The Written World: How Literature Shaped History
You're likely to list the invention of paper, the printing press and the world wide web as major influences on the way we share stories. You probably wouldn't include Malian singers, American astronauts, Greek generals, Japanese courtiers and Spanish adventurers. And yet all of them played a crucial role in shaping and spreading literature as we know it today.The Written World tells the riveting story of the development of literature, where stories intersect with writing technologies like clay, stone, parchment, paper, printing presses and computers. Central to the development of religions, political movements and even nations, texts spread useful truths and frightening disinformation, and have the power to change lives. Through vivid storytelling and across a huge sweep of time, The Written World offers a new and enticing perspective on human history.
The true story of literature -- of how writing changed civilizations, cultures and the history of the world
Martin Puchner holds the Byron and Anita Wien Chair in Drama, English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University. He has published over a dozen books, collections, and anthologies, and is the general editor of the six volume Norton Anthology of World Literature, used by students worldwide. He has written for the London Review of Books, Raritan Review, Bookforum and N+1.