Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yesterday I finished The Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf, a book on the science of the reading brain.

The idea of the book is a little better than the actual book is. It's still pretty interesting but a little disappointing.

It goes over the history of reading/writing, starting with the earliest representational scripts and leading up to the modern systems, like the Chinese, Japanese scripts and the Greek alphabet. One odd omission is the Arabic alphabet, which isn't mentioned at all.

The middle section of the book deals with what parts of the brain are involved with reading, and how that evolves over time as reader progresses from just learning to decipher text to being an experience reader able to consider subtleties. And the third section uses analysis of dyslexic readers to further illuminate how the brain processes text.

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