Description - The Invention of the Oral by Professor Paula McDowell
Just as today's embrace of the digital has sparked interest in the history of print culture, the rise of commercial print culture in eighteenth-century Britain inspired reflection at the time on the traditions that had seemingly preceded it. And so it was, as Paula McDowell shows in this book, that what we know as oral culture was identified and soon celebrated during the very period of the British book trade's ascendancy. McDowell recreates a world in which everyone from clergymen to fishwives, philosophers to street hucksters, competed for space and audiences in taverns, marketplaces, and the street. Their encounters forged new conceptions of the oral, as McDowell demonstrates through an impressive array of sources, including travel narratives, elocution manuals, theological writings, ballad collections, and legal records. Challenging traditional models of oral versus literate societies and key assumptions about culture's ties to the spoken and the written word, this landmark study reorients critical conversations across eighteenth-century studies, media and communications studies, the history of the book, and beyond.
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(228mm x 152mm x mm)
University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
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Book Reviews - The Invention of the Oral by Professor Paula McDowell
Author Biography - Professor Paula McDowell
Paula McDowell is associate professor of English at New York University. She is the author of The Women of Grub Street: Press, Politics, and Gender in the London Literary Marketplace 1678 1730 and Elinor James: Printed Writings.