Review: Pathways of the Mind

The late John Miles Foley (1947–2012) was a highly respected scholar of oral poetry. In his last book, Oral Tradition and the Internet: Pathways of the Mind (2012), which is the print version of his Pathways Project wiki, he proposes a structural analogy between the way oral poets fashion their performances and the manner in which web users traverse the links of the hypertext medium. From this analogy, the author proceeds to spin an end of print yarn, suggesting that the web liberates us from the tyranny of the book and returns us to the happier dispensation that prevails under the culture of oral poetry.

I find this claim unconvincing and express my reservations in a review article.