An overview of the implications of orality and literacy

Historians, psychologists, anthropologists, and scholars in many other disciplines have worked hand in hand with artists, demonstrating repeatedly that this or that custom, practice, belief, or experience is bound to a particular time and place, to a particular class or notion—is local rather than universal. Such demonstrations—not equally impartial, nor proven to the satisfaction of all—continue to be offered unpredictably from every direction, so that feminist scholars, for example, have permanently altered the contours of literary history and of every other discipline they have touched.

An overview of the implications of orality and literacy

Feb 14, Murtaza rated it it was amazing For those of us raised into the literate modern world, it is easy to forget the written word is a technology invented by human beings.

Like all technologies, literacy has the potential to deepen our appreciation of the world and ourselves.

Orality - Wikipedia

But it also has the potential to alienate us from lived reality. While homo sapiens started speaking language as long as 60, years ago, it only began writing down its speech within the past three or four thousand years of its history. In that time our brain For those of us raised into the literate modern world, it is easy to forget the written word is a technology invented by human beings.

In that time our brains have been completely rewired from the world of our oral and semi-oral ancestors, making it harder and harder for us to grasp how they saw the world or what important messages they had encoded for us in our received cultures.

The implications of this shift have been monumental for every area of human life, but particularly our psychological and spiritual selves. This book is a thorough unpacking of the technology of the written word and the monumental importance of the shift from oral to written culture.

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Reading the epic poems of Homer today, many of us, if we are honest, would likely find much of it curious, and even quaint. They almost seem to suggest something lacking about Homer, as judged by our own standards. But the truth is that Homer was a genius.

The reason that we fail to understand the importance of epic lyric poetry, and cannot produce such poems today, is that these works were part of an oral tradition. They were meant to be spoken and heard, not read.

The stitched-together and formulaic nature of much Greek epic poetry, and much oral composition around the world, was designed to accomplish the goals of a speech, and was created by minds rooted in orality, not the written word.

An overview of the implications of orality and literacy

The poem was designed for ease of remembrance and recall for both speaker and listener, in a format where writing and recording were not utilized for such a purpose.

What appears to us as cliche was in fact a reflection of the genius of these oral works. Oral cultures were not less developed than ours according to some teleological or psychological scale, but rather simply different - capable of some incredible things that we are not, and incapable of others.

Before writing, the word was conceived very much as an action in itself.

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As Ong notes, the spoken word is an ephemeral phenomenon. The meaning of the spoken word was also highly related to context and situation, not defined with the self-sufficient precision that dictionaries and writing now make possible. Each time a word was spoken it was as though the world was being created anew.

Every act of speech was an event in time that was unique and unrepeatable.

An overview of the implications of orality and literacy

The implications of this for our experience of the world, and, most crucially, for our spiritual lives has been immeasurable. Whereas sight situates the observer outside what he views, at a distance, sound pours into the hearer.

Vision comes to a human being from one direction at a time: When I hear, however, I gather sound simultaneously from every direction at once: I am at the center of my auditory world, which envelops me, establishing me at a kind of core of sensation and existence. By contrast with vision, the dissecting sense, sound is thus a unifying sense.Modern converged mass media, particularly television and the World Wide Web, may be fostering a new orality in opposition to traditional alphabetical literacy.

Marlen Elliot Harrison, Ph.D. – Professor of Composition, Literature, Language, & Education

Scholars of orality and literacy maintain that oral cultures feature reduced levels of critical assessment of media messages. An analysis of. In the last thirty years there have been significant developments in the application of orality studies to the Gospels.

The objective of this article is to provide an overview of the field through a survey of its leading proponents, including Werner Kelber, Joanna Dewey, Paul Achtemeier, Peter Botha. Overview 'Professor Ong has managed to synthesize an incredible amount of thought and at the same time has carried some of his earlier ideas still further.

Orality and Literacy should become a classic. He notes the benefits of literacy, but his foundational point is that writing (and subsequent print culture) came from something – from a rich and well-developed culture of speech Speech (“orality”) is more basic to humanity than literacy.

Speech is the first communication; literacy might follow. In Ong's most widely known work, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (), This transition has implications for structuralism, deconstruction, Walter J. Ong Manuscript Collection at Saint Louis University;.

As a point of departure for his overview of the modern discovery of orality and its implications for literacy, Havelock draws the reader’s attention to a remarkable example of convergence: In.

Communication Theory/Orality and Literacy - Wikibooks, open books for an open world