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On Sat, Sep 24, 2011 at 3:55 AM, Logan Kearsley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> What surprises me is that there was a guy reading aloud! I was talking
> to... somebody, I think it was an editor... at WorldCon about how a
> lot of the stylistic differences between modern fiction and 1800's are
> due to the fact that 19th century novels and earlier were intended to
> be read aloud as entertainment, whereas now we have TV and nobody
> reads aloud anymore (so if someone is going to be reading aloud in the
> lunchroom, I suppose it's only appropriate that the material was a
> 19th century novel). 'Tis rather a rare skill; most people seem to
> read *very* slowly when vocalizing, and it's really rare to get
> someone who can do character voices distinctively.

Somewhere in Samuel Delany's _About Writing_, he talks about the
stylistic differences between oral storytelling and prose fiction -- I
don't recall for sure if he talked about reading aloud in that
connection, but I think so.  In short, written prose tends to have a
higher information density, and if necessary we slow down our reading
and look back at earlier passages, etc.  With oral storytelling, we
need lower information density and more repetition to ensure that we
can absorb everything, because we can't slow it down or look back at
an earlier part to refresh our memories.

-- 
Jim Henry
http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/