On 9/8/2014 5:21 PM, P wrote:
> Another dimension of it is that our mental & sensory sensibilities are
> getting wildly jammed back together in a resssociation of
> sensibilities that is tossing us like no circus ride ever could. I
> think literacy, at least as we have known it, is a real goner.
Not to be cute, but I think that almost goes without saying. Literacy
and the sensibility that it engendered grew out of, simply, letters,
those meaningless bits, the dragon's teeth that devoured whole languages
and spit them out altered and anew. I tend to agree with Walter Ong that
there is no more momentous invention in human history than the Phonetic
alphabet, the consequences of which are still playing out, but playing
out to be sure in the environment now of electricity and everything it
in turn has engendered, including our discussion forum here -- but that
carried out, surely enough, alphabetically.
"Dissociation of sensibility," whether applied to cultures, or
"society," (I'm never sure exactly what "society" is), or to
individuals, is a relative term; any may exhibit sensibility somewhat
associated, somewhat dissociated, never all of one or the other, and
endlessly varying in those states and their relations. It was the
achievement of Eliot's philosophical studies and subsequent literary
criticism to understand precisely the significance and signs of those
states as few have. Giving him short shrift for his effort amounts to
little more than that other old archetype, cutting off one's nose to
spite one's face and calling it a new look.
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