« | Main | EL 336 - Freelance Scribe »

January 28, 2008

EL 336 - Plato

"In the garden of letters he will sow and plant, but not only for the sake of recreation and amusement; he will write them down as a memorials to be treasured against the forgetfulness of old age, by himself, or by any other old man who is treadings the same path." (pg 363)

Doesn't that say it all ? I mean, it sounds like Socrates is looking for the very thing we have come to in today's age. With the media of print and internet etc there is no way modern man will forget any words. Ever. He makes a point earlier in the reading, where words that are spoken are not always intelligent ones. That does not matter in this day and age because we have genres of writing that preserve stupid information, just as we have ways of preserving the important things. So did Socrates really get what he wanted in the end?

Posted by RachelPrichard at January 28, 2008 5:23 PM


the fear was that print would cause us to stop using our memories. However, the printed word turned out to be a tool to engrave our memories with, an aid. So I guess Socrates did sort of get what he wanted because we haven't forgotten memories. Writing exists so that future generations will know the memories of those long gone before them

We write down what we want to remember; it doesn't always have to be intelligent information. Hey, I have The Important of Being Earnest right alongside one of those Garfield comic books on my shelf

Posted by: Daniella Choynowski at January 28, 2008 6:51 PM

I agree that this particular quote summed up much of Socrates' argument. I was conflicted by his strong feelings against writing, especially because of the nature of the work that he was doing with Plato. I feel like haulting the progression of writing would not make us lazy, but rather stiffle our progress as far as literary evolution is concerned.

Posted by: Leslie Rodriguez at January 28, 2008 6:51 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?