Littera Deusto

Modern Languages, Basque Studies and Humanities


enero 14th, 2008 · No hay Comentarios

Walter J. Ong, the author of the book Orality and literacy: The technologizing of the word, tried to review the transition from oral culture to writing culture, this is, from oral transmition of knowledge to the era of printing and books.

Quoting Wlter Ong, “A deeper understanding of primary orality enables us better to undertsand the new world of writing. Without writing the literate mind would not and could not think as it does, not only when engaged in writing but even when it is composing its thoughts in oral form. Writing has transformed human conciousness.”

He also said that witing establishes what has been called “autonomous” discourse, which cannot be directly questioned or contested as oral speech can because written discourse has been detached from its author. 

Ong, backed up his work on Eric Havelock´s book and said that there is a coincidence between a change of mind and a change from orality to literacy in Ancient Greeece.

Ong says that the skill of writing must be laboriously learned because it is essential to perform that first change in human thought from “the world of sound to the world of sight”


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