Historical Remediation

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Historical Remediation

The history of writing is filled with accounts of humans struggling with new forms of writing tools. With the development of new writing technologies, newer tools remodeled older forms of technology to create faster writing systems. Remediation has made huge impacts on the literary world over the past few generations by looking at the cultural rivalry between different technologies and the progression of those technologies. As the years pass, new inventions are continually created to help make the tools used for writing faster, convenient and more efficient at a lower cost.

Pursuits for economical writing tools date to before 1000 BC when the Egyptians created a delicate, layered reed called papyrus, to write hieroglyphs. To make this fragile material, Egyptians had to cut and peel tall papyrus reeds creating “thin strips, which were laid on a flat, wet surface, first vertically and then horizontally… the two layers bonded to form a sheet of papyrus, which was dried in the sun and polished smooth with ivory or shell” (“Scroll and Codex”). Due to the long process of producing papyrus, the cost of owning the tool was very expensive and only available to the wealthy.

In addition to being expensive, papyrus was not a very time efficient tool. The process of making the material was a large factor, but also storing and durability were a problem. However, for those who could afford and store the difficult items, papyrus provided a way for oral communications to be written down. “Writing on papyrus remediated oral communication by involving the eye as well as the ear and so giving the words a different claim to reality” (Bolter 23). Finally, important decrees and information could be written ...

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...will continue to write by hand when they need to, but primary use the computer for everyday use. As the people of the 15th century learned to deal with progress of mass production, people of the 21st century will learn with each new remediation, the writing tool only improves.

Works Cited

Bolter, Jay David. Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print.

New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2001.

Ilan, Meir Bar. Parchment. 13 February 2003. < >.

“Scroll and Codex.” Encyclopedia Romana Online. Encyclopedia Romona. 2001-2002.

11 February 2003.


Tomlinson, Sue. History of Writing. 1998-1999. 9 February 2003.

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