Orality and Literacy

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by Walter J. Ong

Walter J. Ong’s classic work provides a fascinating insight into the social effects of oral, written, printed and electronic technologies, and their impact on philosophical, theological, scientific and literary thought.

This thirtieth anniversary edition – coinciding with Ong’s centenary year – reproduces his best-known and most influential book in full and brings it up to date with two new exploratory essays by cultural writer and critic John Hartley.

These illuminating essays contextualize Ong within recent intellectual history, and display his work’s continuing force in the ongoing study of the relationship between literature and the media, as well as that of psychology, education and sociological thought.

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Print encourages a sense of closure, a sense that what is found in a text has been finalized, has reached a state of completion.

— Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy