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A history of the concept of orality (that is, the creation and transmission of literary works without the use of writing), this book shows awareness of this medium emerging from the encounter of many literary and scientific developments (romanticism, post-symbolism, structuralism; physiology, psychology, the study of expression, anthropology; phonography, cinema).
Haun Saussy is University Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago. He won the René Wellek Prize for Comparative Literature (for the second time) for his most recent book, Translation as Citation: Zhuangzi Inside Out (Oxford, 2018). His book The Ethnography of Rhythm: Orality and Its Technologies (Fordham, 2016) was awarded the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies.Haun Saussy is University Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago.
Saussy’s finely detailed scholarship is of import to both folklorists and literary scholars, each of whom has something to learn from the other. Whatever you thought oral literature was, Saussy makes you think again.
...scholars working across a wide range of fields of literary and linguistic study will find a wealth of insight here.
—Linda Hutcheon:Only Haun Saussy—with his historical range, theoretical breadth, and fine close-reading—could have pulled off this brilliant comparative history of 'the perturbation caused by the idea of oral literature.' The disciplinary range of this dazzling scholarly performance takes us from linguistics and philology to ethnography and religious studies, from physiology and psychiatry to the history of graphic and sound technologies. Be prepared to marvel—and learn.
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