Enigmatic Spaces and Illusive Maps


Material Information

Enigmatic Spaces and Illusive Maps Deciphering the Epigraph in Catherine Fisher's Incarceron and Sapphique
Physical Description:
1 online resource (39 p.)
Holmes, Kendra D
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Master's ( M.A.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Committee Chair:
Ulanowicz, Anastasia
Committee Members:
Wegner, Phillip E


Subjects / Keywords:
epigraph -- human -- incarceron -- machine -- reader -- sapphique
English -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
English thesis, M.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Published in 2007 and 2008, Catherine Fisher’s duology Incarceron and Sapphique follows the pursuit of several individuals’ attempt toescape the oppression, control and murderous nature of the prison called theirhome—Incarceron. Over the span of two novels, Young Finn, Claudia and theprison desperately search for the origins of their identity, which seems to betangled within a constructed culture and forgotten history.  In both form and content, Incarceron and Sapphique offer novel ways of thinking about identity, memory andhistory.  Like the narratives’ characters,Incarceron and Sapphique are a compilation of many identities andconstructions.  The texts function as asite of merger, in which reader identity and text identity are explored.  A combined replica of social science fiction,the dystopian future and the cyberpunk text, Fisher’s novels repurpose thedystopian classic in order to address key issues engaged bypostmodernists—namely questions of existence, identity and reality. In this paper, I will focus on the main device thatstructures our reading, the epigraphs that begin each chapter.  Insofar as the content of the epigraphinvites its readers to question how they define what it means to be human andhow the distinctions between the human and artificial intelligence may be morecomplex than they might have presumed.  Incarceron and Sapphique in turn call these readers to consider the categories andbeliefs that structure their perceptions of self and of the world around them.On the reader’s behalf, the novels’ use of the epigraph allows for interpretivefreedom and varies ways of reading the text. The mere presence of the epigraph,as parallel narratives to Fisher’s main narrative, forces readers to becomeactive participants in the construction of Incarceronand Sapphique. In deciphering these epigraphs,the texts show that the relationship between human (reader) and machine (text)is necessary to construct the meaning of both narratives.
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Kendra D Holmes.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Adviser: Ulanowicz, Anastasia.
Electronic Access:

Record Information

Source Institution:
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text




2 2012 Kendra Holmes


3 To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Fir st and foremost, I would like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for providing me with the strength and endurance to accomplish this tedious project. Secondly, I would like to thank Anastasia Ulanowicz director and friend for being extremely patient and supportive of me, while I endured this extremely stressful, yet rewarding time. I would like to acknowledge Phillip Wegner and Kenneth Kidd as they have encouraged, challenged and supported me in my many wild and crazy ideas. Thank you for always say ing, encouraged me to pursue my endeavors, I would like to thank my friends as they have showed a plethora of love and grace towards me. Russell McMullen, Jacob Riley, Mallory Kebbel, Corey Messer, Joh n, Lauren, Kate and Owen Hildebrandt, Andrea Ruane, Shaun Duke, Casey Wilson, Emily Murphy, NaToya Faughnder, Sean Printz Amy Carty and Danica Gordon thank you for being a second pair of eyes, and ears when I needed them. Further, in addition to their sup port, Russell, Mallory, Amy, Andrea, Lauren Danica and Corey thank you for being fervent in your love for me and taking the ti m e out of your busy lives to meet my needs. I love you all and God Bless!


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 6 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 7 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 9 Opening Statements ................................ ................................ ................................ 9 Reclaiming Conventions and Understanding Traditions ................................ ......... 11 2 STRANGE CIPHERS ................................ ................................ .............................. 15 3 METAMORPHIC SYSTEMS ................................ ................................ ................... 26 4 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 36 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 38 BIOGRA PHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 39


6 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Project Report; Martor Sapiens ................................ ................................ .......... 15 2 2 Songs of Sapphique ................................ ................................ ........................... 19


7 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts ENIGMATIC SPACES AND ILLUSIVE MAPS: SAPPHIQUE By Kend r a Holmes August 2012 Chair: Anastasia Ulanowicz Major: English Incarceron and Sapphique control and murderous nature of the prison called their home Incarceron. Over the span of two nove ls, Young Finn, Claudia and the prison desperately search for the origins of their identity, which seems to be tangled within a constructed culture and forgotten history. In both form and content, Incarceron and Sapphique offer novel ways of thinking abou Incarceron and Sapphique are a compilation of many identities and constructions. The texts function as a site of merger, in which reader identity and text identity are explored. A combined replica of social science fiction, the dystopian future and the cyberpunk engaged by postmodernists namely questions of existence, identity and reality. I n this paper, I will focus on the main device that structures our reading, the epigraphs that begin each chapter. Insofar as the content of the epigraph invites its readers to question how they define what it means to be human and how the


8 distinctions between the human and artificial intelligence may be more complex than they might have presumed Incarceron and Sapphique in turn call these readers to consider the categories and beliefs that structure their perceptions of self and of the interpretive freedom and varies ways of reading the text. The mere presence of the active participants in the constru ction of Incarceron and Sapphique In deciphering these epigraphs, the texts show that the relationship between human (reader) and machine (text) is necessary to construct the meaning of both narratives.


9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION I wanted to explore all our uncertainties ab out ourselves in this sequel to Incarceron. Who are we? Can we do the things others expect of us? And can we ever escape ourselves? Catherine Fisher Sapphique Opening Statements Incarceron (2007) and Sapphique (2008), draw on traditions of cyberpunk, steampunk, and social science fiction in order to depict the repercussions of a social scientific experiment specifically, a prison that exhibits characteristics of what has come to be called artificial novel s depict was created in the first instal Incarceron who periodically has unexplainable dreams and visions that suggest a previous existence outside of the prison. In the cour se of the narrative, Finn travels through the vast and intricate space of the prison with his companions Keiro, Attia, and Gildas, and the way, Finn discovers a key which allows him to peer into the outside world, an ostens ible paradise called the Realm; in so doing, he spies Claudia, daughter to the only to enter another imperfect worl d governed by conflict, oppression, and ruin. Ultimately, Finn learns that he cannot attain freedom, and that what he thought a better reality is a bitter illusion.


10 Sapphique to buil this way, to escape the entity it was initially designed to become. Driven by this desire to human efforts and the prison is once again forced to submit to the authority of its creators, the authority of the Realm. Both Incarceon and Sapphique can be read as offering models of reality. They suggest that a desired or imagined reality is just as valuable and reliable as actual reality. Obtaining life in the Realm appears to Finn and his companions as constituting freedom an accepted paradise because both th e inhabitants of the Realm and the complex relationship between human and machine to engage with various dichotomies ranging from this notion of authority versus freed om to real versus this relationship to show that any sense of human sovereignty, free wi ll, or self control is but an illusion. Both and formal and stylistic craftsmanship open this space of uncertainty, perplexity, and doubt. Incarceron and Sa pphique text and its narrative content suggest that adolescent identity is constructed through


11 envi ronment. The text asks the reader to pay attention to visual elements, such as typography and framing devices, in order to decipher the meaning of the main narrative. The text foregrounds the mediated relationship of reader to text, rather than presenting the text as direct avenue to its fictional worlds. We can think about these visual disrupt it. Furthermore, the mechanic structure reflects the questions concerning h uman identity raised in the primary narrative. In what follows, I will focus on one of the main devices that structure our reading, the epigraphs that open each chapter. Insofar as the content of the epigraph invites its readers to question what it means to be. The device calls readers to acknowledge that distinctions between human and artificial intelligence might be more complex than they might have presumed. Incarceron and Sapphique prompt their readers to consider the categories and beliefs that stru cture their perceptions of self and the world around them. varied ways of reading the text. The mere presence of the epigraph, as parallel narratives, forces readers to be come active participants in the construction of the texts. human (reader) and machine (text) is necessary to construct meaning. Reclaiming Conventions a nd Understanding Tra ditions h y sentence placed at the commencement of a work, a chapter, etc. to indicate the leading idea or and


12 famous example of the device is th century epic masterpiece, Inferno In Canto 3 and verses 1 through 9, for example, Dante sees the inscription above the gate of hell: (139). In his 1954 Inferno 1 In this example, the epigraph acts as a cautionary warning, providing in dividuals with a description of what lies behind the gate. some degree it retained its Greek roots. Samuel Johnson, literary critic and author of the Dictionary of the Engli sh Language (1785, vol.2, p.156). Not only did Johnson establish a definition for the term that correlates to our contempor ary denotation, he was an enthusiastic user of the device himself. According to Gurtman, it was because of Johnson that people began to understand the epigraph as a witty and pithy saying. Both its meanings as an inscription and a quote to commence a wor k suggest that those who continue to use the epigraph do not do so at random, but are guided by some larger sentiment or agenda. Readers have only to consider the uses of the epigraph in the nineteenth century. Edgar Allen Poe, for example used the device to preface his poetry and to provide further description to his titles. Mary Anne Evans, 1 canto 3.1 per me si va nella citt John ription reads: This is one the first literary texts in which we see the epigraph being used to represent a literal inscription upon an object.


13 whose pen name was George Elliot, used what had at this point become a popular Anna Kareni na (1878) 2 the epigraph functions as a thematic device that referred to key passages of the consciousness of his characters. As the Romantic gave way to the Modernist era, Petersburg (1913) 3 which, and considerably one of the most important works of the 20 th century 4 draws its epig raph from the Russian historical archive in order to tell an alternative history of the 1905 Russian Revolution. As the above examples make clear, the epigraph as a literary device draws attention to the narrative in its entirety. As a result, readers may assume that the epigraph serves to place into relief key aspects of the main narrative by providing clarity potential: instead of helping readers to move freely though the narrat ive plot, epigraphs can lead readers astray, much like deceptive narrators. In this way, the epigraph has 2 The epigraph in reference here is Lev Anna Karenina statement frames his narrative of Anna Karenina in its entirety. Anna Karenina follows the d estruction of a the wrath of God, for it is writt his time, Tolstoy uses a biblical text to frame his narrative. 3 Petersburg begins each chapter with epigraphic material in the form of historical poetry or indirect correlation to the narrative. The epigraph may be so far removed from the text, although they being refe rence to understand its correlation to the narrative fully. 4 Petersburg (1913) Ulysses (1922)


14 the potential of creating an alternative ironic narrative, contrary to the one the reader is supposed to embrace. The use of playful, obscure and iron ic epigraphs to produce As we have seen in the preceding examples, the traditional use of the epigraph may serve as a preface, summary, counter example or a method to link th e text to a urces outside the universe of her novels. Rather, these epigraphs derive from the same fictional space the form, because they never refer with one significant exceptio Incarceron and Sapphique refer to imaginary tex ts attributed to the same novel s fictional characters (e.g., Sapphique, and Incarceron). In turn, these epigraphs imply multiple layers and between human (reader) and machine (text). The text is analogous to the machine as it offers readers a means to engage with the aut and other cultural literary traces the reader cannot construct or conceive a meaning of the text. My following narration in order to argue that these two characteristics come together to invite the reader into a space of complexity and uncertainty.


15 CHAPTER 2 STRANGE CIPHERS even as their visual structure reflects the physical architecture of Incarceron. Further, the epigraphic content provides visual documentation regarding the history of the significance within the main narrative, their testimonies are essential to grasping the complex relationship that the no vels develop between Incarceron and the Realm. Figure 2 1. Project Report; Martor Sapiens helpful to perform a close reading of two exemplary epigraphs taken from Incarceron First, I would like to draw attention to the visual construction of the epigraph. The esign and engineered intelligence governs and shelters its inmates. The description of Incarceron visual design. As its visual design mimics the complexity of the prison, m aking it to


16 readers into its narrative content. Once readers engage with the narrative contained within the epigraphic space, they struggle to find a correlation between ction of the prison. Fisher does not let her additional content stand alone; instead, each of her epigraphs is embellished by two arrows that circle and entraps the fragmented text. These arrows come together to encase the information provided before each chapter. The arrows do not completely intersect. We are left with a tiny space which allows readers and the chapter number to enter into and exit the space of the epigraph. In addition, the fluidity of each arrow is disrupted by tiny circles that potentia lly redirect us, and enigmatic symbols that complicate our course of surveillance at the bottom of the box. ned enigmatic space: it is at once the size of a tiny cube and as vast as an entire world. Moreover, even as the contains [metallic] mountains, forests of silver trees, and The prison is built as a metallic maze with metal chambers, corridors, circuits, and power to consume our attention, controlling how we read the text. In the first encounter with the epigraph, readers may not be aware of the


17 the epigraphic framing, readers may be lured into approaching its material from top t o bottom. When approaching the epigraph from top to bottom, we notice that arrows are lured into this rather peculiar space, only then are readers permitted to read the chapter with an expectation of a correlation to the epigraph. However to an unclear relationship between the content of the chapter and the epigraph, immediate compre hension does not occur. As a result, readers are, brought back to the epigraphic space. readers to the ambiguity and lack of clarity within a text they might otherwise consider a straight forward narration. This ambiguity also invites richer interpretations. If the reader pays attention to the epigraphic material, not only acknowledging its visual presence but also working to determine the significance of its design, then s/he may discover further more complex ways to read the novels. Reading the epigraphs is thus necessary to construct a richer interpretation of the text. In order to grasp the relationship between narrative content and visual presentation, readers must acknowledge from other elements such as typography and the visual boarder that encases them. In addition it can be acknowledged t text, such as page design and typography. Grutman suggests that the presence or


18 the epigraph, has repercussions for the text as a the epigraph will affect interpretation. However, I would like to suggest that the epigraph does more than complicate design and to the fun ction of the epigraph. Based on this reading, readers may infer similar to the way the epigraph, due to its placement before the opening of each chapter shepherds the nove but a desire for cultural or societal change. Insofar as Incarceron is a differential space from that o f the Realm, the epigraph likewise is a space set a part from the main narrative. Both epigraph and prison are composed of a weaving of material, the epigraph that of previously composed narrations, stories and histories a compilation of fictional and no n fictional works and Incarceron of human flesh and metal. This comparison signals that there is more to be discovered about the narratives contained ysical nature of the prison and its prisoners, thus drawing further attention to the correlation between the correlation between the epigraphs and the characters further suggests that neither is


19 just as the prisoners of Incarceron are internally a synthesis of metal and organic human flesh. m left, is an account taken from the The author, Sapphique, a legendary figure who escaped from Incarceron, states that he bones are steel, his veins are circuits, and either a literal it is not until readers encounter ch apter thirteen and revisit chapter five of Incarceon that Chapters five and thirteen of Incarceron epigraphic content. The epigraph is a descriptio internal being. Figure 2 2. Songs of Sapphique brother and fellow prisoner of Incarceron, talk about a group of prisoners who appear to be half machine and half human. Be


20 outside of the prison, readers can in turn begin to decipher the importance of chapter as the epi graph I suggests is a genetically modified being composed of machine and organic human flesh. In chapter five, Finn defends his status as a human who can trace his origins to organic reproduction, rather than as a product of recycled circuitry produced within t defense of his organic rather than synthetic humanity takes on additional significance once it is considered in light of the epigraph that precedes chapter nine. After all, realize is a literal reference to the metallic material running through the bodies of epigraph suggests that Incarceron really does breed its human material and metal components and fibers available within confines of the prison. Moreover, once the reader pu information they glean from the epigraph, s/he will infer that the prison in which Finn reproducing. As the epigraph im plies, Incarceron is an artificial intelligence that has the power to replicate human flesh. Thus, when we are told in the epigraph that Incarceron


21 introducing a number of characters who appear to be inorganic in nature. Chapter hreaded the moment, the narrative invites readers to re evaluate how they define the how their definitions of the human may falter in light of key information given by the text. enmeshed with the metallic composition of the prison, and in turn, to wha t degree such individuals could still be considered human. the human and the inhuman (machine) because given enough organs, a machine would be capable of responding in a manner utterly indistinguishable from that of a human is a clear distinction between the hum an and inhuman. The definition reads that: the contrasted (both positively and negatively) with things commonly regarded as impersonal or mechanical, as machines, s explicitly asserts a distinction between the human and machine, while Badmington


22 suggest otherwise. The progression of various lines of thoughts ranging from Kantian to Post humanist philosophy concerning human i dentity has shown that the human is an entity that relies on various technological agents and machines. Human existence and progression hinges on the very existence of the machine. Discourse on the Me thod of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Seeking Truth in the Sciences (1637), compares the human to its synthetic counterpart, the machine which he refers to as the automa ton The automaton is simply, a machine fabricated by human industry. Descartes would be unable to produce and articulate language and possess reason. The machine could n the machine is a programed entity and hence does not act on its own volition. Desc artes recognizes that while the machine may carry out actions in a more efficient manner than its human counter artes, the human is any species that has the ability to articulate thoughts in suc h a way that others can receive while demonstrating the ability to reason and process multiple potentialities before carrying out an action. For Descartes, the human is a pro duct of reason, logic, and knowledge all of which the machine is not.


23 humans with all hum an faculties intact, then there would be no distinction. Badmington argues that the machine has civilized and preserved the human species and is hence a necessary asset to human existence and development. He states: ould there be a human witness? What might such an onlooker reveal about the apparent apocalypse? If technology has truly beyond the space of humanism, own funeral, how c dead? What looks doubt. (13) distinguishing the human from the inhuman, Badmington finds the machine to be very much a part of human existence. For Badmington, the human is an internal compilation of mech anic properties and a being that relies upon the machine for living and interactions with fellow humans. conceptualization of the human helps us better understand the scription of the suggest Incarceron are deceived by their apparent organic nature, readers are affected by the epigraphs style, function, and purpose. Readers have to question the inorganic nature There exists an intere use of the epigraph. This juxtaposition between human and machine, implied by both


24 ability to construct her narrative s through the uses of technology, including stylistic s are a compilation of interlaced epigraphs operating under the surface of the narrative. The narrative s are an inorganic manifestation of human thought conveyed through the mechanics of style and paratextual devices. The threaded metallic material that runs th rough the veins of with the juncture between the human and the machine. This analogy links together the prisoners, the epigraphs are integral parts of the novel s narrative script. The epigraph is prisoners learn of their true inorganic nature, the epi graph makes clear the inorganic nature of the text. The novel uses the epigraph to disrupt the process of linear reading epigraphs are strategically placed out of sequence so t hat readers must work to conjoin the epigraphs to form a cohesive narrative. Readers must discard linear reading and re visit different parts of the text. In this way, the epigraph s prompt readers to become active and circular readers. ration of misplaced and seemingly superfluous epigraphs not challenges the notion of the human. The epigraph in chapter nine shows that human identity is not singular, atomic, nor unaffected by social environmental influences.


25 epigraph makes reference to the metallic material that runs through the bodies of sts that the domin ant W estern conceptualization of the human as an organic, natural and pure being is misguided and illusory. The manufactured, and conditioned by various agents s uch as environment, art, literature and technology. Further, the epigraph implies that the human and machine are inseparable because they work symbiotically to produce under standing and meaning. The novel s theme regarding the relationship between human (r eader) and machine who is both dependent upon and guided by the materiality of the text s form. o their bodies, readers depend on the epigraphs to provide insight into the novel s complex and multi ing the epigraph characters as a compilation of human flesh and metallic material, and the reader as a being who relies on the materiality of the text for an appropria te interpretation, places much at stake. As the traditional notion of human identity, as organic, is challenged, of technological influences, has ever existed.


26 CHA PTER 3 METAMORPHIC SYSTEMS The epigraph resembles a machine in that it stores and encases information and human tradition a tradition that links readers to other thoughts and narratives. Moreover, the epigraph d sustained by machine. The epigraph not only invites other stories into the main narrative space, it allows readers to interact with previous mappings of human existence by introducing them to other cultures, times, and places. Epigraphs, as Grutman argue epigraphic content provides readers with other literary genres and histories that precede are clearly constructed from traces of Western narrat ive tradition. For example, some of the epigraphs in Incarceron and Sapphique Metamorpheses (8AD), a though neither novel explicitly mentions the poet. Metamorpheses is a collection of poetry regarding human attempts to achieve perfection. Escape, freedom, and paradise are pivotal themes throughout the limited mortal nature of humanity and our escape their self constructed prisons.


27 representations of the characters anxiety and discontentment with themselves and their poems, Sapphique and Incarceron struggle t o escape the prisons which contain them. himself, and much of Sapphique tells of Incarce prison he has become. like ambition of Orpheus and Icarus, an ambition marked by a desire to obtain a perfect external space and to reclaim lost life and freedom. Incarceron is also a representation of Daedalus, a being trapped within a human constructed prison. Although Incarceron was fashioned by individuals of the Realm, like Daedalus, Incarceon is reflected and constituted within the space of the prison. The story of Orpehu s relates his attempt to transcend death. Orpheus descends into the underworld to rescue his beloved Eurydice. However Persephone, the wife of Hades, ruler of the Underworld, is reluctant to let Orpehus be reunited with his bride. In response to Persephone the bard Orpheus plucks his strings and thereby seduces Persephone and Hades into submitting to his desires. Like Orpheus, Sapphique has the ability to seduce Incarceron. Manipulating the prison with his words, Sapphique convinces Incarceron of a world b etter than that to which they are accustomed Sapphique ignites a desire for both Incarceron and himself to escape the prison. It is in readers are told that Sapphique is the only


28 Sapphique tells of the song that Sapphique sings, a song that like Orpheus, has the power to seduce and manipulate those in the w orld around him, He sang his last song. And the words of that have never been written down. But it was sweet and of great beauty, and those that heard it were changed utterly. Some say it was the song that moves the stars. (453) ability to call to life his surroundings, both natural and celestial realms. Orpheus, The heaven born bard, sat there and touched his strings, Shade came in plenty. Every tree was there: oly durmast, poplars once abi change that both figures evoke is one of spiritual connectivity. Sapphique and Orpheus both possess the ability to bring their external surroundings into connection to the ir emotional temperament. They prompt the sun, stars and other celestial objects to empathize with their emotions. Sapphique invention of Orpheus. Both possess the talent to move the c elestial sphere. For Sapphique, like songs resonate with the heart and metaphysical b eing of their celestial environment.


29 Moreover both Sapphique and Orpheus are able to disrupt the invisible plane that s last song the stars a figure of immortality are able to feel and experience words similarly conjoin the immortal with the mortal, resulting in the immortals (stars) ability to empathize with mortals, in this case, S a humanness. The end of Songs of Sapphique states that Metamorpheses that makes its father is dispersed throughout the pages of both Incarceron and Sapphique Ovid ir prison rete, builds himself and his son wings out of bird feathers a Placing warning and feathers and body floats gracefully to the sea. ( Ovid 178) his own prison. However, like Icarus, Sapphique ignores his father ) warning, and is struck down to the depths of the prison. The following epigraph from the


30 epig raphs preceding chapters of Incarceron epigraph mortal body He worked night and day. He made a coat that would transform him; he would be more than a man; a winged creature, beautiful as light. All the birds brought him fe athers Even the eagle. Even the Swan. (301) ofar as Incarceron strikes Sapphique down for his ambition and reminds Sapphique of his mortality. do not subscribe to the original ending that Ovid composed for Icarus and Daedalus. Instead, the serie s offers challenge to the heavens, which in this case is the perimeter of the prison. It is crucial to Sapphique strapped the wings to his arms and flew, over oceans and plains, over glass cities and mountains of gold. animals fled; people pointed up. He flew so far, he saw the


31 open. (341) Unlike Icarus, Sapphique does not plummet to his death (392). Readers can only assume that this pit of darkness refers to the depths of the fall. Sapphique does not experience a physical death as does Icarus, but instead his master and aut hority is disrupted by the prison. Consequently, as a later epigraph in Sapphique bruised and he plunged into despair this case, Incarceron became a representation of control. Significantly, this retelling of the Daedalus an d Icarus story begins in the middle of Sapphique the second installment, and concludes in her first novel Incarceron The text and the conclusion of the epic in Incarcero n disruption of normative linear reading. Not only does this particular emplotment of constituted within the novels prompts readers t o be aware of the function of the text as


32 complex reading of her narrative. Moreover the novels, in their very construction, move readers through the space of the narrative in a manner that enables a logical and cohesive narrative to change. Not only do the novels transport readers to various fictional universes, the materiality of Fishe pay particular attention to the parallel narrative developing within the epigraphic space. ges readers not only to interpret the available content but to construct meaning. Beginning with Sapphqiue and ending with Incarceron Fisher The Death of the Author solely from their creativity. The literary text, Barthes argues, cannot and should not be demonstrates that the text /ma chine is interwoven with human thoughts, ideas, and narrative. This reveals that the relationship between human and machine is a symbiotic inorganic in form, and who depend on their internal mechanical structure to give them give the text meaning. The text/machine is a database that stores citations from various sources permitting the reader to fulfill the task of reading the text while making connections to other narrative worlds.


33 Incarceron and Sapphique Metamorpheses become crucial, as they solidify the interdependent relationship between human and machine. This demonstrates that neither can exist independent of the other. The reader cannot exist without the materiality of the text, and the text is meaningless without the reader. Secondly, both Incar ceron and Sapphique put into d reinforce the notion of human identity as synthetic rather than organic. Embedding the narratives of Orpheus, and Daedalus and Icarus into the pages of both novels, texts unfold simultaneously in the world of Incarceron and that constructed by O vid. The texts act as sites of merger, a space where various narratives con that composite, that oblique, into which every subject escapes, the trap where all to Barthes, the literary text is a space where multiple subjects or other texts reside, live, mensions, a tissue of


34 appropriate to say that Fisher is not the sole proprietor of her novels. Rather, Incarceron and Sapphique are texts that demonstrate the extent to whi ch any narrative is gesture toward Ovid in the epigraph signals her recognition that her novels are not self conscio us recognition of her debt to Ovid invites readers to consider how other textual sources inform the logic of her narrative. composed of a myriad of texts both those whose influence she explicitly acknowledges and those of whose existence she might not e ven be aware. Both of Incarceron and Sapphique pl aces into relief the possible reasons why Fisher does not explicitly cite Ovid in the epigraph I have discussed above. By not citing or giving credit to outside sources, Fisher creates the illusion that her texts operate solely within her own constructed f ictional space. However, just as material traces of Incarceron are woven through the o ther texts course through her narrative, only occasionally announcing their presence to


35 els


36 CHAPTER 4 CONCLUSION challenged to read in circles, returning repeatedly to various points in the text. After reading the epigraph before each chapter, readers search for a connection between th e epigraphs gestures to a non linear way of reading both Incarceron and Sapphique Although this non linear method of reading keeps readers engaged with the text, it i s not illusion that they can master the narrative space. Complexity leads to perplexity. In long to conquer. Janet Murray argues that any text that employs multiple plot line and varying integrated narratives often leaves readers with more to be discovered. Murray observes: laden paths, enclose d within its shape fitting borders, we are both the exasperated parent longing for closure and separation and the enthralled child, lingering forever in an unfolding process that is deeply comforting because it can never end. (134). narratives can be interpreted. The reader places herself in the confines of the text only to experience something richer. The reader becomes creator allowing for the narrative to come alive. Reader resolution and happy ending. However upon concluding the texts, readers realize that m her fabricated prison. Both novels become a tangible


37 and readers are space.


38 LIST OF REFERENCES Badmington, Neil (2003). "Theorizing Posthuman i sm." Cultural Critique 53.1 : 10 27. Print. Barthes, Roland. (2002). "The Death Of The Author." The Book History Reader 221 224. London, England: Routledge. MLA International Bibliography Web. 20 Feb. 2012. Bely, Andrei. ( 1978 ). Petersburg Bloomington: I ndiana UP Print. Dante, Alighieri, and John Ciardi. (2001). The Inferno New York: Signet Classic Print. "Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Seeking Truth in the Sciences." Lit erature.org. Web. 30 Apr. 2012. < http://www.literature.org/authors/descartes rene/reason discourse/chapter 04.html > Fisher, Catherine. ( 2010 ). Incarceron New York: Firebird. Print. --. Sapphique New York: Firebird, 2011. Print. Grutman, Rainier. (2010) "How to Do Things with Mottoes: Recipes from the Romantic Era (with Special Reference to Stendhal)." Neohelicon 37.1 : 139 153. Web. 20 Feb. 2012 Home : Oxford English Dictionary Web. 25 Feb. 2012 . Johnson, Samuel, E. L. McAdam, and George Milne. (1963). Johnson's Dictionary New York: Pantheon. Print. Murray, Janet H. ( 1997 ). Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace New York: Free Press. Print. Ovid (1 986). Metamorphoses Oxford [Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. Print. Tolstoy, Leo, Richard Pevear, and Larissa Volokhonsky. (2002) Anna Karenina: A Novel in Eight Parts New York, NY: Penguin Books. Print. Shakespeare, William, and Cynthia Marshall. ( 2004). As You Like It New York: Cambridge University Press. Print.


39 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Kendra Holmes received a Bachelor of Science degree in p sychology from the University of Florida before embarking on a journey to become a student of the arts. She is s degree, with a plan to continue on to a d octora l program, specializing hope s to someday write her own young adult f iction about the stresses and desires associated with becoming a pseudo adult, namely a graduate student. Kend ra is an avid lover of Russian l iterature, which further distinguishes her from other schola rs within the field of English l iterature. Her favorite author is the late Lev Tolstoy!