Thursday, June 27, 2019

reading aloud through history

This blog is getting to be very boring with no pictures and me just talking all the time, BUT

Chapter 2 of The Enchanted Hour talks about the history of storytelling and reading aloud:

"To read at all was to read aloud... In his book, A History of Reading, Alberto Manguel points out that Aramaic and Hebrew, the 'primordial' languages of the Bible, draw no distinction between reading and speaking. The same word stands for both."  (emphasis mine)

"Plutarch writes of the way that Alexander the Great perplexed his soldiers, around 330 BC, by reading without utterance a letter he had received from his mother. The men's confusion hints at the rarity of the spectacle."

Amazing stuff.


Dolly in the front window

10 comments:

  1. Your blog is never boring! What a neat piece of history! I had never heard of that before! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. You're a doll, Elizabeth. xo I was particularly amazed that the words for reading and speaking are the same in those two languages! How interesting how humankind has changed over the centuries!

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  2. I love thinking about this. My daughter and I talked about it and she said, regarding Alexander, that in those days when the written word was more rare, and not everyone could read, it would also be a little selfish not to share a letter with everyone by reading it aloud.

    Thank you, Lisa!

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    1. Oh, you're welcome, Gretchen. Now you've given me something to think about: they had none of the constant entertainments we have all around us, not to mention the instant communication ability.

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  3. While I do enjoy your photos, I find what you say very interesting. Over the years of reading your blog you have shared many snippets which have led me to find new books to enjoy.

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    1. Thank you, Jenny! A lovely compliment.

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  4. I don't mind at all if you don't post a photo - I love your posts as they are always interesting.
    As I said a few days ago, I read to my elder daughter a lot. One day, when she was about four she discovered me reading a book. She asked if I didn't know the words because I wasn't reading aloud.

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    1. Thank you, Clare! Your story is charming, and proof that you read to her plenty!

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  5. That's SO fascinating!! Thanks for putting that out for me to find (on your totally not boring blog)! I am an audiobook nut. I love to be read to. I wish Matt liked to read aloud, but he doesn't (though he has, a few times, at my sweet insistence) I've often joked that if I won the lottery I'd hire a personal assistant whose primary job duties would be to read to me and play with my hair. ;) I might need to assistants, so I can do both simultaneously.

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    1. If someone was playing with my hair, I'd be so distracted I'd not be able to listen to the reading. :D

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