Furthermore, the presence surrounding a text of para-textual messages, of which I propose a first summary inventory which is probably in no way exhaustive, is not uniformly constant and systematic: there exist books without a preface, authors who refuse interviews, and periods have been known where the inscription of an author’s name, and even of a title, was not obligatory. The ways and means of the paratext are modified unceasingly according to periods, cultures, genres, authors, works, editions fo the same work, with sometimes considerable differences of pressure: it is a recognized fact that a “media dominated” period multiplies around texts a type of discourse unknown in the classical world, and a fortiori in antiquity and the Middle Ages, periods in which texts frequently circulated in their almost raw state, in the form of manuscripts lacking any formula of presentation.

(Genette 1991, 262-263)

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