The Alphabet Versus the Goddess

The Alphabet Versus the Goddess

The Conflict Between Word and Image

Book - 1998
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From the author of the bestselling Art and Physics comes a new book with breathtaking implications. Making remarkable connections across a wide range of subjects, including neurology, anthropology, history, and religion, Leonard Shlain argues that the development of alphabetic literacy itself reinforced the human brain's left hemisphere--linear, abstract, predominantly masculine--at the expense of its right--holistic, concrete, visual, feminine.The Alphabet Versus the Goddess charts the connection between alphabetic literacy and monotheism; patriarchy and misogyny, and tracks the correlations between the rise and fall of literacy and the status of women in society, mythology, and religion.Shlain further examines the tremendous shift that has occurred with the return of the image. Is it a coincidence that the TV/movie/computer age has seen the resurgence of women's political power as well as renewed interest in the divine feminine? Shlain sees us moving toward an equilibrium between left and right hemisperes--between word and image.A thrilling read, filled with historical anecdote and breathtaking insights, this book will transform your view of history and the mind.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Penguin/Arkana, 1998
ISBN: 9780670878833
Branch Call Number: 302.2244 SHLAIN 1998
Characteristics: xiv, 464 pages, 11 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Feb 19, 2016

Amazing! I have been telling all my friends about this book!

Jan 14, 2016

This is a fascinating book, presenting the theory that [alphabetic] language shifts brains to left-lobe mode, which, Shalin assumes, is male dominant. So to be literate, to get out of the caves, we have to be patriarchial!? Grim if true. He writes well and is convincing.
I just wonder tho: if men are more left lobe dominant, and women right lobe, why have no researchers noticed this? I track this hemispheric specialization/lateralization and can assure you that even McGilchrist [see his magnum opus, The Master and His Emissary] is silent on this.
Still, i haven't seen any other theories on why, suddenly, around the time literacy arrived, the whip came down on women.

Feb 04, 2015

It presents a paradigm-changing idea about the patriarchy and implications for some current trends in media.


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