Introduction: Speaking, Writing, and Remembering

  • Alessandro Portelli
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Oral History book series (PSOH)


In order to survive, the speech of common people and of the non-hegemonic classes had to fortify itself into forms and structures more sophisticated than those as yet achieved in the appropriation of writing. This is why this book relies on oral sources: not because they are more “authentic,” but because they remain a privileged form of expression, political identity and historical memory of the working class and the common people. The chapter describes the relationship of sound and writing (transcription); dialect and standard language; performance and text; interviewer and interviewee; memory, subjectivity, imagination, and history.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università di RomaRomeItaly

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