The Future of Literacy

Edited by Robert Disch


Introduction / 1

PART ONE: The impact of literacy / 11

“Primitive” and “civilized” peoples: a conversation with Claude Lévi-Strauss / George Charbonnier / 15

Poetry as preserved communication / Eric Havelock / 21

The printed word: architect of nationalism / Marshall McLuhan / 33

Literacy and the non-literate in Ghana / Jack Goody / 41

Literate culture: some general considerations / Jack Goody and Ian Watt / 49

PART TWO: The crisis of literacy / 59

Section A: Literacy, language, and politics / 61

Polluting our language / Douglas Bush / 63

The closing of the universe of discourse / Herbert Marcuse / 73

Format and “communications” / Paul Goodman / 89

Section B: Literature under attack / 101

Excerpts from “Fragments of a journal” / Eugène Ionesco / 105

No more masterpieces / Antonin Artaud / 109

The humanities and inhumanities / Louis Kampf / 117

The attack on literature / René Wellek / 127

PART THREE: The Future: Literacy and the media / 141

After the book? / George Steiner / 145

Is print dying? / Ben Bagdikian / 159

Not since Babel / Edmund Carpenter / 167

Bibliography / 175



Most of the following works contain extensive bibliographies that deal directly or indirectly with the impact of literacy, literacy and language, and literacy and other media.

PART ONE: the impact of literacy

Anand, Mulk Raj. "By Book or by Mouth," Times Literary Supplement (London), May 12,1972.

Carey, J. W., and Quirk, James. "The Mythos of the Electronic Revolution," The American Scholar (Spring 1970).

Carothers, J. C. "Culture, Psychiatry, and the Written Word," Psychiatry, 22 (1959): 307-320.

Carpenter, Edmund, and McLuhan, Marshall. Explorations in Communications. Boston: Beacon Press, 1960.

Chappell, Warren. A Short History of the Printed Word. (A New York Times Book.) New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1970.

Cipolla, Carlo. Literacy and Development in the West. Baltimore: Penguin Books, Inc., 1969.

Escarpit, Robert. The Book Revolution. New York: UNESCO Publications Center, 1966.

Finkelstein, Sidney. Sense and Nonsense of McLuhan. New York: International Publishers, 1968.

Goody, Jack. Literacy in Traditional Societies. Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1968.

Havelock, Eric. Preface to Plato. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1963.

Hoggart, Richard. On Culture and Communication. New York: Oxford University Press, 1972.

_____________. The Uses of Literacy. London: Chatto & Windus, Ltd., New York: 1957.

Innis, Harold Adams. Empire and Communications. New York: Oxford University Press, 1950.

_______________. Minerva's Owl: The Bias of Communication. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1951.

Kuhns, William. The Post Industrial Prophets: Interpretations of Technology. New York: Weybright and Talley, Publishers, 1971.

Lerner, D., and Schramm, W. Communication and Change in Developing Countries. Honolulu: East-West Center Press, 1967.

McLuhan, Marshall. From Cliche to Archetype. New York: The Viking Press, 1970.

______________. The Gutenberg Galaxy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962.

______________. The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man. New York: Vanguard Press, Inc., 1951.

______________. Understanding Media. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1964.

Miller, Jonathan. Marshall McLuhan. New York: The Viking Press, 1971.

Ong, Walter J., S.J. In the Human Grain. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1967.

______________. The Presence of the Word. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967.

______________. Rhetoric, Romance, and Technology. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1971.

Richetti, John. Popular Fiction Before Richardson. London: Oxford University Press, 1968.

Rosenthal, Raymond B. McLuhan Pro and Con. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., Inc., 1968.

Stearn, Gerald. McLuhan Hot and Cool. New York: The Dial Press, Inc., 1967.

UNESCO COURIER. January, 1972, July, 1972, and other issues.

Watt, Ian. The Rise of the Novel. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1957.

PART TWO: the crisis of literacy

Black, Max. The Labyrinth of Language. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., 1968.

Brockway, Thomas. Language and Politics. New York: D. C. Heath & Company, 1965.

Chomsky, Carol. Acquisition of Syntax in Children from Five to Ten. Research Monograph No. 57. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 1969.

Chomsky, Noam. Language and the Mind. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1968.

Crews, Frederick. "Do Literary Studies Have an Ideology?" PMLA, 85 (1970): 423-28.

Dillard, J. L. Black English. New York: Random House, Inc., 1972.

Ehrmann, Jacques. "The Death of Literature," New Literary History (Autumn 1971), 31-47.

Gleeson, Patrick, and Wakefield, Nancy, eds. Language and Culture: A Reader. Columbus, Ohio: Charles E. Merrill Books, Inc., 1968.

Goodman, Paul. Speaking and Language: Defense of Poetry. New York: Random House, Inc., 1970.

Greenbaum, Leonard and Schmerl, Rudolf. Course X: A Left Field Guide to Freshman English. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1970.

Grossman, Allen. "Teaching Literature in a Discredited Civilization," Massachusetts Review (Summer 1969) 419-32.

Hassan, Ihab, ed. Liberations: New Essays on the Humanities in Revolution. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1971.

Hymes, Dell. Language in Culture and Society. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1964.

Kampf, Louis, and Lauter, Paul. The Politics of Literature. New York: Vintage Books, 1972.

Morse, Mitchell. The Irrelevant English Teacher. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1972.

Poirier, Richard. The Performing Self. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

Sledd, James. "Doublespeak: Dialectology in the Service of Big Brother," College English (January 1972). Rebuttals appear in College English (January 1973).

Sontag, Susan. Against Interpretation. New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, Inc., 1964.

Steiner, George. Extraterritorial: Papers on Literature and the Language Revolution. New York: Atheneum Publishers, 1971.

____________. In Bluebeard's Castle: Some Notes Toward the Redefinition of Culture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971.

____________. Language and Silence. New York: Atheneum Publishers, 1967.

White, George, ed. "Literature in Revolution," Tri-Quarterly (Winter-Spring 1972).

PART THREE: the future: literacy and other media

Cheers, Cohn. On Human Communication. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 1966.

Disch, Robert. "Beyond Literacy." In Affirmative Education. Edited by Barry N. Schwartz. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1973.

Jennison, Peter S., and Sheridan, Robert M. The Future of General Adult Books and Reading in America. Chicago: American Library Association, 1970.

Licklider, J. C. R. Libraries of the Future. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 1965.

Schwartz, Barry, ed. Human Connection and the New Media. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1973.


SOURCE: Disch, Robert, ed. The Future of Literacy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1973. xii, 177 p. Contents, xi-xii; Bibliography, 175-177.

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