Blog Post #3

Walter J. Ong’s Orality and Literacy is a documentation of the development in writing and its consequence on our culture. Ong mentions that writing is a “technological revolution” that not only altered our society, but also totally changed the way people reflect and experience feeling in their private minds. A particular moment I found myself delving into Ong’s words was when he states “Oral cultures indeed produce powerful and beautiful verbal performances of high artistic and human worth, which are no longer even possible once writing has taken possession of the psyche.” I thought it fascinating how he drove theories of human consciousness into his coined idea that orality and literacy are what have tainted our society as a constant. I don’t necessarily agree that our psyche and consciousness is so closely linked to how we’ve developed our literal minds in progression to orality, but he raises an interesting question: how closely linked is our human consciousness to that of the circumstances produced by literacy and oral communication? I think consciousness is more of a product of connection. Whether that’s a connection to the energy around us or a more grounded connection to our culture—I think it varies in different individuals.

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1 Response to Blog Post #3

  1. So this is an interesting point that you make. I hope that what we’re doing in here helps to expand our earlier definitions of consciousness, especially in terms of apparatus and epistemology. I think what you might be getting at in your feeling is more akin to what we mean by “subjectivity.” Our own subjective personality. Ong is talking about the consciousness of the human race that precedes subjectivity. Interesting, though.

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