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Listen to 90 Famous Authors & Celebrities Read Great Stories & Poems — openculture.com

In a logocentric culture—as Jacques Derrida defined it—such as has existed in the West for hundreds of years, writing occupies a hallowed space, and literary or philosophical writing all the more so. The rhythms of everyday speech, the gestures and significant looks that characterize our quotidian interactions are deemed less important than the presumably indelible marks on the page. Of course, before the written word, or at least the printed word and widespread literacy, speech was primary, and no literary culture existed without it. From philosophers conducting peripatetic dialogues, to priests reciting scripture, to bards reciting poetry in taverns, the nuances of voice and gesture were inseparable from the text.

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