The Written World: How Literature Shaped History

Author(s): Martin Puchner


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.


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The true story of literature -- of how writing changed civilizations, cultures and the history of the world

With the premise that literature and stories have shaped the world as we know it, Puchner writes an incredibly detailed book to support that argument and you will find it hard to disagree. From Gilgamesh to Confucius and Cervantes to Pamuk, this fascinating exploration will make you a believer in the written word, if you weren't already - Elisa, Book Grocer

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.

General Fields

  • : 9781783783137
  • : Granta Books
  • : Granta Books
  • : September 2017
  • : 216mm X 138mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : November 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Martin Puchner
  • : Hardback
  • : 1712
  • : en
  • : 809
  • : 432