I have written several posts for my friend Yuri regarding the various roles that speech and words take in Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov (so far parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6a, and 6b — together with a post on texts and another on oceanic models of causation in The Brothers Karamazov). This project has forced me to read Harry Y. Gamble’s Books and Readers in the Early Church a bit more closely. Gamble deals with questions of orality and literacy in ways that bear directly upon the arguments I was making in response to questions I was asking; since he intervenes in a wide and deep stream of pivotal scholarly research on the relationship between orality and literacy, close attention to his work is very rewarding.
Therefore, here is an introduction to the book, to be followed by posts concerning each of the five chapters, each with some critical analysis from scholarly reviews, and my own impressions. Continue reading