«Transitional» Texts Across the World – What Are They?

Finnegan, Ruth (2020). «Transitional» Texts Across the World – What Are They? Rilce: Revista de Filología Hispánica, 36(4) pp. 1251–1272.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15581/008.36.4.1251-72

Abstract

The main argument of this article is that, to some degree, all texts can be called 'transitional': They are, necessarily, set within the ongoing or processes of history, thus multiple in nature, flexible, changing, conditional on specific occasions, shaped by their cultural context(s), their medium and, above all, by specific creators and receivers. Similarly, I argue that there does not exist anything necessarily revolutionary about the once touted but now widely questioned 'Great Divide' between orality and literacy across which texts had to make a great transition. I also discuss the various different modes and situations in which texts could be said to be, for different users and purposes, in some way 'transitional', with particular reference to examples from Africa and the South Pacific. I conclude that all culture, all language, all human action is in a sense transitional and dynamic.

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