Imagination, Books and Community in Medieval Europe
edited by Gregory Kratzmann
Macmillan Art Publishing and the State Library of Victoria, $99 hb, 256 pp, 9781921394331
In cinema the trope is familiar: an old book opens and gorgeous drawings and illuminations gradually come to life, replaced by real or animated characters. Or the book magically opens at the right page for the seeker to find just the information he or she needs, without the need to comb through hundreds of pages of text. It is easy to see how the idea of a book opening up a world became so popular – and not just in film. Books have become persistent symbols of the imagination: the idea of entering another time or place, simply by turning a page, is irresistible.