McLuhan (1-90)


“King Lear is a kind of elaborate case history of people translating themselves out of a world of roles into the new world of jobs. This is a process of stripping and denudation which does not occur instantly except in artistic vision. ... However, the older world of roles had lingered on as a ghost just as after a century of electricity the West still feels the presence of the older values of literacy and privacy and separateness.” - (p. 22) McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy

This is very true. Though pre-literate society was disturbed by the print revolution, some of its values remain. We have internalized oral culture with headphones and recorded speeches.


Good point, Kayla. Today, oral culture is mostly private...and when it's public, the speaker has a microphone, which emphasizes who's in charge. Without a microphone, the crowd would have to agree to be quiet in order to let the speaker be heard.

My blog is similar. I discussed the remains of Oral Culture and how it leaked into Manuscript Culture. We see traces of it with the author's voice, just as the Greeks listened to speeches from various philosophers. Even though we do not speak when we read, we still have a voice, a silent one.

the audio has echoes of the original. most of, but not all, of the original message was there. We can't see the expression on the person's face while he is speaking, which could have helped to further communicate the message. But the inflections and vocal intensities are there.

With writing, we have certain words that evoke certain emotions, so the skeleton/blueprint of what the author wanted to communicate is there.

Lately I've been listening to a lot of podcasts via iTunes, and I've always loved (well-read) audiobooks. Oral culture has definitely survived the transitions to manuscript, print, and digital culture, but you're right to point out that it's often found in private experience now.

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This page contains a single entry by published on February 23, 2008 3:38 PM.

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