By Henri-Jean Martin

Cultural historical past on a grand scale, this immensely readable book—the summation of a long time of analysis by means of one of many world's nice students of the book—is the tale of writing from its very beginnings to its contemporary adjustments via technology.

Traversing 4 millennia, Martin bargains a chronicle of writing as a cultural procedure, a way of conversation, and a heritage of applied sciences. He exhibits how the written note originated, the way it unfold, and the way it figured within the evolution of civilization. utilizing as his middle the function of printing in making the written mind set dominant, Martin examines the interactions of people and cultures to provide new types of "writing" within the many senses of authorship, language rendition, and script.

Martin appears to be like at how a lot the advance of writing owed to functional necessity, and what kind of to non secular and social structures of symbols. He describes the precursors to writing and divulges their position in early civilization as mnemonic units in provider of the spoken be aware. The tenacity of the oral culture performs a shockingly vital half during this tale, Martin notes, or even as past due because the eighteenth century trained members have been proficient in classical rhetoric and most well-liked to depend on the humanities of reminiscence. ultimately, Martin discusses the alterations to writing wrought via the digital revolution, supplying useful insights into the effect those new applied sciences have had on childrens born into the pc age.

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