Oral Tradition and the Internet: Pathways of the Mind

University of Illinois Press
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The major purpose of this book is to illustrate and explain the fundamental similarities and correspondences between humankind's oldest and newest thought-technologies: oral tradition and the Internet. Despite superficial differences, both technologies are radically alike in depending not on static products but rather on continuous processes, not on "What?" but on "How do I get there?" In contrast to the fixed spatial organization of the page and book, the technologies of oral tradition and the Internet mime the way we think by processing along pathways within a network. In both media it's pathways--not things--that matter. To illustrate these ideas, this volume is designed as a "morphing book," a collection of linked nodes that can be read in innumerable different ways. Doing nothing less fundamental than

challenging the default medium of the linear book and page and all that they entail, Oral Tradition and the Internet shows readers that there are large, complex, wholly viable, alternative

worlds of media-technology out there--if only they are willing to explore, to think outside the usual, culturally constructed categories. This "brick-and-mortar" book exists as an extension of

The Pathways Project (http://pathwaysproject.org), an open-access online suite of chapter-nodes, linked websites, and multimedia all dedicated to exploring and demonstrating the

dynamic relationship between oral tradition and Internet technology

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About the author

John Miles Foley is William H. Byler Chair in the Humanities, Curators' Professor of Classical Studies and English, and the director of the Center for Studies in Oral Tradition at the University of Missouri at Columbia. He is the author or editor of twenty books, including How to Read an Oral Poem.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Illinois Press
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Published on
Aug 16, 2012
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Pages
312
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ISBN
9780252094309
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Language
English
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Genres
Computers / General
Computers / Social Aspects
Social Science / Folklore & Mythology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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In recent decades, the evidence for an oral epic tradition in ancient Greece has grown enormously along with our ever-increasing awareness of worldwide oral traditions. John Foley here examines the artistic implications that oral tradition holds for the understanding of the Iliad and Odyssey in order to establish a context for their original performance and modern-day reception.

In Homer's Traditional Art, Foley addresses three crucially interlocking areas that lead us to a fuller appreciation of the Homeric poems. He first explores the reality of Homer as their actual author, examining historical and comparative evidence to propose that "Homer" is a legendary and anthropomorphic figure rather than a real-life author. He next presents the poetic tradition as a specialized and highly resonant language bristling with idiomatic implication. Finally, he looks at Homer's overall artistic achievement, showing that it is best evaluated via a poetics aimed specifically at works that emerge from oral tradition.

Along the way, Foley offers new perspectives on such topics as characterization and personal interaction in the epics, the nature of Penelope's heroism, the implications of feasting and lament, and the problematic ending of the Odyssey. His comparative references to the South Slavic oral epic open up new vistas on Homer's language, narrative patterning, and identity.

Homer's Traditional Art represents a disentangling of the interwoven strands of orality, textuality, and verbal art. It shows how we can learn to appreciate how Homer's art succeeds not in spite of the oral tradition in which it was composed but rather through its unique agency.

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—Gretchen Rubin, author of #1 New York Times Bestseller The Happiness Project

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—Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit and Smarter, Faster, Better

It’s time to move “doing nothing” to the top of your to-do list.

In 2015 Manoush Zomorodi, creator of WNYC’s popular podcast and radio show Note to Self, led tens of thousands of listeners through an experiment to help them unplug from their devices, get bored, jump-start their creativity, and change their lives. Bored and Brilliant builds on that experiment to show us how to rethink our gadget use to live better and smarter in this new digital ecosystem. Manoush explains the connection between boredom and original thinking, exploring how we can harness boredom’s hidden benefits to become our most productive and creative selves without totally abandoning our gadgets in the process. Grounding the book in the neuroscience and cognitive psychology of “mind wandering” what our brains do when we're doing nothing at all—Manoush includes practical steps you can take to ease the nonstop busyness and enhance your ability to dream, wonder, and gain clarity in your work and life. The outcome is mind-blowing. Unplug and read on.

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