Ephemeral city explores the rapid rise of cheap print and how it permeated Venetian urban culture in the Renaissance. It offers the first view of one of the city's most productive and creative industries from the bottom up and a new and unexpected vision of Renaissance culture, characterised by the fluid mobility and dynamic intermingling of texts, ideas, goods and people.
Closely intertwined with oral culture and often peddled in the streets, cheap printed texts helped to open up new audiences for literature, providing information and entertainment to a diverse public and transforming the city into an epicentre of vernacular literature and performance. Examining the ways in which the production and dissemination of cheap print infiltrated Venice's urban environment and changed the course of its cultural life, the book also traces how local authorities responded by escalating censorship and control over the course of the sixteenth century.
Ephemeral city will be of interest to scholars and students of early modern European and Italian Renaissance culture and society and the history of the book and communication. -- .
Rosa Salzberg is Assistant Professor of Italian Renaissance History at the University of Warwick -- .
Introduction 1. 'Every piece of rubbish given to the press': defining and debating cheap print 2. 'Through the piazzas and on the Rialto Bridge': the landscape of the ephemeral city 3. 'A trade open to any mortal man': mobility and versatility in the Venetian printing industry 4. 'In the mouths of charlatans': pamphlets from print shop to piazza 5. 'Extreme disorder and confusion': policing the ephemeral city Conclusion Bibliography Index -- .