Summer 1998 Update
The work for this, the first, online bibliography of the primary works of Walter J. Ong continues as my research assistant Molly Youngkin and I begin the process of annotating each item in the bibliography. My gratitude goes to the members of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition Forum at the University of Dayton for their generous support to the project through research grants given for the summer of 1998. That support allows Molly Youngkin to work with me, bringing to this work her immpeccable research skills and her ability to think through with me the knotty problems of annotation. Her keen eye also targeted a number of minor spelling errors and pagination issues in the original list; those errors have been corrected in the updated version.
To begin the process of annotation, we read each item published by Ong and available to us from 1940 - 1958. Ong had some of his early writing published before this time (e.g., his reports on the Boy Scout Jamboree in Scotland were published in 1929), but we only listed them and began with the scholarly articles. Our intention is to give a basic summary of the article, staying as close as we can to Ong's concepts and meaning. We hope the internal links within the annotation will lead readers through the annotations and to the original journals in which the article was published. Any later reprint in another volume is also noted.
We have sought to keep our own opinions out of the annotations in order to hear Ong's voice alone; however, in some cases when we recognized that an article refers to 1) another article previously written, 2) a concept that comes to fruition in his future work, or 3) a line of thought that becomes central in Ong's later work, we note that fact. We believe readers will appreciate these connections.
It is possible to see in these annotations, which in this update ends with 1958, Ong's building of a solid foundation for his entire body of work. His Ph.D. experience with the puzzle of Peter Ramus leads to a proliferation of articles beyond the dissertation itself but very much related. Here he establishes himself as a careful, thorough researcher who writes with original insight into a broad range of literary, historical, cultural, and rhetorical topics. By 1958 he had a solid reputation as a national and international scholar, having published in such prestigious journals as PMLA, Speculum, English Studies, and Modern Language Quarterly.
I wrote in the introductory essay in December, 1997, that work is underway to construct an Ong Web page at St. Louis University. E-mail exchanges with John Waide indicate that staff from the Archives are working with the university to have the page up and running soon. The appropriate links will include connection to this site, and this site will be linked to the St. Louis page.
These annotations will continue on a regular basis until all of the items are complete. I extend again the invitation to other scholars to send annotations to be added to mine. I wish to acknowledge those of you who have sent suggestions, ideas for changes in the page, and reprint information. The beauty of the WWW is found in its potential to allow participation in this work that belongs to all of us. E-mail your annotations to my address at the end of the front page and include your name, institution, and position; I will be happy to post them. Thank you to all who come to visit this page and move this important work forward.