The Muse Learns to Write; And so Have I

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The Muse Learns to Write, by Erin A. Havelock has been an interesting read about the evolving art of oral communication into writing.

"Yes texts have been made to speak, after a fashion.  Indeed, they were first "published" by being read aloud.  The audience who listened carried the word to others" (Havelock 47).

There is something interesting about the idea that texts were considered "published" by just being read aloud to an audience.  Oh if that were only true now.  I cannot imagine a world where the written and spoken words are so respected that people listen with great intent and obligation to pass on the stories.  There was so much respect for literature and dialogue in the early years of communication.  I write thousands of words a day: in emails, text messages, notes in class; is that not still a privilege?  I am writing a story right now that contains a lifetime of knowledge on the written word; and in the past few weeks I have been reading about how writing was once something a slave did which then it turned into a respected privilege.

"It would seem to follow that, while speech obviously is spoken by persons who may think they are speaking as individuals, and addressing themselves to individual interests, its primary function is likely to be one that serves collectivist purposes" (Havelock 54).

Is this a mathematical equation?  Indeed; when I speak for myself, I generally want to propose my ideas so other people will change their minds and agree with me.  I don't just mean for some kind of debate, because even when someone is just telling a story, there is still a hope of someone else agreeing with you.  Everyone wants respect for the idea's and thoughts they speak aloud.  So, I agree with this quote by Havelock, that people who think they are speaking for themselves still hope to gather the same opinion from others:  Almost as if they are hoping the conversation will lead to a whirl wind of similar situations and stories that can be shared and helpful to everyone in the group.

When it comes to writing, I would ultimately say that I write for myself.  However, when I think about  writing in my journal, or anywhere for that matter, I do something picture how other people would read it and if it would cause inspiration in others.  I am a big fan of inspiring people.  I love to write about my experiences and hope to one day write an inspiring novel.  For now, I will take into consideration that I am not always thinking for my benefit only; someone else or people in general are usually attached to the other end of the thought.

3 Comments

Megan, I actually agree with you about writing in this blog. Although in class and in my blog I side with the oral form of communication, I do love reading and I really do love to write. I love to be able to stir up emotion through my writing, but I just don't see that happening as easily and as much as people are able to do with just speaking. Writing is such a value but oral communication is a true skill.

Tiffany said:

It's amazing to think that oral readings were once privledges. We are forced to give oral presentation in classes each week and we think of it as an annoyance and "work" to actually compile something and teach the class on a topic that is less familiar to everyone else. Hundreds of years ago, people would be drawn to those who spoke in public. The mentality of this developed "privledge" has really evolved.

Seanald said:

I like some of what you say here. But consider this; what would the purpose of writing for yourself really be? Aside from perhaps trying to remember things that you no longer want to store upstairs, there really isn't a lot of purpose. Your writing is supposed to be read by an audience, or at least by others. What good is a journal or memoir when your dead? It's written more as an insight to your life for others. Therefore, I do have to disagree on you with the idea of writing for yourself mostly. Why write at all then?

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