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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
      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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