Spoken Word vs the Written Word

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When reading in Writing Materials, I think the few points that Jay David Bolter brought up about oral and print communication reflect the discussions we had in class about how they are different and what the benefits and downfalls are.  He talks about the use of scrolls in ancient times and why books became such a lifesaver for reviewing what you have read and going to back to look at earlier points.

He discusses those good points of knowing your audience and how it is helpful in oral storytelling.

"The Homeric storyteller chooses what events to tell and the pace of the telling, and the storyteller can adjust the tale in order to suit what he or she conceives to be the wishes for the audience" (Bolter, 77)

Later, he goes on to talk about Plato and his ingenious idea to read dialogue aloud.  I thought this was very interesting because he said it makes the audience want to jump in (as they normally could nowadays with asking questions and commenting during oral presentations) but they cannot because the dialogue is already written and out of their hands to control.  I learned about Plato in my philosophy class but I would have much rather learned about him in this way (from a writing point-of-view) than trying to decipher all of that history.

Bolter goes on to talk about storytelling in the form of writing.

"In any case, writing changes the intimate relationship between the creator and the audience.  It is no use shouting a novel whose plot is heading in a direction we do not like: the book cannot adjust itself to our wishes as readers.  In that sense the reader loses control" (Bolter, 77).

Sometimes it does bother me that a story doesn't seem to be going the way I want it to go.  I keep reading because I occasionally find that the story does go the way I want it to go it just took a little longer to get there.  That is the beauty of stories; usually the very end is what surprises you most and you don't expect it.

Bolter goes on to say that the reader does have control over their own pace or trying to change the path by scanning or skipping parts.  I have to admit that if the story still doesn't end the way I want it to, I just visualize a scenario that better suits what I needed to happen.

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