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Chapter

Reading 1 (Walter. J. Ong) p. 5-9. docx


Department
Media, Information and Technoculture
Course Code
MIT 2000F/G
Professor
Daniel Robinson

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Some Psychodynamics of Orality by: Walter J. Ong
Textbook Readings pages 5-9
Sounded Word as Power and Action
Primary Oral culture- no knowledge of writing
Words merely events – no visual representation
Sound exists only when its going out of existence- evanescent
Cant stop sound
Vision- can be immobile
In Oral culture- words have great power
Can touch buffalo, see buffalo, but if you hear it something is happening
Think of names as conveying power over things
Without names cant understand things (i.e. chemistry)
Labels things for us, but for oral folk is not a label
You Know What You Can Recall: Mnemonics and Formulas
In oral culture- words are thought processes
We an recall things- oral has no texts
oIf they think up something and find a solution they can recall it by think
memorable thoughts
Have to think in mnemonic patterns (i.e. repetitions and alliterations)
Proverbs – constantly heard by everyone so that they can get recalled easily
“red in the morning, the sailors warning; red in the night, the sailors delight”
fixes rhythmically expressions form substance of thought in itself
in oral culture knowledge which isn’t repeated- vanishes
society regards highly of wise men who conserve it
writing froze legal codes
also frees the mind
narrators would often introduce new elements into old stories for people to understand and
respond
religious practices would change
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