The world on paper : the conceptual and cognitive implications of writing and reading /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Olson, David R., 1935-
Imprint:Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1994.
Description:xix, 318 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Subject:Written communication
Written communication.
Format: Print Book
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
Review by Choice Review

In this important book, Olson addresses a series of fundamental questions about the nature of literacy, culture, and consciousness--questions that have preoccupied all sorts of scholars for a very long time: What is literacy? How does it differ from culture to culture? And what role has it played in shaping the way people think about themselves and the world? Olson's answers to these questions are tentative, yet bold. He is careful to point out that researchers have "done little more than begin to map out" the areas of knowledge that might lead to a full understanding of literacy. But he also draws upon an impressive array of sources to formulate a highly provocative theory: Speech is not a model for writing, Olson argues. Instead, the opposite is true. Writing "provides a model for speech; we introspect language in terms laid down by our scripts." With statements like this, Olson methodically goes about refuting Aristotle, Saussure, and two thousand years of traditional wisdom. The comprehensive bibliography alone makes this book valuable. But the intriguing insights and carefully reasoned arguments make it a pleasure. Academic and general audiences. J. Aber; College of Mount St. Joseph

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review