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I was interested in an aspect of this typophile discussion in which John Hudson wrote that “The invention of moveable type in China is an interesting historical fact, but of no direct significance for westerners.” Although I have been hanging around Typophile long enough to develop considerable respect for Mr. Hudson’s erudition and judgment, I was not so sure that this statement was altogether true, and I decided to research the matter.
I’ve posted the results of my research in an article I’m calling (at least for now) Gutenberg and the Koreans. While it’s true that there is no “smoking gun” directly linking the considerable Asian experience in cast-type printing to the print explosion of the European Renaissance, there is enough circumstantial evidence of probable influence that I think the burden of proof may be on those who claim that the two were unconnected.
In a way this post is a little premature. I’m still fiddling with the essay a bit (and I confess that permissions for some of the images are pending). I’m intending the piece for print publication and I’d love to get some feedback from typophiles -- many of whom I’m sure know more than I do about many aspects of this topic. (Be warned the piece is a bit long at around 6000 words.)