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What Do Our Oldest Books Say About Us? | The New Republic

Our concept of authenticity is derived from the presence of the original, he writes, such as proof that a given manuscript of the Middle Ages stems from an archive of the fifteenth century. Without such proof, an original becomes a forgery. But when we reproduce a work (via a photocopy or an ebook, say), we create not a forgery but something new. We can put the copy of the original into situations which would be out of reach for the original itselfthe manuscript can leave the cathedral and enter our own homes.