By Rosalind Thomas
This publication explores the function of written and oral communique in Greece and is the 1st systematic and sustained remedy at this point. It examines the hot theoretical debates approximately literacy and orality and explores the makes use of of writing and oral conversation, and their interplay, in old Greece. It units the importance of written and oral communique up to attainable of their social and old context, and stresses the particularly Greek features of their use. It attracts jointly the result of fresh experiences and indicates additional avenues of inquiry. All old proof is translated.
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The wider range of data transforms the picture: the choice of a particular phrase is not dictated solely, or even very frequently, by the metre alone, but often by literary considerations. There is less 'economy' and a lot more 'extension' than Parry and others have thought. Thus Homer was using traditional diction, certainly, but often meditating so carefully on the most apt phrase, rather than using a ready-made expression, that he begins to look very like Milton or Virgil. Shive implies that this care and thought could only be achieved with the aid of writing as a mnemonic aid.
Levi-Strauss suggested this long ago in Tristes Tropiques, surveying the course of world history and empire building: the primary function of writing, as a means of communication, is to facilitate the enslavement of human beings. '9 French scholarship has continued to approach literacy with a certain scepticism. The fact that modern totalitarian societies have stressed mass literacy just as much as democratic ones certainly suggests that literacy can help the state keep watch over its subjects.
Examines its m o d e r n role from a sociological perspective. As argued by Page 1963. Writing and oral poetry 45 bards learned to read and write, their poetic composition deteriorated and they ceased to use the old and picturesque formulaic style. 45 The change was thought to be induced by writing, though how was left unclear. At first Lord assumed that writing, being the antithesis of orality, would undermine the old oral traditions. 46 That is, writing engendered a respect for a fixed (written) text that destroyed the flexibility of oral poetry and the tradition and necessity of improvisation, so that the living tradition died (similarly he denied any element of memorization).