Jene Fabrik der Bücher. Über Lesesucht, ein Phantasma des medialen Ursprungs und die Kinder- und Jugendliteratur der Aufklärung

Henning Wrage


This text discusses the debate over reading addiction in the second half of the 18th century from the perspective of media history. It first points out how this discourse was shaped by the criticism of books and fiction within the philosophy and pedagogy of the enlightenment and examines essential aspects of the debate itself. In a second step it describes the late 18th century as a threshold of media history development that —not least in its explicit use of the theme of reading addiction—produced foundational effects that are functionally equivalent to similar other paradigm shifts in media history.

The debate over reading addiction is thus shown to be the first important discourse on the damaging effects of media on juveniles in modern times; the arguments offered here are not only comparable to later debates on media—they set the stage. A final comparison of this debate with other discourses on media foundation shows that all of them—whether in the 18th or in the early 21st century—follow a model that Schramm and Roberts have called the “bullet theory” of media effects. (HW; in German)

This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.

Purchase access

You may purchase access to this article. This will require you to create an account if you don't already have one.