Tuesday, September 16, 2008
the conflict is as old as the hills
I touched on this briefly in my first entry, and it will come up over and again through the course of this blog, the "conflict" between the written word and the use of image. It has been suggested that one reason why the ancient document which we call 'The Bible' begins as it does is that the period of Egyptian captivity led the Israelis more stridently to "the word" as opposed to the images that are the visual-base language we call hieroglyphics. It was a reaction against image as much as anything.
I won't wade too far into the academic merits of the arguments either way, other than to say that all letters in all alphabets have symbolic representational equivalence far older than the "letter" themselves. Far older and much more laden with meaning. We have forgotten a great deal in our current disposal society about the weight of the word, the importance of the Gutenberg press of moveable type. The importance of have metal type. Something solid.
"Reading" an image telling of a story is quite different from reading the words of a story. This requires a different set of skills, of abilities, and finds expression in our society in the phrase "auditory learner" and "visual learner".