Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you!!
Err... could the cockney ladies in "The Game of Chess" exist in
the text minus their cultural (including the oral) attributes?
Then there is Eliot's own reading of the poem, and
the reports of how he read it in company.
I do agree with the bit about reading in order to have something
to say, doesn't ring true, unless one is diligently avoiding the
development of our thinking skills, and our perceptivity.
Jennifer Formichelli wrote:
> Dear Carol,
> I beg to differ, and I mean differ with all of what you wrote. So too
> does T.S. Eliot, who wrote throughout his life of his abhorrence for
> reading for the sake of having material for conversation: in the early
> essays, the late essays, UPUC, TCC, his letters, and so on. Witness
> from 'Religion and Literature', 1935:
> Wide reading is not valuable as a kind of hoarding, an
> accumulation of
> knowledge, or what is sometimes meant by the term 'well-stocked mind'.
> It is valuable because in the process of being
> affected by one powerful personality after another, we cease to be
> dominated by any one, or by
> any small number. (SE, p. 395)
> Do you really read books and poems 'primarily to talk about them with
> other people'? I should have thought that the enjoyment of literature
> was something much more profound, and personal, and thoughtful, than
> that. Sharing that enjoyment is one thing, and it has great power to
> bond those who can share it; but using literature as conversational
> material seems perverted and obtuse. And I am very surprised to hear
> your own conversations with fellow students were more illuminating and
> intense than those you had alone with authors dead and living. This
> does not seem to me to be enjoyment of literature, but rather enjoyment
> of one's self and opinions. And it is a wholly different thing from the
> pleasures of conversation as something in itself.
> Of course, conversation can sometimes point out to us something we'd
> never have discovered alone, or solicit thoughts we may not have had
> alone. That is one of the many wonderful things about learning and
> friendship, and conversation. But aren't those provoking conversations
> something different than the experiences to which they might lead you?
> As for your statement 'print, hypertext and manuscripts exist only at
> the will of oral culture', I cannot understand that at all. What will?
> 'Exist only'? Many exist very much independently of 'oral culture', a
> term I cannot understand, unless you mean the transmission of verse and
> stories prior to the invention of print? I think it ought to be kept in
> mind that, since the invention of print, much of what is transmitted in
> print can only be completely transmitted in print: The Waste Land, for
> Yours, Jennifer
> On Thursday, December 23, 2004, at 10:42 PM, Carrol Cox wrote:
>> This is an oblique take on the "Internet..." thread, and the points I
>> make here are equally compatible with all the perspectives on literacy
>> argued in recent posts.
>> There is a sense in which _all_ cultures, past, present, future are
>> primarily oral cultures. Print, hypertext, manuscripts exist only at
>> will of the oral culture.
>> Why do we read books? Primarily to talk about them with other people. I
>> would estimate that a little over half of what I learned in grad school
>> came from conversation with other grad students around a table in
>> the Michigan Union or Metzger's tavern. And I suspect that a good deal
>> of what each of us has read at one time or another has been in response
>> to concerns first raised in conversation.
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