Ong, Walter

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Ong,Walter, J. Orality and Literacy. The Technologizing of the Word. London:Methuen & Co. Ltd,1982. Chapter Two and Three.

In Chapter Two, Ong predominantly discusses the findings of Milman Parry regarding the composition of Homeric poetry. Parry exposes the repetitive formulas, the recurring themes and the re-constituted "old set of expressions"(23) that inhabited the work of Homer, and in doing this proves that Homer was not literate but utilised a complex web of mnemonic devices to construct his creations. Ong links Parry's discoveries to primary orality in general and espouses that for knowledge to survive in oral cultures people had to employ structures to provide easier memorisation.

Additionally, in this chapter, Ong proposes that in moving from primary orality to literacy there is a definite restructuring of consciousness. He notes that early written pieces (and he cites poetry as an example), imitate their oral predecessors, thereby suggesting that the change in consciousness was a gradual process. Nevertheless, Ong clearly sees a divide between the thought processes engaged in by members of a primary oral culture and members of a literate culture.

In Chapter Three Ong expands his discussion on the structured patterns

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