Orality and Literacy
Routledge – 2002 – 216 pages
Series: New Accents
This classic work explores the vast differences between oral and literate cultures offering a very clear account of the intellectual, literary and social effects of writing, print and electronic technology.
In the course of his study, Walter J. Ong offers fascinating insights into oral genres across the globe and through time, and examines the rise of abstract philosophical and scientific thinking. He considers the impact of orality-literacy studies not only on literary criticism and theory but on our very understanding of what it is to be a human being, conscious of self and other.
This is a book no reader, writer or speaker should be without.
'Professor Ong has managed to synthesize an incredible amount of thought and at the same time has carried some of his earlier ideas still further. Orality and Literacy should become a classic. It is eminently assignable for undergraduate courses' - Professor John Ahern
'No comparable work on this important subject exists. Thanks to the lucidity of its style and presentation of complex thought, this is a work that will be accessible and useful…it will be the standard introduction to this topic for some years to come' - Choice
'Professor Walter Ong's new book explores some of the profound changes in our thought processes, personality and social structures which are the result, at various stages of our history, of the development of speech, writing and print. And he projects his analysis further into the age of mass electronic communications media…the cumulative impact of the book is dazzling. Read this book. Literature will never be the same again. And neither will you' - Robert Giddings, Tribune
'This admirably lucid book…has obvious implications for philosophy, literature, linguistics, sociology, psychology, education, and Biblical studies…I believe this is the best book Ong has published' - Thomas J. Farrell, Cross Currents
'This is a book which throws off thought-provoking ideas on every page.' - www.mantex.co.uk
Walter J. Ong is University Professor Emeritus at Saint Louis University, USA, where he was previously Professor of English and Professor of Humanities in Psychiatry. His many publications have been highly influential for studies in the evolution of the consciousness.