By Robert Fraser, Mary Hammond
This quantity concentrates on one of many world's oldest, and so much buoyant, booklet cultures: South Asia. It examines the transition from manuscript handy press, orality and function, scripts and nationalism, libraries and copyright, and the new foreign fashion for Europhone writers from the area.
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Additional resources for Books Without Borders, Volume 2: Perspectives from South Asia
The printed book may have come to India only yesterday, but writing in India is as old as almost anywhere else in the world. com - licensed to Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromsoe - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-05 16 Harish Trivedi 17 This is, of course, not to underestimate the astounding oral tradition of India and the unique civilizational uses to which it has been put. Most famously, it was the four Vedas, commonly dated from c. 1500 BCE and thus probably the oldest extant scriptures in the world, which were orally transmitted from generation to brahminical generation until the coming of print, and indeed continue to be so transmitted in some small priestly communities even today.
Written down as soon as its text was finalized, except for a few identifiable interpolations inserted in some of the approximately 100 copies permitted to be made by hand between 1604 and 1675, it is equally a triumph of textuality and orality. , men of the book) sit before a holy and consecrated copy, they do not actually read out the text, but recite from memory. It is essential to the mystique of the Guru Granth Sahib that it remains wrapped up, even while it is being read aloud. And the sole portion of the text that every self-respecting Sikh knows by heart and may herself/himself recite is a composition by the first of the Sikh gurus, Nanak (1469–1539).
Nor is this practice moribund, even today. I realize as I write this that a fair amount of the verse I myself remember and find myself re(-)citing to like-minded friends, or sometimes alas to no one in particular, was never encountered on a printed page. Not only do I myself dispense it orally, but it has come to me through oral transmission in the first place: from my parents (not only when I was a child, but occasionally even now), from teachers and from friends, through mutual give and take.
Books Without Borders, Volume 2: Perspectives from South Asia by Robert Fraser, Mary Hammond