Reviving the ear and reinforcing the eye

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A part of chapter 5 in Eric A. Havelock's book The Muse Learns to Write really connected to me when the author relates hearing Hitler speak via an open air radio broadcast in 1939.

"The strident, vehement, staccato sentences clanged out and reverberated and chased each other along, series after series, flooding over us, battering us, half drowning us, and yet kept us rooted there listening to a foreign tongue which we somehow could nevertheless imagine that we understood" (32).

Numerous people around the world have watched videos and listened to snippets of Hitler's speeches, because despite how he used his power, the man was a gifted orator. Hitler could incite crowds to follow his plans and inspired thousands to fight for him. But one of the most notable analyses of Hitler's radio broadcasts that Havelock perceives is the interconnectedness of both written and oral communication. The basis of Hitler's speeches were sketched out beforehand, but then spoken aloud. It was writing that was "translated" into rhetoric, which was later recorded and made available as a radio broadcast for millions to listen to. This analysis led Havelock to write, "...a case could be made for the proposition that the technology which has revived the use of the ear has at the same time reinforced the power of the eye and of the written word as it is seen and read" (33). This line made me think back on recent advances in technology that might have accomplished the same unification of eye and ear.

The new iPad, Kindle, and eNook are three items that immediately come to mind because now you can both read materials, but you can have them read to you as well. Online chatting via a webcam also adds another element to communication of the eye, as opposed to reading text on a screen. There are even word processors that allow you to dictate a letter, manuscript, etc. to them. It's my opinion that these forms of technology have given us the chance to realize how significant both writing and speaking truly is. As technology grows, I think that it is integrating itself more into both writing and speech, not just text on a screen anymore.

My classmates will have opinions on writings of this same book as well.

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