varietyof formats from the thirteenth century onwards, and how the papertechnology revolution of the nineteenth century paved the way forthe creation of the modern daily press. His key witnesses are theworks of Rabelais and Grimmelshausen, Balzac and Herman Melville,James Joyce and Paul Valéry. Müller writes not only aboutbooks, however: he also writes about pamphlets, playing cards,papercutting and legal pads. We think we understand the ?Gutenbergera?, but we can understand it better when we explore the worldthat underpinned it: the paper age. Today, with the proliferationof digital devices, paper may seem to be a residue of the past, butMüller shows that the humble technology of paper is in manyways the most fundamental medium of the modern world.
Keywords: Media Studies, Paper, global, history, cultural