People are now coming to recognize a more complex interplay of different forms of human communication, from lullabies to hypertext and beyond. This book notes that the question of causality will not get us very far, because writing and reading are hardly constant at all times and places. At its origin lies a yeshiva class. Comparing the place of texts in various cultural situations might help explain the persistent isolation of Jewish culture as a research specialty in anthropology. This chapter hints at the challenges to the still-prevalent notion that there is a bifurcation, analogous to that between orality and literacy, between the real world and the world of scholarship.
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