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The Evolution of World Literature

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Eric Lugassy

on 23 December 2014

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Transcript of The Evolution of World Literature

The Evolution of World Literature
By Eric Lugassy & Sam Brodsky
2010 - Present
Beginning of Human Existence - Beginning
of Recorded History (Around 4000 BC)

Recorded History - Around
300 BCE

Around 300 BCE - 1450 AD
Renaissance Period
(Approximately 1450 - 1700)

Modern Period - .com Boom

(1700- 1990s)

.com Boom - 2010
The Great Unwritten
Primitive Records, Stone Tablets,
and Scrolls
Codex & Crafting
Gutenberg & The Printing Press
Modern Periods
Digital Age Begins
Recorded History Begins
Mediums of Recording
The Codex
Making a Codex
Role of the Church
Johannes Gutenberg
Bible as Best Seller
Books & Business
The Internet
Rapid Growth
Abundance of Academic Materials Availiable Online
Online Databases
What does the Future hold?
1) Will the printed book be phased out?

2) What will happen to printed literature distributors?

3) Are these changes isolated to the economically privileged classes or effective on a world-wide scale?

4) What trends does history show?

5) Will these trends repeat themselves?
Before recorded history stories were shared verbally.

Stories were passed through generations.

Over time these stories spread throughout other regions.
People who specialized in memorizing and telling stories.

Each orator told the story in a different way.

Because things were not written down the original stories became altered over time.

Stories were translated and crossed over cultural and linguistic borders of many groups of people.
Orations had religious & social purposes.

They were often used to explain natural phenomenons and social happenings.

Types of Oration: Myths, speeches, epic stories, poems, and songs.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a famous example of an oratory epic that was passed from generation to generation before it was eventually written down.

Cultures began to record these orations in written forms.

Historic accounts and stories were written in various types of symbols, pictures, and eventually words.

The only previous records of human stories before formal writing were cave paintings.

Stone Tablets



Walls of various structures
Allowed for the start and spread of World Literature.

Stories could be recorded instead of passed down orally.

Stories remained consistent.

It became easier to translate literature from other linguistic cultures.

The codex was the precursor to the printed book.

It was entirely hand-crafted.

Most codex were copies of original manuscripts.

After the invention of the codex we start to see larger collections of world literature in one place at a time.
Codex were made mostly at Church monasteries by monks with various skills.

Laborers needed to make a codex: Scribes, paper makers, binders, artists, leather workers, and metal workers.

Crafting a codex was very time consuming and expensive.

They were often commissioned by wealthy patrons and the church.
Book making was mostly handled by the Church

Used as a way to control the circulation of literature.

The church often encouraged some books while labeling many others as heresy.

The Bible was the most common book.
Born 1398 in Mainz Germany.

Grew up with knowledge of gold smithing.

Invented the movable type printing press around 1439.

Died February 3, 1468 in Mainz, Germany at the age of 70.
Revolutionized book production.

Radically changed the way books were acquired by the public.

Caused literacy rates to raise tremendously.

Literature became more accessible and world literature steadily grew until plateuing in the early modern era.
Gutenberg was also an entrepreneur.

He aimed to make a lot of money off of his invention.

He chose the Bible as his initial and primary print because it was the most common book in world literature.

The printing press took away the need for church employed book makers.
During this period literature somewhat plateaued.

World Literature was a continuously growing entity.

Libraries were the most common way to acquire literature at little to no cost.

If someone wished to own a piece of literature it could be bought from a book store at a relatively fair price.
Many major companies were involved in the literature business.

These companies included: Publishers, copyrighters, retailers, distributors, commercial printers, etc…

Major Bookstores emerged such as Borders and Barnes & Nobles.

Books were the primary source of information during this period.
Public libraries were the primary way for people to borrow literature.

Very extensive private libraries were established.

Libraries were funded through taxes as well as donations.

Certain libraries are known for containing special documents such as original manuscripts, collections, and other rare pieces of literature
Computers became more prevalent in the average home as years went on.

Personal computer technology advanced immensely.

It eventually became a social norm to use computers regularly for multiple purposes.

Over the years the internet rapidly grew multiplying in size.
The internet came into the use of the public during the ".com boom” of the 90’s.

Early computers capable of internet use were slow and inefficient.

Initially computers were not that accessible to the public.

The technology in home computers was very basic.
Online resources became extremely widespread over the internet.

These online resources included: Databases, encyclopedias, book stores, academic journals, catalogs, discussion boards, and even, literature collections.

As time went on gaining access to these resources became easier.

Books were no longer the primary source of knowledge.
The emergence of E-readers in 2010 marked a monumental shift in the way world literature is read.

This started a trend leading away from printed sources of literature and towards digital sources of literature.

Major companies involved in the literature business were losing a large portion of their profits.

Many companies and small stores were forced out of business.
2010 was a return to the tablet, however, these tablets were digital instead of stone.

Apple's iPad, Amazon’s Kindle, and other e-readers were introduced.

Books were able to be purchased from the comfort of ones home with just internet access and the touch of a screen.

Marked the start of a new literary technology.
Online resources have become extremely prevalent.

Resources accessible online are the most commonly used by the current generation of students.

Students are being taught to use these resources at an early age.

These internet based sources of information are becoming the primary source of literature and information.

"World literature is sometimes used to refer to the sum total of the world’s national literatures, but usually it refers to the circulation of works into the wider world beyond their country of origin."

"World literature is a culmination of all existing literature that has crossed over cultural borders into the realms of new readers in regions not native to the work's creation." - Eric Lugassy

"World literature is the spread and distribution of different works not only within their origins, but also internationally between ethnicities and cultures."
- Sam Brodsky
ibooks App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ibooks/id364709193?mt=8

Kindle App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kindle-read-books-ebooks-magazines/id302584613?mt=8
Online Enyclopedia: http://www.britannica.com
Amazon's Kindle e-Reader: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IKPYKWG/ref=br_imp_ara-1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=desktop-hero-1&pf_rd_r=1ZWB27M5ZDJ4DSGSW0XK&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=1999700842&pf_rd_i=desktop
Apple's Ipad: http://www.apple.com/ipad/
University of Wisconsin - Madison Top Databases https://www.library.wisc.edu/find/top-10-databases/
“The reader was saying, “Let us imitate the example of the prophet, who says: I have decided, I shall watch over my way so as not to sin with my tongue, I have put a curb upon my mouth, I have fallen dumb, humbling myself, I have refrained from speaking even of honest things. And if in this passage the prophet teaches us that sometimes our love of silence should cause us to refrain from speaking even of licit things, how much more should we refrain from illicit talk, to avoid the chastisement of this sin!” And then he continued: “But vulgarities, nonsense, and jests we condemn to perpetu-all imprisonment, in every place, and we do not allow the disciple to open his mouth for speech of this sort.”

“And this goes for the marginalia we were discussing today,” Jorge could not keep from commenting in a low voice. “John Chrysostom said that Christ never laughed.”

“Nothing in his human nature forbade it,” William remarked, “because laughter, as the theologians teach, is proper to man.”

“The son of man could laugh, but it is not written that he did so,” Jorge said sharply, quoting Petrus Cantor.

“Manduca, iam[…]”

Excerpt From: The Name of the Rose. “The Name of the Rose.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=4E0836B81FD60A8A9598816C2DBA275E
"Yet accessibility may decrease, because the price of journals has escalated so disastrously that libraries—and also hospitals, small-scale laboratories, and data-driven enterprises—are canceling subscriptions." - Robert Darnton
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