Braudel's perspective of longue durée allows us to posit two fundamental transformations of social communication in the history of culture. The first such reconfiguration took place in the ancient Greece: over the centuries, thanks to the possibilities offered by the phonetic alphabet, the orality of Homeric times gradually became transformed into the epoch of Plato's writing. Print was the second phase and the fulfillment of this transformation. The second reconfiguration of the social communication is taking place currently as we move to an audiovisual culture. It began in the 19th century (photography, voice recording, cinematography). The analogue phase of audiovisual communication developed in the 20th century mainly through the sound film and television. Currently we are observing a digital phase of this transformation (computers, the Internet, mobile phones). Digital binary recording makes it possible to transform the entire universe of communication, and plays a role in contemporary culture that can be compared to the role of the phonetic alphabet in the transformation of oral cultures into cultures of writing and print.
Maryla Hopfinger, Instytut Badan Literackich PAN, ul. Nowy Swiat 72, 00-330 Warszawa, Poland
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