The Devil's Details: A History of Footnotes

Front Cover
Touchstone, Mar 11, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 160 pages
1 Review
Footnotes have not had it easy. Their dominance of eighteenth- and nineteenth- century literature and scholarship was both hard-won -- following many years of struggle -- and doomed, as it led to belittlement in the twentieth century. In The Devil's Details, Chuck Zerby playfully explores footnotes' long and illustrious history and makes a clarion call to save them from the new world of the Internet and hypertext.
In a story that boasts a marvelous plot and a rogues' gallery of players, Zerby examines traditional footnotes and their less-buttoned-down incarnations, as when used by pornographers. Yes, The Devil's Details is full of surprises: Zerby hunts down the first bona fide fully functioning footnote; unearths a multivolume history of Northumberland County, England, that uses one volume for a single footnote; and uncovers a murder plot. He even explains why footnotes are like blind dates.
Carefully researched and highly opinionated, The Devil's Details affirms that delight in reading can come from unexpected places.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

The Devil's Details: A History of Footnotes

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Beyond their basic function as a source of information and reference at the bottom of a page, can footnotes be a source of excitement, delight, and surprise? Maybe not in the eyes of most ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

Witty and hysterical. An excellent treatment. Read full review

Contents

The Endangered Footnote
1
The Early Years
17
3 A Poetic Interlude
45
Copyright

4 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Chuck Zerby developed The Devil's Details from an article he published in The New York Times. A former columnist for the Amherst Record, Zerby lives in Hadley, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic information