Why do we read – reading history

In the 2008 reading year, it is worth asking yourself – why are we reading? It is the most mediocre because we can and we want it. Just like the hill of Mallory – ' because it is there '. If I look at my reading, I will see how much time in my day is reading in one way or another. I read at least one newspaper a day before I go out to work. [I also like to complete the daily crossword puzzle, but it doesn't always do this!] At work, there are few elements that the task doesn't need to read. I also always have more than one book on the road. once. My butterfly mind constantly jumps from one interest to another. At the time of writing, I piled up six books near the bedside – I will provide you with detailed information – all of which are at different stages of reading. A simple rule is that I read only one novel at a time, but I don't read drama at the same time, poetry, always political, usually a popular science book. [I can't make serious science – the details are beyond my scope.] As Peter Cook said – I don't have Latin! ']

Home without a book is a home without books from

 soul. ' Marcus Tullius Cicero.

What we can read is extraordinary in itself. It is another human locomotive unique to our species. If you see a red orangutan curling up under a tree with the latest Stephen Hawking, then you know that we have a serious competitor in the evolutionary bet.

' We have read and know that we are not alone. ' from


However, in our history, only systematically developed reading and writing is reliable. Reading and writing are necessary companions for obvious reasons. Making one without another is a bit like the first phone – completely useless before connecting to the second phone. As far as we know, reading and writing were first developed in Babylon five or six thousand years ago. The previously dispersed Mesopotamian peasants abandoned their villages and reunited in the increasingly complex early city centres. Writing is critical to documenting and codifying communication between people, especially in the legal and business world. In all probabilistic writing, it is necessary to record and record the completed transaction and/or transferred property. Initially, these may be just graphical representations, the number of which is represented by different markers. The strange thing is that when we are writing the Middle East, we are writing. Although the Nordic Celts are rich in technology and culture, as far as we know, a written language has never been developed. Like all pre-cultural societies, they rely extensively on elaborate oral traditions.

' Learning to read is to ignite the fire; every syllable spelled out is a spark from

 Victor Hugo.

Previously important information was stored somewhere in public memory and relied on the fact that the waiter and the listener were simultaneously in the same place – written text opened up new possibilities. If we can still decode what we write, we can even read the words to gain insight into the thoughts of those who have died. Past wisdom and stupidity can be passed on to the present and relatively easily forwarded to the future. However, not all written languages ​​have been successfully passed down for generations. Many have not yet been decoded, for example the complexity of Etruscan remains elusive. Like the Akkadians, Minos, Aztecs, Mayas and many others. It's like – metaphorically – those people leave their footprints in the snow and still melt.

According to conservative estimates, there are currently about four to five thousand languages ​​spoken, and countless are extinct. Language. Only some of them have accompaniment forms and rare languages ​​- the language spoken by isolated or dying ethnic groups can only be maintained by the false memories of the elderly – more languages ​​will inevitably die out.

The advantages of written and reading communication over oral tradition are obvious. Writers and readers do not need to coexist. The spread of knowledge and information has become increasingly independent of the gradual distortions of memory and possible spread. Just think about the game of Chinese whispering and the speed at which changes occur. Through writing, history can be fixed to some extent ' things happen. This does not necessarily mean that it is inherently more accurate. The surviving history is widely regarded as the winner's narrative, not the defeated person, or as AJP Taylor said – just an event. '

' Those who can read will also see twice from

 . ' ' Minand.

Alexander the Great – after the city of Alexandria was named – is itself an avid reader. He is a loyal fan of learning and reading. According to Plutarch, there are very few books. He was amazed at the person who used Aristotle as his personal tutor.

Alexander's successor, Ptolemy 1, established the city's most famous library in Alexandria. It is said to contain at least 500,000 reels, and its goal, or what we might call a mission statement today, is to encapsulate all the human knowledge. In the first fire that destroyed most of the library around 48 BC, we may never know or regain much of ancient knowledge and wisdom. Subsequent sabotage, neglect and political personalization further streamlined this once great institution into archaeological remains. These works are regrettably lost.

' No matter how busy you are, you must take time to read, or let yourself succumb to self from

 . Does not exist '丘

Today, we take the idea of ​​mass literacy – at least in developed countries – as a matter of course. It is not always the case. In fact, it is mainly an elite activity. The early scribes were a very privileged group. They should have been specially trained to cancel orders, register laws, record astronomical data to maintain calendars, record important military information, record financial and economic transactions, preserve religious texts, and maintain early novels. For example, the epic of Gilgamesh. This is not for the education of the masses, but for the fun of a few people.

I think TV is very educational. Whenever someone turns on the TV, I will enter another room and read one from

 book. Groucho Marx.

Other novels also offer accounts that fit the current ruler. Benefits rather than verbal truths. In the second millennium BC, the victims of the Shamash Temple in southern Mesopotamia erected a monument engraved with matters relating to royal income. They did not date at their own time, but instead dated them to the early kings' era in order to establish an ancient claim to the temple's finances. An early example might say awkward files'. They even boldly used inscriptions to end the inscription. This is not a lie, it is indeed a fact. ' Scribes soon discovered that it is possible to modify the history of the past – in line with the real economy. In 1968, George Orwell’s fictional language “new discourse” was nothing new.

In Babylon and other early civilizations, reading was seen as an aristocratic activity. Therefore, only those who are specially trained and trusted can master the skills they need. The chosen person is taught in a private school and separated from others. It is worth noting that slave owners rarely teach their slaves how to read in history. Only the economic needs of the industrial revolution and the demand for a well-educated workforce can achieve mass literacy.

The ability to read awakens some of my long-term dormant desires to live spiritually from

 . ' Malcolm X.

I find it hard to imagine what my life would be like if I didn't read it. For example, if I was born in the Neolithic Age, I might spend time doing daydreaming and trying to decode stars at night. I don't think I will be very good at hunting mammoth #39; games. In the ancient storytelling art, I might find an exit for my imagination somewhere.

'Read, read, read from

 . ' William Faulkner.

Storytelling – still in many ways – is at the heart of all human culture. It helps us understand the world, pass on history, resolve disputes, meet the needs of games and entertainment, reference the supernatural powers of perception and/or build the norms and values ​​that our lives lead. In addition, storytelling allows us to communicate our personal experiences to others and to record our actions, knowledge, beliefs and attitudes towards future generations. Writing and reading enable us to do this to a greater extent.

And Descartes said – from

"I think so I am.' from

  I say – from

"I am, so I read from

 . '

The philosopher AC Grayling expressed this view:

' Reading is flying: it is soaring to a favorable position, it can see history, human diversity, thoughts, shared experience and the results of many explorations. The life of the equipment may not be happier at the time – sometimes it may not be so real, because knowing more can feel more, and the foundation of history is the long-term cry of pain – but it is more abundant… from


Or as Flaubert said more succinctly: from

'Reading for life from

 . '

Main resources:

Reading history from

 Author: Alberto Manguel [1997 Flamingo]
After the Tower of Babel from

 George Steiner [Oxford University Press, 1975]… Click here!The China Secret.

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