Akteure und Vernetzungen im Laboratorium 'Offizin' : Das Beispiel des Druckerverlegers Foillet in Mömpelgard/Montbéliard
modifié le: 2011-06-06
 

ABSTRACT

 

The Laboratory ‘Printing Press’ in the German Southwest

In the prospective research project, we will primarily analyze the production of four printers respectively families of printers who were prominent in the German Southwest during the second half of the 16th century: Jakob Foillet from Mompelgard/Montbeliard, the Rihel and Muller families from Strasbourg and Nikolaus Brylinger and heirs from Basel. As stated in our project outline, we believe that the printing press represents a relatively clearly defined constellation of business, scholarship and cultural impact where examining the potentiality of vernacular language usage played a substantial role.

In order to be able to draw qualitative conclusions, we need to start off with mostly quantitative and descriptive analysis of the production of the printers selected. Since available catalogues such as ‘VD16’ are often incomplete and include errors and/or inexact information, the first inevitable task is to create reliable lists of the titles printed by those printers.
As a second step it is necessary to describe the printer’s production with regard to the following key issues:
Prosopography
→ printer—publisher/s
→ printer—authors
→ printer—translators
→ printer—editors
→ printer—other printers
Production analysis
→ unique titles
→ first editions
→ genre analysis: dominant literary genres or fields of (scientific, technical, theological
etc.) knowledge
→ confessional aspects
Language analysis
→ languages printed
→ ratio of languages printed
→ language ‘overlap’: titles printed by the same printer in German plus various
vernacular languages and/or Latin

Subsequently the laboratory ‘printing press’ can be analyzed with regard to how it contributed to the emergence of vernacular languages as languages of science and literature. The example of Jakob Foillet briefly illustrates some of the methodological issues connected with our project. Between 1586 and 1619 Foillet printed up to 200 books mainly in three languages, Latin, French and German, all of which are represented to the same extent. He printed for publishers like Nikolaus Basse, Sigmund Feyerabend and  Lazarus Zetzner, but also edited books on his own. Judging from the details in the imprints, Foillet maintained close connections to Frankfurt, Strasbourg and Basel.
The first step – assembling the printing program – is nearly completed. Its design proves to be as follows: For the most part it consists of Protestant sermon literature as well as natural scientific treatises and texts associated with the court of Wurttemberg. Fiction does not seem to be the main focus of this press, apart from several volumes of the Amadis series and multiple issues of the Juliana pastoral. Notably the analysis of books published in more than one language is promising for our project. There is particularly one author who attracts our attention: Johann/Jean Bauhin, a botanist and physician, who at least temporarily lived in Mompelgard and was therefore presumably in direct contact with Foillet. Bauhin’s works give an insight into the development of technical terminology, in this case the vocabulary of botany and medicine. Foillet published 11 titles by Bauhin in a total of 20 issues, 5 of them in two languages. One of his works, ‘Memorabilis Historia Luporum’, was even published in three languages, Latin, French and German. Examples like this lead directly into the center of the process of shaping the conditions for vernacular communication towards the end of the 16th century.

Sylvia Brockstieger (Tübingen), Jan Hon, Henrike Schaffert (LMU, München)

Lille, 30 avril 2010

 

 

 
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