"Art does not reproduce the visible but makes visible," wrote celebrated artist Paul Klee. This History of Writing adopts the same principle - writing doesn't reproduce speech, it makes it visible. Image-making evolved into writing and thereby governed the way it was used, as confirmed by the fact that the invention of ideograms was linked to divinatory practices and star-gazing in both Mesopotamia and China. The volume is divided into three sections. The first is devoted the oldest, non-alphabetic methods of writing, and to the ingenious developments devised by civilizations that chose to adapt them to their language and culture. The second focuses on the history and spread of alphabets. The third shows how the Western alphabet has reincorporated imagery into writing in various hand-written and printed forms, leading to questions about how different writing systems are now affected by computer technology.
The individual chapters of The History of Writing employ imagery in two ways, either to illustrate a specific point or to present an example of a given aspect of writing, in which case the accompanying text provides an enlightening commentary designed to make the images more legible. A new account of writing from prehistory to the present day, covering all aspects of the evolution of various alphabets and their use from Mesopotamia and Ancient Eygpt to modern day Web design Richly illustrated throughout with sample alphabets, historical documents, etc. No volume of similar scope available on the market today