March 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

By Callum Smith: https://sites.google.com/site/callumsmithwebsitecopywriting/

On computer screen reading comprehension, 1 concept per page is important because digital screens stimulate your right-brain hemisphere. Your right-brain hemisphere comprehends all written information at once, in an instant. Words on digital screens should therefore act like pictures. It’s a “poetic experience”. Here’s reasoning:

According to communications theorist Walter Ong, his following article, which I greatly edited for the purpose of this post, speaks of something he calls “poetic knowledge:

“…Imitation must have to do with form, and form is precisely that by which we know…material things…If we take the instance of a piece of music…and examine that which makes it a one thing, we find that…the wholeness and completeness of the work, is unexpressible in philosophical statement…The only way to know our concerto is to listen to it. What is true of music in this sense is true of all the other fine arts…The Greeks called what we call fine arts ‘imitative arts’…The work of fine art as we know it when we know it most thoroughly: to take a particular instance, that particular something that we take away with us from a performance of Othello and which we do not know from any other play, but from Othello alone.”

This thing is the very heart of the work…

“We must not allow our discussion to become entangled in the more proximate truths which the words of such a play represent to us: the truths of the individual judgments which make up the actors’ speeches, or even the truths which is the story itself, but we must cling to this deeper principle of unity which makes the work a one…’Poetic experience,…poetic knowledge that seems in immediate contact  with the real’…This thing which is the artistic whole,…is a thing which is originally met with in nature. From nature the same characteristic kind of knowledge is had…’Knowledge that seems in immediate contact with the real’…A thing constructed of a manifold of forms, a truth arising out of a richness of truths…The artist has deliberately catered to our capabilities and calculatingly seeks to bring out certain forms which he knows will produce the desired effect and to suppress others which are irrelevant…He judges by the effect and…whether the work is properly done or not…Of poetic knowledge of natural things there is a more than ordinary contact with truth…In poetic knowledge there is a single reality which is cognized…It is precisely this thing that is the imitation in the case of fine arts… (Ong)”

Web writing can be seen as a fine art because it speaks to the right-brain hemisphere; web writing is poetic; web writing is the HEART of the message.

I encourage you to read Walter Ong’s entire article, and then all his articles, because you’re interested in digital writing reading comprehension: http://slulink.slu.edu/special/digital/ong/published/published_article5.pdf


Ong, Walter, J., Imitation and the Object of Art


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