Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

This classic work explores the vast differences between oral and literate cultures offering a very clear account of the intellectual, literary and social effects of writing, print and electronic technology.

In the course of his study, Walter J. Ong offers fascinating insights into oral genres across the globe and through time, and examines the rise of abstract philosophical and scientific thinking. He considers the impact of orality-literacy studies not only on literary criticism and theory but on our very understanding of what it is to be a human being, conscious of self and other.

Pull Quotes: 


"Without writing, the literate mind would not and could not think as it does, not only when engaged in writing but normally even when it is composing its thoughts in oral form. More than any other single invention writing has transformed human consciousness."

"The shift from orality to literacy and on to electronic processing engages social, economic, political, religious and other structures. These, however, are only indirect concerns of the present book, which treats rather the differences in `mentality` between oral and writing cultures."

"Learning to read and write disables the oral poet, Lord found: it introduces into his mind the concept of a text as controlling the narratve and thereby interferes with the oral composing processes, which have nothing to do with texts but are `the remembrance of songs sung."

"Print encourages a sense of closure, a sense that what is found in a text hac been fialized, has reached a state of completion." 

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Alisa Nikolaevn...