As promised: It’s time to talk about boustrophedonic texts (hurrah!). This isn’t relevant to today’s class, but I promised I’d explain this in the last post, so here I am! Please note that it’s 6 o’clock, I haven’t eaten since I left my house at 7 this morning, and the girl next to me in the library is listening to Taylor Swift incredibly loudly. But oh well, I’ll try and shake it off. (Feel free to laugh at there, we both know I’m hilarious.)
The Cambridge Companion has let me down yet again, so I’m going to have to go on another library adventure. I hope nobody steals my coffee.
… Can I just say: Finding any information on this in the McClay was an absolute pain, to the point that it is now 18:53, and I’m running late for my Cosmic Encounter game (Yes, I have lame, nerdy hobbies. Don’t judge me.) and will have to finish this entry tomorrow. UGH!
Let’s try this again. An example of a boustrophedonic script is the Indus script, which was discussed to a certain extent in the last post. Of the Indus script, Sir Mortimer Wheeler says that “(t)he seals and tablets have introduced examples of the pictographic script which still constitutes one of the major mysteries of the Indus civilisation… it is uniform throughout the considerable period which its usage is known to have covered. This stability suggests perhaps a precocious maturity rather than any lengthy process of evolution; and… the script ‘remains in what may be called, on Egyptian analogy, the hieroglyphic state; it has not degenerated nor been worn down by use to conventional summaries like Egyptian hieratic, the Babylonian cuneiform, or the Chinese writing’*… The inscriptions begin from the right, but where there is a second line this begins from the left, i.e. the sequence is boustrophedon… the script cannot be an alphabet; it is probably syllabic, with admixture of some pictorial representations or ideograms… accents are added to a large number of letters, a remarkable feature which in itself emphasizes phonetic maturity… the script bears no ascertainable relationship with any contemporary or near contemporary script…. The conditions requisite for the interpretation of the script – a bi-lingual inscription including a known language, or a long inscription with significant recurrent features – are not yet present.” (Wheeler 107)
To sum up, the Indus script and boustrophedonic texts are weird. For a more visual representation of boustrophedon, here are some more words from our old friend, Kant**:
Today’s video comes from Izzy, and discusses the differences between Kindles and books. Thanks, Izzy!
* See generally S. Smith and C. J. Gadd in Marshall, II, pp. 406 ff.
** Because I have not yet returned this book to the library
*** Or “publishing books without having been empowered by the author.” To translate Bϋchernachdruck as “literary piracy” would seem inconsistent with the “appearance of being rightful” which Kant says it has. The language used here is similar to that of his essay “Von der Unrechtmässigkeit des Bϋchernachdrucks,” Berliner Monatsschrift (May 1785) (AK 8:77-87)
**** von rechtswegen verboten. The term von rechtswegen was used earlier (6:250; p. 40), apparently in the sense of “by legal proceedings.”
***** durch seinem eigenmächtigen Verlag
^ acts as if he has a mandate without having a mandate
^^ mechanical work
^^^ … I can’t find a B, II, (a), and I went to add a photo of me looking frustrated to the Appendices, but it turns out my phone is dead (so, incidentally, is god).
^^^^ Is it just me, or is this Kant text getting very boring, very quickly? If this is what law students have to read every day, it’s really no surprise that my flatmate last year was a massive [CENSORED].