Orality and Literacy by Walter J. Ong

By Walter J. Ong

This vintage paintings explores the significant ameliorations among oral and literate cultures delivering a really transparent account of the highbrow, literary and social results of writing, print and digital expertise. during his examine, Walter J. Ong deals interesting insights into oral genres around the globe and during time, and examines the increase of summary philosophical and clinical considering. He considers the effect of orality-literacy experiences not just on literary feedback and idea yet on our very realizing of what it really is to be a man or woman, aware of self and other.This is a booklet no reader, author or speaker may be with out.

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254–305). Indeed, the residual orality of a given chirographic culture can be calculated to a degree from the mnemonic load it leaves on the mind, that is, from the amount of memorization the culture’s educational procedures require (Goody 1968a, pp. 13–14). Of course oral cultures do not lack originality of their own kind. Narrative originality lodges not in making up new stories but in managing a particular interaction with this audience at this time— at every telling the story has to be introduced uniquely into a unique situation, for in oral cultures an audience must be brought to respond, often vigorously.

What obtains for epithets obtains for other formulas. Once a formulary expression has crystallized, it had best be kept intact. Without a writing system, breaking up thought—that is, analysis—is a high-risk procedure. e. oral] mind totalizes’ (1966, p. 245). (iii) Redundant or ‘copious’ Thought requires some sort of continuity. Writing establishes in the text a ‘line’ of continuity outside the mind. If distraction confuses or obliterates from the mind the context out of which emerges the material I am now reading, the context can be retrieved by glancing back over the text selectively.

They continued to encourage it, by a kind of oversight, when they had modulated rhetoric from an art of public speaking to an art of writing. Early written texts, through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, are often bloated with ‘amplification’, annoyingly redundant by modern standards. Concern with copia remains intense in western culture so long as the culture sustains massive oral residue—which is roughly until the age of Romanticism or even beyond. Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800–59) is one of the many fulsome early Victorians whose pleonastic written compositions still read much as an exuberant, orally composed oration would sound, as do also, very often, the writings of Winston Churchill (1874–1965).

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