[Table of Contents] [Search]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Final Bookways issue

> This resulted in the
>loss of the oral tradition, the storyteller, and the neglect of memory
>abilities.  For all the empathy displayed for Luddites on this list, let us
>only recall what happened, and who "won."

Yes, but we can't forget that to many people on the planet, the oral
tradition is still the tradition. I once had the privelege of working with a
Yaqui community in southern Arizona to bring part of the oral tradition into
print. In that case it was incredibly moving to witness how important both
the oral art, and its recording in book form, was to an entire community.

> Language itself is discursive, and hypertext
>breaks down its linearity, and we really do not understand if or how it will
>create a new change in the knowledge acquisition paradigm similar to the
>change invoked by the invention of movable type.  I do not think the answer
>is to ignore it; I think the answer is to understand it, or at least try.

I'm not certain if language is, in and of itself, so linear, or if that's
just the way we have generally developed its use. But think of all the
literary exceptions, particularly this century, from Hugo Ball's sound
poetry, to Gertrude Stein's continuous present, to James Joyce's practice of
continually going deeper rather than through (although, to be sure, one does
get somewhere). And is mathematical language and the language of physics
research so linear, or is it full of sudden departures and breakthroughs
during which linearity breaks down all the time.

But absolutely, the answer, and the opportunity, is to, as you say,
understand it, to try.


Charles Alexander
Chax Press
P.O. Box 19178
Minneapolis, MN  55419-0178
612-721-6063 (phone & fax)

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents] [Search]