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O Mundo da Escrita. Como a literatura…
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O Mundo da Escrita. Como a literatura transformou a civilizacao (Em… (2017)

de Martin Puchner (Autor)

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247680,515 (4.1)3
"The story of literature in sixteen acts, from Alexander the Great and the Iliad to ebooks and Harry Potter, this engaging book brings together remarkable people and surprising events to show how writing shaped cultures, religions, and the history of the world"-- "Great stories of people, history, and literature are combined to show how the power of the written word has influenced civilizations throughout time. Puchner writes about Ezra and the Old Testament, a young woman in 9th century Japan who wrote the first novel, a wild story about Cervantes and pirates, how Benjamin Franklin became the father of print in the United States, and more. Over this remarkable, engaging book, Puchner tells stories of creative people whose lives and beliefs led them to create groundbreaking foundational texts, and how those texts affected the world they were born into. Puchner offers a truly comprehensive and worldwide literary perspective, spanning time and cultures, from the first written story--The Epic of Gilgamesh--to the wordsmiths of Mande in Africa, to Harry Potter. He also focuses on writing technologies, including the invention of paper, the printing press, and the modern book, and how they shaped not just writing, but religion and economy, too. Taking us from clay tablets and ancient scrolls, all the way to internet tablets and scrolling down on computers today, Puchner will change the way you view the past, present, and future of literature. Readers will find new discoveries about old texts they love, and new stories they hadn't known before, as Martin Puchner tells the story of literature in 17 acts: how stories shaped history, and gave us THE WRITTEN WORLD"--… (més)
Membre:PauloBR
Títol:O Mundo da Escrita. Como a literatura transformou a civilizacao (Em Portugues do Brasil)
Autors:Martin Puchner (Autor)
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Col·leccions:music
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The written world: how literature shaped history de Martin Puchner (2017)

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Whether you are looking at your screen, a paper or an advert in the underground almost all we see around us has words in some form or other. Even the TV news has a ticker tape of other headlines now running underneath the presenter. This technology of the written word has shaped cultures through the ages as much as cultures have shaped language and the written world.

Beginning with Alexander and his pillow book, Puchner takes us from the first marks pressed into clay, the invention of vellum, paper and inks that were first made into codex's or books as we now call them. Most importantly though was the stories, messages and words that were written on them. These words and works of literature from the epic classics to the political tracts and the religious texts, they have shaped the way people think, cause revolutions and inspired people to fight for the causes they believe in.

A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on. ― Terry Pratchett

That power of language is still with us today, as can be seen from modern day politics… This is an interesting book and Puchner has done pretty well to distil the vast magnitude of world literature and the effects that it has had around the world and bring it in between the covers of this book. It has a really helpful timeline at the beginning with locations where each chapter of our literary journey was started and the text is enhanced with images of some of the books he mentions in the text. It is an enjoyable read, the only flaw being that it cannot go into too much depth to make the book manageable, however, there is a large reference section though for those that want to discover more about our shared literary legacy. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
A book about the top works of world literature, is there anything more interesting? On this forum that is of course a rhetorical question. So, it was with a certain eagerness that I started this book, encouraged by the subtitle: "How literature shapes history”. Unfortunately, Puchner does not quite live up to the expectations.
Of course, those who are not well introduced in world literature will learn quite a bit: Puchner gives a nice summary of the basic stories (the Iliad, the Gilgamesh story, the Old Testament stories, etc.), explains how they were composed and how they were laid out in writing after an initial oral tradition. And he also makes a creditable attempt to open up the field of vision: the texts of Benjamin Franklin or Johan Goethe are also covered, and he also includes Japanese, West African and Central American stories in his studies. In particular, he shows what an important role they have played in the world view of all those cultures and how they have inspired certain peoples and individuals to great deeds. The common thread is always that it concerns "foundational texts".
That perspective ("foundational texts") is certainly interesting, and applies to many of the cited works, but not to all of them. For example, the entertaining and fascinating collection "1001 nights" has never been an inspiration model for medieval Islamic society. And the "Don Quixote" certainly is an iconic text, but it was never foundational for Spanish or West European people. Puchner’s book therefore lacks some homogeneity.
And then there are all those other defects. It all stays a bit superficial: Puchner limits himself to the main lines. Regularly disturbing errors are made, such as the statement that Alexander the Great always had the Iliad under his sleeping pillow (at that time there were no physical books, and I have my doubts about that sleeping pillow). In the chapter about Buddha, Confucius, Socrates and Jesus, he literally reproduces the Axial theory of Karl Jaspers, without the slightest mention of his source.
And what particularly bothered me: Puchner sketches the historical context of the basic texts largely on the basis of the classic legends that have been handed down. For example, he bases Alexander's life (and his dealings with the Iliad) entirely on the classical mythical stories about Alexander himself. It seems to me, this is all incomprehensibly uncritical for a Harvard professor.
So all in all this is an interesting book, certainly, but with a few ugly flaws. ( )
  bookomaniac | Sep 29, 2019 |
The author describes the evolution of written literature around the world. In doing so, he discusses how the evolution of technology influenced the evolution of writing. He also visits many of the places that served as crucibles of key works of literature and discusses how geography influenced the literature as well. It is thoroughly enjoyable and an ideal book for members of Library Thing with a passion for books. ( )
  M_Clark | Apr 2, 2019 |
I really enjoyed this tour of history's watershed writings. The book really shines in the first half; to me it seemed pretty clear that Puchner was much more at home discussing Scheherazade and Gilgamesh than discussing Harry Potter. (Or maybe he was just bitter that he was sorted into Slytherin.) I especially appreciated what a wide net Puchner cast--the chapters on The Tale of Genji, the Mayan Popul Vuh, and the West African Epic of Sunjata are some of the strongest and most interesting in the book.

Highly recommended for anyone interested in literary history. But be forewarned that the Mayan chapter will break your heart. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
This timeline through the history of civilization and stories is a wonderful read. It celebrates the works that have shaped history from oral tales to Twitter, the tools used and the very meaning of literature. Although Martin Puchner is a Harvard Professor, the book is amazingly accessible, enlivened by his enthusiasm. ( )
  MM_Jones | Dec 12, 2017 |
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"The story of literature in sixteen acts, from Alexander the Great and the Iliad to ebooks and Harry Potter, this engaging book brings together remarkable people and surprising events to show how writing shaped cultures, religions, and the history of the world"-- "Great stories of people, history, and literature are combined to show how the power of the written word has influenced civilizations throughout time. Puchner writes about Ezra and the Old Testament, a young woman in 9th century Japan who wrote the first novel, a wild story about Cervantes and pirates, how Benjamin Franklin became the father of print in the United States, and more. Over this remarkable, engaging book, Puchner tells stories of creative people whose lives and beliefs led them to create groundbreaking foundational texts, and how those texts affected the world they were born into. Puchner offers a truly comprehensive and worldwide literary perspective, spanning time and cultures, from the first written story--The Epic of Gilgamesh--to the wordsmiths of Mande in Africa, to Harry Potter. He also focuses on writing technologies, including the invention of paper, the printing press, and the modern book, and how they shaped not just writing, but religion and economy, too. Taking us from clay tablets and ancient scrolls, all the way to internet tablets and scrolling down on computers today, Puchner will change the way you view the past, present, and future of literature. Readers will find new discoveries about old texts they love, and new stories they hadn't known before, as Martin Puchner tells the story of literature in 17 acts: how stories shaped history, and gave us THE WRITTEN WORLD"--

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