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Re: [John_Lit] Readers once more

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  • Horace Jeffery Hodges
    Ross, my skepticism about memory concerns the claim made that in ancient oral culture, listeners could recall an entire, lengthy discourse word for word after
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 4, 2001
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      Ross, my skepticism about memory concerns the claim
      made that in ancient oral culture, listeners could
      recall an entire, lengthy discourse word for word
      after hearing only one time. I find this unlikely
      because it would mean flawlessly and rapidly (in real
      time) transferring items of information from very
      limited short-term memories to long-term memories. I
      would need to see some evidence for this as a common
      ability in antiquity.

      Some people may have special gifts -- Isaac Asimov
      could (reportedly) read a document quickly and retain
      it word for word in his long-term memory. There may be
      individuals who have this gift for aural information.

      I also accept that the ancients may have developed the
      capacity of their short-term memories in ways that we
      don't -- or may have had greater rates of information
      transfer into long-term memory than we do.

      They may also have had special memory techniques --
      mnemonic devices and such -- that enabled them to
      retain word for word what they were hearing if they
      needed to.

      But for any and/or all of this, I need more evidence
      than a "wry smile." ;.)

      John, you have provided a wealth of information and
      bibliography. I wish that I had your familiarity with
      these details.

      I just want to raise a point, and perhaps someone more
      informed than I can respond. You state:

      > Reception theory or as it is more popularly now
      > called Reader-Response Criticism, the study of the
      > readers role in the text grew out of the New
      > Criticism, a critical theory of literature analysis
      > that emerged in the 1920's led by I. A. Richards
      > (1893-1979), William Empson (1906-1984), and Cleanth
      > Brooks (1906-198), based on the theory of the
      Russian
      > and Czech theorists of the formalist critical view.

      My understanding is that New Criticism was an
      independent lit-crit development that borrowed from
      Russian Formalism but was not actually based upon it.
      Also, it appears -- even from your post -- that
      Reception Theory developed by drawing upon many
      sources, of which, New Criticism was merely one.

      Jeffery Hodges

      =====
      Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
      Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
      447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
      Yangsandong 411
      South Korea

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