Rebuilding the Memory Machine

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Rebuilding the Memory Machine A Rhetoric for the Electronic Age
Chapman, John M.
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[Gainesville, Fla.]
University of Florida
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1 online resource (164 p.)

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Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
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University of Florida
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Committee Chair:
Ulmer, Gregory L.
Committee Members:
Shoaf, Richard A.
Paxson, James J.
Kujundzic, Dragan
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Subjects / Keywords:
Discourse ( jstor )
Electronics ( jstor )
Liberal arts education ( jstor )
Memory ( jstor )
Mnemonics ( jstor )
Movies ( jstor )
News media ( jstor )
Poetry ( jstor )
Rhetoric ( jstor )
Theater ( jstor )
English -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
compostition, computer, cyberspace, dante, digital, media, medieval, memory, palace, rhetoric
City of Gainesville ( local )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
English thesis, Ph.D.


My argument, stated throughout this dissertation, is that the empowering practices of medieval textual and memorial production, observed in works like Dante Alighieri's Commedia, share close relations to, and potential solutions for, the concerns of post-modern scholars, medium theorists and pedagogues who are particularly concerned with how subjects circulate within interactive, modular electronic information environments and how we will incorporate these new technologies and the subjectivities they circulate into the university curriculum. Reading and writing with and through images, immersing oneself into virtual spaces charged with bodily and emotional sensations, and interfacing with discourse as an interactive and modular experience are the dominant features of the emerging electrate environment. These features also dominate the functions of the machina memorialis, the machine of memory, found in the rhetorical practices of the Middle Ages. In particular, these features of new media relate to the construction of students' memory palaces, which themselves satisfy and render the rhetorical demands of invention, arrangement, style, delivery, and memory. It is my opinion that a re-investment of these techniques into the Humanities Disciplines will re-enforce and increase their relevance to education at all levels. ( en )
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In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
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Includes vita.
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Adviser: Ulmer, Gregory L.
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by John M. Chapman

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2008 John M. Chapman 2


To my parents for their love, inspiration, motivation, and, above all, patience 3


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank the chair and member s of my supervisory committee for their mentoring of my efforts, the staff of the English Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as the Gradua te School at the University of Florida for their assistance on numerous occasions. I thank all my instructors a nd colleagues for their insp iration and insight. Finally, I would like to thank my family and frie nds for their loving encouragement, which was invaluable in helping me complete my study. 4


TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.4 ABSTRACT.6 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION...7 Entry: The Gateway to Change Transition: The Emergence of Electronic Culture.10 Challenge: Problems Facing the Humanities Disciplines..15 Connection: Corresponding with the Middle Ages...22 Relay: Rediscovering Memory..26 Horizons: Looking Ahead..35 2 THE IMAGE..41 Introduction: The Age of the Image...41 Habitation: A Mediascape of Images.48 Correspondence: Musings on Memory..61 Shock: Useful Acts of Violence.69 Appropriation: Secular Applicat ions of Church Rhetoric.75 Challenge: Rediscovering the Rhetoric of the Image 3 VIRTUAL SPACE Immersion: Living in Virtual Space..85 Crisis: Questions For the Humanities Disciplines.97 Resolution: Sense and Emotion in the Memory Palace...104 Order: The Logic and Arrangement of the Memory Palace 4 INTERACTIVITY AND MODULARITY.120 Phenomena: Interactivity and Modularity in Electracy...120 Prescience: Post-Modern App lications in New Media125 Correspondence: The Powers of Memory...136 Relay: Rhetoric and Memory in the Middle Ages...141 5 CONCLUSION WORKS CITED..159 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...164 5


6Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy REBUILDING THE MEMORY MACHINE: A RHETORIC FOR THE ELECTRONIC AGE By John M. Chapman May 2008 Chair: Dr. Gregory L. Ulmer Major: English My argument, stated throughout this disserta tion, is that the empow ering practices of medieval textual and memorial production, observed in works like Dante Alighieris Commedia, share close relations to, and potential solutions for, the concerns of post-modern scholars, medium theorists and pedagogues who ar e particularly concerned with how subjects circulate within interactive, modular electroni c information environments and how we will incorporate these new technologies and the subjectivities they ci rculate into the university curriculum. Reading and writing with and thro ugh images, immersing oneself into virtual spaces charged with bodily and emotional sensat ions, and interfacing with discourse as an interactive and modular experience are the dominant features of the emerging electrate environment. These features also dominate the functions of the machina memorialis the machine of memory, found in the rh etorical practices of the Middle Ages. In particular, these features of new media relate to the construction of stude nts memory palaces, which themselves satisfy and render the rhetorical demands of invention, arrangement, style, delivery, and memory. It is my opinion that a re-investment of these techniques into the Humanities Disciplines will re-enforce and increase their relevance to education at all levels.


CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Entry: The Gateway to Change As Dante the poet reflects upon the beginning of his pilgrimage at the opening of Canto II in Inferno the poem reads, lines 3-9, I alone/ prepared myself to undergo the war both of the journey and of the pity, which memory, unerring, will depict. O muses, O high wit, now help me; O memory that wrote down what I saw, here will your nobility appear. At this point, Dante writes, I began (Inferno II, 10), and so commences the amazing journey the Florentine takes along with his readers, not simply through a dream-like vision of the afterlife, but thr ough the contents of his own thinking mind. This dissertation highlig hts the concept of the machina memorialis (machine of memory), which held a central place in the medieval rhetorical canon as not only the mill-wheel for sorting information, but the hoist which enab led comprehension and composition of the sort seen in Dantes Commedia. The discussion of medieval memory in this dissertation will foreground the habits that informed the scholastic and artis tic uses of rhetoric in the Middle Ages, and note their usefulness for criticism a nd pedagogy which attempts to assess the changing habits of mind, society, and commerce emerging in the shift from a prin ted to an electronic apparatus for purposes of information transmission and storage. Computer driven communication technology is now re shaping the flow of informa tion and the communicative acts occurring within it in a manner as radical as that evinced after the arrival of the printing press in the 15th Century. Furthermore, my discussion of this technol ogical shift will addre ss the need for a redesigned rhetoric, teachable in the humanities classrooms of the 21st Century and able to keep 7


pace with the changes that expansion of electroni c media is creating in the culture within which we teach and learn, and what a re -imagined understanding of medieval rhetoric, and particularly the machina memorialis can do to serve as a both an insigh t into and resource for the formation of a new rhetorical method su ited to the electronic age. Currently, my efforts to extrapolate po rtions of the mediev al rhetorical canon, particularly areas dealin g with memory, and apply them to the goals set above with relation to humanities pedagogy and research in the 21st Century, have involved examination of the habits of both medieval and present culture At this point, the notion of Habits has manifested itself in three forms during my research. In the first and most familiar sense, the word relates to the modes of mental, emotiona l, and social behavior that characterize the thoughts and actions of a community at a particular time and place. I have also, in the course of encountering congruences between the medieval culture of memory and the ever-expanding, electronically-oriented environment we live in, no ted the tendency in bot h cultures to take on a disguise, an alternate persona, to cloak oneself in a habit or clothing suitable for public domains comfortable with the notion of a virtual reality. The media of communication are themselves the trappings of communication. In deed, Derrida points out that writing, imbued by western tradition with the idea that writing is the representation of sensible matter and possesses an artificial exte riority, is considered a clothing for speech. In addition, I understand habit to possess a third sense connected to the correspondences between medieval mnemonic and m odern electronic cultures explored by this dissertation. The mental and physical spaces with in which a person circulates are his or her habitations, the places and identities we inhabit. Derridas radical, exploratory deconstructionist criticism often observes printed text and language itself, oral and written, as space and/or in space and tim e, and observes himself as a subj ect/critic/text circulating in various discursive spaces. Derrida himself writes in Of Grammatology, deconstructive movements do not destroy structures from th e outside, nor can they take aim except by inhabiting them in a certain way (24). 8


In correspondence with recent postmodern criticism like Derridas that observes text as a habitation, as well as the work of Gilles Deleu ze and Felix Guattari, who have exploited three dimensional metaphors like the rhizome to sugges t new modes of logic, I have been surprised to discover that the medieval period demonstrates several examples of ha bitation within mental, physical, textual and virtual spaces wherein public and private behaviors bearing marked relationships to social exchanges emerging in our period took place, often distorting the distinction between public and private our culture is currently accustomed to, but is also in the process of rapidly transforming. My attempt to explore the idea of habits shared by medieval and twenty-first century societies is motivated in part by the fact that the term is literally unavoidable amongst the body of work published in all areas of concern to this dissertati on, be they pedagogical, medieval, post-modern, media-oriented or some combinati on. Robert O. Payne has already noted in his studies of Chaucers rhetorical habits in works like Troilus and Criseyde This question of habit of mind is extremely important. If we open a modern handbook of composition, we do not expect to find an eternally true set of principles, but an approach which betrays some specifically modern assumptions and attitudes concerning discourse.... And on this assumption it simp ly does not matter whether one considers Geoffrey (or Matthew of Vendome) and all th e rest to have been grammatical hacks or wise and witty mentors. In either case, we may legitimately examine what they say to discover their principles a nd assumptions.(Murphy, ed. 29) The emergence of deconstructive criticism ove r the past few decades has provided greater impetus and new critical approaches for hum anities scholars attempting to investigate the habits of literate culture. In Of Grammatology s discussion of the science of writing, Jacques Derrida points out the impossibi lity of grammatology to write its discourse on method or describe the limits of its field because the idea of science and writing is meaningful only in terms of an origin and within a world to whic h a certain concept of the relationships between speech and writing have already been assigned (4). 9


Derridas grammatological analysis of the graphic code seeks to trace habits of signification or denotation, st yle and connotation, articula tion of graphic forms and diverse substances, diverse forms of gr aphic substances (wood, wax, skin, stone, ink, metal, vegetable) or instruments (paint, br ush) as to articulati on of technical, economic or historical levels, ... the moment of constituti on and then fixity of a system as to limit and sense of variations in style writing the system; all investitures to which a graphie, in form and substance, is submitted. (87) Derrida goes on to describe language as a structure (dis)oriented along a system of oppositions of places and values (216). Derrida also claims the person who writes is, like the graphie, inscribed into this textual system (160), and in a effort to demonstrate the erasure of both subject and sign in the habits of this system, executes a writing that is yet reading (167), a meditation, undoing the logocentrism of writing as it has shaped and been shaped by the ideologies, institutions and technologies within which it circulates. This circ ulation is the foundation of the possibility of logic, itself a matter of elaborating ... a formal doctrine of conditions which a discourse must satisfy in order to have a sense of order in order to mean even if false or contradictory (48). Derridas key term in this grammatological analysis is differance which he characterizes as formation of form and being the imprint ed of the imprint (63) and notes, it is in the specific zone of this imprint and this trace, in the temporalization of a lived experience which is neither in the world nor in another world, which is not more sonorous than luminous, not more in time than in space, that differences appear among the elements or rather produce them, make them emerge as such and constitute the texts the chains, and the systems of traces. (65) Transition: The Emergence of Electronic Culture Ronald Deiberts Parchment, Printing, Hypermedia states that as mechanical replaced manual textual production, despite the early tenden cies to simply make printed copies of important manuscripts, new innovations particular to print technology, such as cross-referencing and indexing, pagination, secti on breaks, running headers, title pages, standard copies, 10


functionally matched the intel lectual interest in the system atic comparison and critical evaluation of knowledge that charac terized the new science (77). Furthermore, Deibert points out how eager merchants, artisans, lawyers, government officials, doctors, and teachers in growing to wns became for the opportunity to utilize the new technology in all sorts of social ab stractions such as contracts, bi lls of sale, deeds, court fees, licenses, contracts, constitutions, decrees, academic essays. This eagerness evinced a rise in literacy and corresponding dependence on written documentation (83) that served to spawn terms like mass readership, best seller, reading publi c, and the ubiquitous author. With the rise of what Derrida, among many scholars and researchers in several fields, calls in Of Grammatology cybernetics (9), we are in a moment of transition wherein the death of the book is the death of speech and a new muta tion in the history of writing, in history as writing ... a new situation for speech, of its subordi nation within a structure of which it will no longer be the archon (8). A lthough death of the book prophecies have struck critics like Christopher Norris and Jerome McGann as a bit ex treme, Neil ODonnell nevertheless stresses in Avatars of the Word We live in a historical moment when the media on which the word relies are changing their nature and extending their rang e to an extent not seen since the invention of movable type. The reinvigoration of the spoken word via the telephone a nd radio as well as its supplementation by the moving image on film and te levision has been followed in the latter portion of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty -first century by the invention and dissemination of the personal computer and now the explosive growth in links between those computers on worldwide networks of the In ternet [which] create a genuinely new and transformative environment (ODonnell 9). In order for humanities research and pe dagogy to keep pace w ith the technological transformations which, McLuhan claims in The Gutenberg Galaxy are moving us deeply into the electric age as th e Elizabethans were into the typogr aphic age (7), Jack Goody urges in Domestication of the Savage Mind that tracing the influence of ne w technologies is intrinsic to an understanding of our individual experience in th e world at large both in space and time (3). 11


However, current research into the effects and pot ential of the shift from print to an electronic apparatus is complicated by categories of analysis rooted in the binary, ethnocentric divisions (Goody 1) the printed word and its adoption by a ll fields of inquiry has enabled. The list, category, table, essay and formula have structur ed the logic and perception of individuals and institutions in our print-oriented culture via their capacity to not only reflect cer tain aspects of social organization, [they] also determine other asp ects in that they have certain implicit features (such as hierarchy and placement) that influence be havior, as well as other explicit features that prescribe it (Goody 129). Gregory Ulmer declares in Teletheory that the shift from a print to an electronic apparatus introduces a new dimension into the relationship between oral a nd written registers of language, requiring and making possible nothin g less than another round of i nventiveness of the sort that produced philosophy in ancient Gr eece and science in Renaissan ce Europe (92). Along with Ulmer, a growing number of critics and pedagogues are arguing that the time has come for the humanities disciplines to actively engage and influence the communications revolution taking place within the emerging electrate environmen t. ODonnell speaks well for the group in Avatars of the Word when he declares, At a moment wh en all the conditions of scholarly discourse are about to be upended by the transfor mations of electronic technologies, there is an important opportunity to reconsider what it is we scholars [and pedagogues] seek to do, how we seek to do it, and what we can reas onably expect to achieve (133). A major obstacle to efforts at revisioni ng and reconceiving scholarly and pedagogical practice is what Agamben has called the schizophrenia of western culture ( Stanzas xvii) whereby knowledge and knowing has been divided between the poles of inspired, ecstatic, emotional artistic production and rational, intellectual, scientific discourses. Jerome McGann concurs in Radiant Textuality and notes that this conceptual schism is a rather recent development whereby, For several centuries but only for several centuries our models for knowing have been scientific and were cast in informa tional and expository forms. These forms do 12


not normally cultivate self -reflection however deeply they may reflect upon matters they set apart from themselves to observe and interrogate, and least of all do they practice self-reflection on their medium of exchange. But that kind of reflection is precisely what happens in imaginative works, where the medium is always the message, whatever else may be the subjects of the work. (183) Agamben echoes this sentiment and states, We moderns, perhaps because of our habit of stressing the rational and abstract aspect of the cognitive processes, have long ceased to be amazed by the mysterious power of the internal imagination, of this res tless crowd of metics (Freud) that animates our dreams and dominates our waking moments more than we are perhaps willing to admit (77). The concern with what effect logic expressed by the written word has on cognition and imagination has a long-standing presence in we stern philosophical tr adition. Platos Phaedrus contains the oft-discussed passage wherein Th amus warns Theuth that his new invention, writing, will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who lear n to use it because they will not practise their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by ex ternal characters which are not part of themselves will discourage the use of th eir own memory within them .... [For] they will read many things without instru ction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get al ong with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise (qtd. in Yates 38). Frances Yates, Walter Ong, and Marshall McLuhan, among others, have noted that the invention of the printing pre ss accelerated the process desc ribed in the preceding quote by enabling the development of pedagogical methods, like those of Peter Ramus, influential in their notions of standardizing and generalizing teaching and learning by the book. Frances Yates has noted that with Ramus, memory is divorced fr om emotion and set with the abstract order of dialectical analysis (234). Ramist method, keeps and intensifies the princi ple of order but does away with the artificial side, ... which cultivated the imagination as chief instrument of memory (236). 13


Ong notes that the students mind switched to a generalized doctrinal method (157) wherein, instead of talking about what he knows of things themselves, the student explains what curriculum subjects are in his mind and the sequence of their acquisition ( Ramus: method and the decay of dialogue 198). The result of these developm ents was a movement from a craft, or ars learned via apprenticeship and to a scien tific discipline taugh t from a text-book, a method which has come to dominate the curriculum at every level of educa tion and in every area of study. Mary Carruthers, in her excellent following up of Yatess earlier work in the Art of Memory notes that rhetoric is now distinct from self-expression ( Craft of Thought 11) and that the main emphasis in literary studies has been on hermeneutics, while the basic craft involved in making thoughts, includi ng thoughts about the significance of texts, has been treated as unproblematical (4). Rather, we are taught to legitimate our read ing (i.e. in terpretation, understanding) solely by the text; we s ee ourselves as its servants even though both the possibility and utility of such absolute objectivity have been called into question many times ( Book of Memory 164). Vattimos Beyond Interpretation represents one of the more eloquent voices to have been raised against what he calls, the history of the imposition of a sc ientific conception of the truth and thus the history of the progr essive affirmation of the enlightenment and the history of a process via which our awareness of the essentially interpretive ch aracter of every consciousness of truth has been lost (44). Vattimo argues, in order to become a general theory of interpretation (and of existence as interpretation) hermeneutics mu st cease to be identified with a series of rules for the comprehension of a special category of texts, subo rdinate and instrumental, whose significance depends entirely on the right attributed to the text itself (43). Several critics like Derrida, Vattimo, Agambe n, Rorty and Kittler have pointed to the emergence of advanced technological media circ a 1900 as representing a decisive historical discursive caesura altering the structure, placem ent and function of cultural production (Kittler xxi). All of the aforementioned critics note Fr eud and Nietzsche as major figures representing 14


the break from the sense of progress, emancipa tion, equality, justice and truth which marked intellectualism of the 18th and 19th centuries, and the shift toward attempts to deal with the experience of genocide, annihilati on, emptiness of ideals and scepticism in the twentieth century. For Rorty, the importance of the two men resi des in his recognition that both Freud and Nietzsche provided ways of thinking of the creator of metaphor, rather than the contemplator of literal truth, as the paradigm of humanity (Wood, ed. 81). Nietzsch e was particularly scathing in his attacks on the state of the education of writin g and literature in his native Germany. In his eyes, the techniques of humanism, which had evol ved as weapons of rebellion in the service of human freedom, had become instead the pedanti c tools of comfortable bourgeois professors seeking to preserve a soci al and cultural order (q td. in ODonnell 145). Like Derrida, Nietzsche favored a medita tive, active interpretation, engagement and application of learned, written ma terial over what he called mer ely conceptual translation ( Will to Power), and argues in On the Genealogy of Morals one thing is necessary above all if one is to practice reading as an art in this way, something that has been unlearned most thoroughly nowadays and therefore it will be some time befo re my writings are readable something for which one has almost to be a cow and in any case not a modern man: rumination (qtd in Transforming the Hermeneutic Context Ormiston and Schrift, eds. 46) Nietzsche continues this argument for meditative reading in Twilight of the Idols, writing, Learning to think in our schools one no longer has any idea of this. Even in the universities, even among the real scholars of philosophy, logic as a theo ry, as a practice, as a craft is beginning to die out. One need only read German books: there is no longer the remo test recollection that thinking requires a technique, a teaching curriculum, a will to master y that thinking was to be learned like dancing, as a kind of dancing (50). Challenge: Problems Facing the Humanities Disciplines The intense, far-reaching transformations that new media are having on communicative acts in the public sphere are forcing humanities sc holars to bring issues of the sort highlighted by Nietzsche to the fore with ever-increasing frequency. Jerome McGann stresses, 15


Information scientists and systems engineer s will be (already are) much involved with these changes. But it is the literary schol ar, the musicologist, th e art historian, etc. who have the most intimate understanding of our inherited cultural materials. Hence the importance that traditional scholars ga in a theoretical grasp, and, perhaps even more important, practical experience in using these new tools and languages. For theory in this volatile hi storical (and historic ) situation will have little force or purchase if it isnt gr ounded in practice. (169) A number of conceptual and methodological barriers, due in large part to the schizophrenia of our culture positing a division between critical, reflec tive acts and those considered artistic and imaginative, and the inability of traditional modes of scholarship to apprehend and utilize the featur es of the developing electronic environment, remain present within the fields of humanities research and pedagogy before digital technology can successfully be utilized in criticism and th e classroom. For more than a decade, Jerome McGann and his colleagues at the University of Virginias Inst itute for Advanced Technologies in the Humanities (IATH), have undertaken projects that confront the problems of incorporating digital, multimedia communication technologies into the discour ses of the humanities. The groups major motivation for these projects is, as McGann notes in his preface, that Digital technology has remained instrumental in serving the technical and precritical occupa tions of librarians and archivists and editors. But the general field of humanities education and scholarship will not take the use of digital technology seriously until one demons trates how its t ools improve the ways we explore and explain aesthetic works until, that is, they expand our interpretational procedures (xii). Several qualities of the electra te environment must be addresse d if this challenge is to be successfully overcome. Deibert claims the tran smission of information via web pages and other electronic textual forms is creating an increasing ly authorless environment quite different from the ideas of copyright, publishing and intellectual property that have marked the existence of the author in a culture dominated by a print apparatu s. Furthermore, digitization of information makes all bodies of information translatable into one another, produces the capacity for instant 16


recall and transmission within totally inclusiv e information networks, features non-linear cognitive orientation favoring jumps in intuiti on over step-by-step logi cal chains, and creates virtual worlds which substitute normal sens ory input with information generated by the computer. Deibert feels these transformations are also marking an increased blurring of divisions between the public and private sphere which the humanities must address. Neil ODonnell also feels the undeniably more complex interplay among different medias in this electronic age is presenting several problems to traditional humanities scholarship. In particular, ODonnell, Kittler, and McGann point out the new set of aesthetic resources emerging with electracy which are quite different from th ose involved in the readers interface with the printed page. Kittler notes that with the rise of the moving pictures of the cinema, the most beautiful, most common and most shocking subj ect matter achieves a miraculous dimension (247), and is imbued with great power to contain and shape a communitys memory as notions of shocks, popularity, and mass orientat ion have taken hold in film. In The Language of New Media, Lev Manovitch notes that th e image has re-acquired the role of an interface first through the photograph, cinema and television, and now through the image map, the link, and the desktop. Furtherm ore, Manovitch claims that aesthetics of postmodernism (141) have become embedded in the commands and interface metaphors of the computer tools such as copy/cut/paste, sear ch, composite, transform, and filter, which are themselves no longer tied to software, but now also to the social world (118). This essence of our culture finds embodiment in the DJs ability to mix selected elements in rich, sophisticated ways in a real-time transition amongst ve ry different musical layers (135). Even more problematic, as well as compelli ng, is the increasing presence and importance of hypertextual documents which incorporate the moving images and sounds of radio, cinema, and television into the technologies of hypermed ia. ODonnell claims the central fact of the future for humanities scholarship and pedagogy to deal with regarding hypertext is diversity. He writes, The single-author, linear structure monograph will survive for a while, but it will become what it already is in principle: a compone nt of a larger whole. Online publications of 17


monographs will facilitate a multiplication of approaches and comparative interaction (133). Juxtaposition and comparison will become domina nt habits for scholars and students alike and primary and secondary materials will interact mo re powerfully than before because both will appear side by side online and the controverted passage will be linked to multiple articles and treatments directly, and then also to intermediate links that would seek to organize and arrange the body of secondary literature (134). An emerging difficulty associated with appl ying these new habits in the humanities, and one that critics and pedagogues are actively examining, is the fact that information is appearing mashed together in a mighty jumble [with] pieces of files interleaved with pieces of other files, and bits of deleted files strewn between (O Donnell 61). In addition, what Jerome McGann calls the specific material design of hypertext i s theoretically open to al teration of its contents and its organizational elements at all points a nd at any time (71). McGann emphasizes that hypertexts are never complete. Th ey remain open texts with the ability to incorporate and then go beyond their initial desi gn and management. Hypertexts evolve and change over time, gather new bodies of material and organizationa l substructures will get modified, perhaps quite drastically. Furthermore, hypert ext does not focus attention on one particular te xt or set of texts, but rather disperses attention broadly, creating greater decentralization of design around an indefinite number of centers, expanding their number and altering their relationships (McGann 72). Repeatedly, critics have noted that the solu tion to attempts at apprehending and using these electronic aesthetics lie s in the individual users new empowerment in hypermedia. ODonnell discusses at length how im portant the end-users intelligence becomes in the interface with hypertextual documents. As hyperlinks, as opposed to indexes and glossaries, have become the dominant lines of travel from one item to a nother, the keyword searches of online search engines now allow for a user to create his/her own topic of exploration. W ith print, truth is independent of the speaker and in that way exte rnal to human beings and achieves an objective power (ODonnell 141); conversely, hypermedia evinces a move away from the universal gaze 18


of knowledge enabled by print and a return to the knower (Wood, ed. 14). Individuals are increasingly formulating their own organizatio nal patterns for the purpose of navigating the digitally transmitted information of hypertext. Hypertext theorists regularl y imagine spatial and mapping metaphors to describe this process (McGann 88) and the word cybernetics itself comes from the Greek, kybernetikos, which translates as the art of the steersman. The term was taken up by Derrida and the host of post-modern theorists following him as the steerage ( Of Grammatology 84) necessary for navigating ones own discursive habits and ove rcoming the suppression of pluri-dimensional symbolic thought (86). As I noted briefly above, several postm odern critics have tended to describe language itself as a virtual sp ace. Diebert cites Lyotards attempt in The Post-Modern Condition to frame language as an ancient city and a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses, and of houses with additions fr om different periods, and this surrounded by a multitude of new boroughs with straight regular streets and uniform houses (188). Kittler characterizes cyberneticians as those who adopt the principle of making order from noise (xxx). Indeed, the principle of a user s ability to make order is crucial to the interface with hypermedia. Jerome McGann notes that, particular to the emergence of hypermedia technologies, people came to build things with digital tools rather than simply to reflect abstractly on the new technologies (5), and in hypertext, one is encouraged not so much to find as to make order and then to make it again as estab lished orderings expose their limits with the result that in a hypertext, each document (or part of a document) can therefore be connected to every other document (or document part) in any way one c hooses to define a connection (72-73). Therefore, in making order, a user move s through, navigates, a hypertext and performs complex interactive transformations upon the info rmation he/she encounters. ODonnell calls the successful cybernetician a combination of the pathfinder Natty Bu mpo and a Jedi Knight (43). 19


ODonnell also sees publication becoming more of a form of continuing seminar, an interactive, dialogic, self-correcting performance which grows and builds in the public sphere in a manner quite different from the fixed, sequester ed nature of the prin ted work. Nevertheless, ODonnell sees great potential in this polyphonous transmission of information and notes, Both oral discourse (before and beyond the written word) and the networke d conversations that already surround us suggest that in the dialogue of c onflicting voices, a fuller representation of the world may be found (41). To illustrate some of these possibilities, ODonnell imagin es what shape the study of a figure like St.Augustine might take online. Multim edia, digital technologies have the capacity to create a space belonging more nearly to Augustine th at facilitates navigation more powerfully than any print archive can do, that encourag es systematic and comprehensive questions that generate results from the whole range of a huge oeuvre. It wi ll be less possible to separate off a single line of thought. Inquiri es that connect and integrate will enrich a common resource and our sense of possibilities. The results will be more resistant to distortion because the results will still be lo cated in the space of Augustine, not torn off and taken to another space. (136) In addition, ODonnell also feel s interdisciplinary studies will be more effective because hypermedia forces a move beyond the sequestra tion of books into traditional disciplinary categories (137). The efforts of Jerome McGann and his asso ciates, who have contributed from across the curriculum with projects in music, art history, linguistics, archite cture, urban planning, religion, archaeology, etc. to UVAs IATH, are already testament to this potential. McGann laments that, thus far, apart from his efforts and those of his colleagues, the humanities concern with digital technology has revolved around expansions of th e library models of sorting, accessing and disseminating large bodies of ma terial and investigations in to particular problems with computational styles and linguistics (xii). 20


With regard to new technologies of information and communication, work in the humanities has yet to fully engage questions about interpretation and self-aware reflection, (xii) which have traditionally been the core concerns of humanities scholars and educators, and the transformations of these processes taking pla ce within electracy. The growing influence of visual and audial features in communicative ac ts, an influence which ha s been resurgent since the middle of the 19th Century, ne cessitates investigations of the aesthetic qualities which set electronic modes of information storage and tran smission apart from the austere environment of the printed word. Unfortunatel y, discursive procedures in traditional philosophy, theory, hermeneutics, and arts/literacy/cultural criticism remain resolutely paper-based [and] new textual environments have yet to develop operational stru ctures that integrate archiving and editorial mechanisms with critical and reflec tive functions at the foundationa l level of their material form, that is at the digital/comput ational level (McGann 17). For McGann and a growing number of hu manities scholars, hyperfiction and video games have a functional relation to underlying digital processes more advanced in the practicotheoretical point of view than any of the IT-b ased scholarly works like the Rosetti Archive, the Perseus Project, the Dickens Web, and the Labyrinth (17). How these digital forms of entertainment and information can be made into prosthetic extensions (18) tools, for critical reflection in electronic culture, remains the great task facing humanities scholarship and pedagogy at this time. Current efforts to re-think critical and pedagogical methods in response to these new digital aesthetics are complicated by the broad heuristic distinction, th e schizophrenia, that separates informative from imaginative text s. McGannn notes, The former aspire to transparency, the latter to noise redundancy, repetition. One is vehicular, the other, iconic (199). This divide, a product of educational and cultural habits, must be eliminated if the computational, simulating and interactive capaciti es of these new machineries [can] be taken up as mirrors of the same kind as our traditional texts and other semiotic manifolds (McGann 217). 21


Over and again, humanities scholars working on problems of text and textuality have pointed to the writings of Niet zsche and Derrida as important gui des for re-visioning the textual habits of the digital moment. As noted above, both men emphasized a meditative, emotional, self-conscious, active engagement with the te xts surrounding and shaping oneself. For Derrida, the pursuit of the trace means tracking a pathway [parcours] in the heart (61), thinking with a greater understanding of the or igins of ones own Pathos and not simply the abstract representations of Logos. Niet zsche also felt that one only truly retained the lessons learned through the most searing, painful emotional episodes in ones life. Connection: Corresponding with the Middle Ages Increasingly since Nietzsche, critics have searched for a performative critical discourse that combines the imaginative, inventiv e expression of ideas in the process of poesis, the poetical act, and the gnosis the logical, concept forming argument, and thus suture the ideological and institutional divide creating the conceptual, educational schizophrenia which critics have confronted for some time. And, like Nietzsche in the quotes mentioned above, it has been my surprise to find more and more scholars worki ng in post-modernism and medium theory turning to the scholastic and artistic ha bits of the Middle Ages, whic h scholars now know possessed an intensely rhetorical character, as a resource for creating a rhetor ical vocabulary suited to our changing information environment. Critics and pedagogues have long been excited by the experiments of arts like surrealism and theories like post-modernism and the potential they express in terms of a new empowerment and engagement for the subject of language with the objects, tools, of discourse itself, namely, signs and symbols. Jerome McGann writes in a hopeful tone that our sense of language in every sense has been renewed, restored to so mething like the richness it possessed in the Middle Ages and that is still available in the work s descending to us from that remarkable period pre-eminently in its greatest invention, the medieval church and cathedral multimedia environments which flung open the doors of huma n perception. McGann goes on to claim that 22


contemporary instruments of hyper and multimedia fiction constitute a profane resurrection of those once-sacred models of communication (xiii). This richness of medieval culture was not limited to church buildings alone. Neil ODonnell notes that the history of medieval manuscripts is the hi story of the exploitation of the possibilities of the codex page. Arrangements of material on the page made information more accessible and facilitated cross-m ovements of various kinds (55), and though we live in a world where the idea that it is not quite clear who is the author of a collective, cumulative and collaborative work of scholarship may sound very novel, ... it is also very old (63). ODonnell also notes the discussion of Richard Lanham on the austerity of decorum that print texts have achieved, and the departure this represents from the effloresce nce of image and adornment in late medieval books (138). Critics like Agamben have also begun to explore connections betw een fascination with the power of the image already noted in the works of Freud and Nietzsche and the way that greater understanding of the medieval effloresce nce of image and adornment for purposes of art, information and education might enhance, an d create praxis out of, this fascination. In Stanzas Agamben notes Freuds extensive analysis of the hypertrophy of the imaginative (phantasmatic, phantastic) faculty and claims it is probable that contemporary psychoanalysis which has re-evaluated the role of the phantasm in the psychic process and which is intent on considering itself, always more explicitly, as a general theory of th e phantasm, would find a useful point of reference in a doctrine that many centuries previously, had conceived of Eros as an essentially phantasmatic process. Agamben continues his argument, claiming the medieval phantasmatic pneume represented a powerful and us eful union of the corporeal and incorporeal and that not even in the most exalted Roman tic theorizing has the imagination been conceived in so elevated and, at the same time, concrete a fashion as in the thought of this period, which, surely more than ours reserves the name of civilization of the image (98). Post-modern critics like Derrida have attemp ted to uncover the richness of verbal and pictorial signs by imbuing their work with a high degree of poesis the interaction of rhetorical 23


precepts with artistic practices and habits of composition (Eco, Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages 41) which creates a poetics the study of the structural mechanisms of a given text which Derrida exposes as possessing self-focusing qualities and a capacities for releasing effects of ambiguity and polysemy resonating with analytical and imaginative energy. Umberto Eco notes in Chaosmos that the Medieval curriculum created a space for learning through poetics of this sort (1) a simultaneous showi ng and telling. Unfortunately, Barilli has pointed out that after Ramus, poetics ceases to be considered a discursive art that comprehends the other arts within itself (65). It is this trend, so amenable to the pedagogical and critical practices found within a print-oriented apparatus, which post-modern theories, Nietzsches ruminative writings, Joyces textual experiments, and present attempts to reshape humanities scholarship and pedagogy have struggle d against in ways which, as I have and will continue to argue, turn again a nd again to the scholarly and artistic practices of the Middle Ages for resources and insight. Indeed, direct connections between Derrida and the Mi ddle Ages run deep. Neil ODonnell reveals Derrida himself a boy grow ing up on the Rue St.Augustine in Algiers, reflected on his own life, culminating in the deat h of his powerful mother, in a work he calls circumfessions with a double allusion to Augus tines liminal prayer circumcise my lips ( Confessions 11.2.3) and to Confessions themselves (130). Augustines use of his own personal memories in making arguments in favor of the Ch ristian life provided an important model used, amplified, and modified throughout the Middle Ages in works of art and scholarship which has been taken up again by those critics attempti ng to reform the core techniques by which our present curriculum is taught and apprehended. Rhetoric is the area of the humanities education and scholarship which possesses the most potential to be a major tool in the renovatio n of the curriculum now necessary in the wake of electracys emergence. Richard Lanham reminds us that rhetoric is a very old discipline and feels a magically benign cultura l continuity emerges from its reappearance (ODonnell 149). Lanhams excellent entry for the term Rhetoric in his Handlist of Rhetorical Terms (2nd ed. 24


1991) notes that rhetoric itsel f has always tended to outgrow its original concern with persuasive public speaking (131) and has been re-shaped and re-defined repeatedly over millenia to meet the needs of succeeding philosophies and cultures. Lanham raises several issues in his brief discus sion which are of particular interest to this dissertation, not least the problem of the unmanageable distinction, or in Agambens words the schizophrenia, created by the analogy between poetry and rhet oric on the one hand and pure and applied science on the other (p oetry : pure science / rhetoric : applied science) and stresses, where the two bodies of theo ry overlap the connotative, suggestive, metaphoric use of language one must have recourse to whatever set of categories suits the present purpose (132). Unfortunately, American education has compounded Ramus reduction of rhetoric to largely a matter of verbal ornament, of style (133). Lanham writes, By an odd quirk which may reveal someth ing of our naive national character, rhetoric, in American education, ha s come to be synonymous with prose composition. The underlying assumption of such a synonymity must be that the student, once she know the arts of language, will use them to present clear meanings clearly, rather than to deceive. There is no reason not to use rhetoric in this way, but no one should mistake such a hopeful redefinition for the complex historical fact. In recent years, the movement in literary theory called Deconstruction has done its best to quash such naive hopefulness and restore rhetoric to its ri ghtful throne as par excellence the region of the Scramble, of insult and injury, bickering, squabbling, malice and the lie, cloaked malice and the subsidized lie (Burke, A Rhetoric of Motives p. 19). Just after this passage though, Burke dwells on the irenic and socially integrative functions of rhetoric, and th is aspect has attracted its constructive apologists as well. (134) Using contemporary terminology, Lanham defines rhet oric as the scienc e of human attention structures and expands this statement by emphasizing, Such a definition, by restoring to rhetorics domain in full force the last two [after inventio/heuresis: invention; dispositio/taxis : arrangement; elocutio/lexis : style] of the traditional five parts, delivery [ actio/hypocrisis ] and memory [ memoria/mneme ], would answer Platos characterization of rhetoric as a pseudo-scien ce having no subject matter. Memory, we are coming to see, is an active agency of creation not a passive curator of the past. Delivery, in its turn, would now in clude all that we think of as non-verbal communication. And the manipulations of ge sture and voice which defined delivery, we now know, are talents by no means restricted to homo sapiens or indeed to primates. 25


Allow this broad band of expressivity back into rhetorics domain and surely it was there to begin with and we are to blame for attenuating it and rhetor ic has a scientific subject matter which includes large parts of, for example, sociology, social anthropology, and behavioral biology. (135) Not only should rhetoric be moved be yond the bounds of the essay and book writing form which dominates all levels and areas of education, but, because the technologies of the classroom will also be the technologies shaping th e everyday lives of students and teachers alike, Gray-Rosendale and Gruber emphasize it is imperative to see rhetoric and its study not as a remote body of knowledge but instead as part of prof essional and personal value systems (2). If rhetoric is not revived and expanded by the humanities and activley employed in efforts to reshape the liberal arts education that a student will receive in th e digital age, then, as ODonnell warns our institutional vision has failed when it is not clear to our deans or to our students what the classics have to do with soci ology, or clear to anyone what the liberal arts have to offer the businessman on a flight to Japan other than a badge of class distinction, di stracting entertainment and a sense of cultura l superiority (147). Relay: Rediscovering Memory Several features of medieval cultures e ngagement with and application of rhetoric present useful relays for the renovation of the techniques and teaching of rhetoric in the electronic age which, as previously noted, post-modern and medium theories have alluded to, but never fully explored. Just like authors of the present day, medieval authors depended upon shared habits of reading in orde r to convey their views and beliefs to their audiences (Morse 5). James Murphy feels the applications of rhetoric by scholars, artis ts and artisans of the Middle Ages, the inheritors of the Greco-Roman legacy possessed a broader compositional spirit than Cicero or Aristotle contemplated and that sc holars have been readi ng applied rhetoric in medieval texts and did not know it (ix). The dissociation in the Middle Ages of rhet oric from a specific subject area made it ancilla to other arts like poetry a nd gave rhetoric a flexibility and praxis lacking in modern, print-oriented notions of its uses. In this appl ied context, rhetoric was much less restricted and 26


much more able to meet its three goals of: docere, to teach on an intellectual level (logos); movere to touch feelings (pathos); delectare, to keep interest alive (ethos). This level of application to which rhetoric was subjected, unique to the Middle Ages and quite commonplace, created in works of art and sc holarship (which were often on e and the same), what Jerome McGann calls a praxis of theory we are familiar with, though perhaps not so much in a humanities context: the process of imagining what you know, testing it, scaling it up, modifying it, and then reimagining it: and then the process of repeating that process in an indefinite series of iterations and modifying your work as a consequence (88). Ruth Morse has noted in her work, Truth and Convention in the Middle Ages Rhetoric could be a scheme of study, or it could be, more persuasively, but perhaps more intangibly, a habit of mind, a set of assumptions about how wo rds [and images] represent the world or other words (9) and the assumption that one reads for something other than the surface meaning of the story is thus inculcated fr om the earliest lessons in readi ng and writing, and becomes a habit of mind. The habit of reading anal ogically was preparation for the h ard text of Scripture (44). The commonplace acceptance of me taphor and allegory as the true meaning behind surface language (200) was enabled by the training students received in building up and organizing their own memories. Personal, cultu ral and educational memories were shaped, organized and utilized through the stud ents imaginative generation of sy mbols, condensation, displacement, synonyms, puns, etc. Whereas in the present day, invention and memory of this type is the concern of psychological and philosophical disc ourses, in the Middle Ages they were firmly in the domain of rhetoric. Memory was considered the bridge between the corporeal and the intellectual, an intermediate power related to both the intellect and the senses, at once sensual and spiritual, incorporating bodily senses, imagination and in tellect (Payne 271). Giuseppe Mazzotta has extensively explored how, in the medieval mi nd, the world of rationality was inseparable from imagination, and their conjuncti on in the memory arts, whether for purposes of learning or production of an intellectual and/or artistic wor k, created, in the words of Eco, a polyphonic zone 27


of fertile ambiguity ( Chaosmos 65) driven by an unending cycle of alternations, recurrences and connections, creating a virtual sp ace within which, according to Mo rse, intertextuality, narrative indeterminacy, the range of authority and pla y, and sheer pleasure intersected (244) and exhibited not a lack of structure, but a superficial st ructure with a strong underlying structure in a cunningly organized network of mutual relationships (Eco, Chaosmos 67) with which one could conflate performatively image, word and commemoration (Enders 53). In his study of the correspondences between me dieval habits of mind and the poetics of James Joyce in radical texts like Finnegans Wake Umberto Eco has stressed, early moderns knew by imagination, before mathematical formul ation, that the universe was no longer a rigid hierarchy of immutable and defi nitive modules of order but something moving and changing. In such a universe, contradictions and oppositions do not constitute an end to be reduced by abstract formulas, but they form the very core of reality (83). Mary Carruthers has also noted that the imaginative medieval learning process, the inheritor and transforme r of ancient rhetoric, was above al l based in a memorative process not restricted to the modern concept of memory, and driven by the machina memorialis (machine of memory), which conceived of memory not only as rote, the ability to reproduce something (a text, formula, list, incident), but as a matrix of reminisci ng cogitation, shuffling and collating things stored in a random-access memory scheme or set of schemes a memory architecture and a library built up during ones lifetime with the express intention that it be used inventively ( Craft of Thought 4), not only for purposes of argument, but the construction of an edifice of ones own life ... [which] although creat ed [in part] from stories availa ble to all citizen s, is also a fully personal creation, an expression (and crea tion) of ones own character (21). Augustine himself, from whom so many medieval conceptions of art and learning emanated, declared that to cut ones life out of ones memory would be to destroy ones very self (as qtd in MacDonald 185). This inventiveness of the ars memoria emerged, in part, from the prevailing notions of the ages prominent thinkers on how exactly the human mind built up knowledge. Augustine 28


emphasizes in De Trinitate that what we know is born from the knowledge that memory retains (as qtd in Morse 129). In the view of Albertus Magnus, because of the epistemological condition that no human can have direct knowledge of any things, all knowledge depends on the ars memoria, and so it is retained in images, fict ions gathered into several places and regrouped into new places as th e thinking mind draws them together The idea of memory as a repository, a sort of treasure-hous e, persisted throughout antiquity, the middle ages and well into the centuries following the arrival of the printin g press. Education in the Middle Ages meant construction of experience and method out of knowledge (Carruthers, Book of Memory ), and ones memory palace was designed to provide mnemonic places within three-dimensional spaces in ones mind which served as gathering places and points of de parture for whatever topic a student was thinking about. Carruthers herself has not been able to avoi d the temptation to use the terms of computer technology in attempts to describe the fundamental s of medieval memory work, in particular the principle to divide th e material to be remembered into pi eces short enough to be recalled in single units and key these into some sort of rigid, easily reconstructable order random access (RAM) by means of which one can immediately and securely find a particular bit of information ( Book of Memory 7). A students ability to keep track of each location in relation to the others in its own and related sets through th e use of ordering schemes which emphasized contiguity and direction allowed for a more heuristic sort of l earning characterized by Carruthers as getting from one place to another in your thinking mind. In the Didascalicon, Hugh of St. Victor presents the us e of this sort of memory as the enabling device for a students journey from ignor ance to contemplation of higher matters which unfolds as 1. An overwhelming jumble of info rmation, 2. The collection of objects from this jumble for learning, 3. The contemplation of thes e objects which leads to a meaningful pattern. In the Commedia, the selva oscura, dark wood, th at Dante confronts in line two of Inferno I corresponds to Hughs use of the metaphor to describe the mass of unrelated and disordered 29


material which impedes a student who is untra ined and therefore unorganized as Dante the pilgrim is at this point in his mental journey. A good ordering scheme with the contents of a students knowledge in their places provides a ductus or way among the loci, a network or route through ones memory that utilizes personal experience, the culture at large and ones education for the purposes of inventory and inventiveness. When Dante lament s the loss of the straight way, la diritta via in the dark wood, he mourns not simply the lack of a path to Divine awareness, but the lack of ability to access and apply his own body of knowle dge as a Christian and a poet. In short, the man has lost his mind and the ordering scheme of the three realms of the afterlife that he adopts allows him to build a bridge, in his medieval It alian a commedia, back to it. One of Neil ODonnells points concerning humanities scholarship in an online, multimedia environment which is crucial to my attempts at marking congruences between medieval and emerging scholarly and textual habits, is the idea that the heuristic quality of life in cyberspace and the ease with which multiple paths can be created will let [users] indulge in the high-spirited play of manipula ting the tokens of the past in as many different ways as we can imagine (137). Play of this sort was central to the rhetorical practices that imbued the art of poets like Dante, Chaucer and their contemporaries and constitutes only one of the many connections between medieval and present day cu lture that I will discuss in detail in this dissertation. The Book of Memory emphasizes that students were encouraged to avoid received meanings for constructing mnemonically valuable markers (Carruthers 21). Students generated their own habitual schemes rather than relying on those of others These could be in the form of a house, church, the street system of an entire city, or, in Dantes case, the bolgia of Hell, the terraces of Purgatorys mount and the celestial spheres of Paradise. Theses schemes were populated with imagery that personalized and made accessible the information stored within them. 30


It is also important to remember that memo ry models with which Dante would have been familiar, such as Hugh of St.Victors arca sapientiae, were mental encyclopedia whose lineaments could merge and shuffle about in the wa y that mental-images are able to do, but twodimensional ones fixed on a page cannot. Good use of the principles of order and direction allowed the student to access a ny piece of knowledge by starting fr om any point in his mind and proceeding in the appropriate direction. Dant e is able to surmount this challenge in his manuscript by densely linking disparate pass ages in all three canticles of the Commedia via the use of repeating imagery and language which of ten play heavily on devices of assonance and dissonance to signal their associations. The resu lt is a text whose l inks produce a shuffling matrix of knowledge which remains both a c onstruction process and finished structure (Carruthers Book of Memory 72). The organization and detail of a medieval students memory emanated from a learners ability to consume texts and experiences and utilize them creatively. Students performed a type of reading quite different from the herm eneutical process undertak en by modern students who learn by the book. In th e first place, students undertook lectio a reading of the grammar and allegory in a work which was essentially info rmative and similar to the type of reading and research modern students pursue. However, this was only a preliminary step. The most important phase of the medieval students learning process was meditatio the activities of digestive meditation [which] cons titute the ethical activity of making ones reading ones own (Carruthers Book of Memory 165). The result was a hermeneutical dialogue (169) between reader and work, a process by which a work was made part of a students own experience and absorbed into his memory schema, and one which stands in violation of the modern notion of accuracy, objective scholar ship, and the integrity of the text (164). In De Trinitate Augustine espouses making a text ones own by populating the places of memory with hooks. Thes e hooks took the form of imagines agens images in action and acting upon other things. In obj ects like Hughs arc and Dant es poem, cross-referential, associational links among elements in such schemes produces random-access memory and sets 31


of patterns or foundations upon which to construc t any number of additional collations and concordances (Carruthers Craft of Thought 16). Memorys success in this process was dependent on the recollectors sk ill in forming memory images ... rich in associations, as iconic as possible (Carruthers Book of Memory 60). Visual coding of this sort, like writing, a llows the memory to be organized securely for accurate recollection of a sort th at permits not just reduplication of the original material, but sorting, analysis, and mixing as we ll, genuine learning, in short, ra ther than simple repetition. A thought thus became a sort of small-scale composition (34), a scene that included personal recollections, common knowledge and the objects of ones education. In this light, it is easier to understand why, throughout the Commedia people and places from Da ntes life share the same scenes as major figures from the history a nd literature which comp rised his education. Personalizing bits of information in this manne r made them more affective, retrievable and useful because ones object of study became not just an end in itself, but a means for further learning. A high degree of visual precision was required for the generation of imagines agens because, as Hugh of St. Victor points out, ea ch mnemonic background or scene is constituted by the sweep of one such mental gaze, and the individual mnemonic clues within each scene cannot be more in number or complexity than what one can distinguish clea rly in one look at the memory (qtd. in Carruthers Craft of Thought 63). Dante demonstrates his understanding of these mnemonic rules when Verg il states, at the beginning of Inferno XI prior to the descent into the lower bolgia, My son, within these rock s, he then began to/ say, Are three smaller circles descending step by/ step, like those you are leaving. All are full of cursed spirits; but so that later the mere sight of them may suffice, hear how they are constricted and why. (Ll.16-21) 32


Vergil himself is an image of Dantes e ducation which the poet has personalized and turned to the ends of his own discourse. Carruthers claims that Dante saves Vergil from the fantastic lengths which medieval legends had take n the image of the Latin poet, including stories of his ability to fly and perform miracles, and utili zes him as an old brick in the new wall of the Florentines self-expression in the Commedia. Dantes re-made Vergil is only one example of the many occasions in the Commedia where we see Dante the poet enclosing and incorporating other kinds of fic tions in order to turn them to his own ends (MacDonald 71), and Barilli points out that it is the Florentine s masterful manipulation of these disparate fabulae fictions that enables him to successfully build a bridge between the corporeal and the intellectual, between the sensual and the sp iritual, between rhetoric and poetics. The imagines agens of the Commedia provide what Yates has called emotional impetus to Dantes journey to re-collect the contents of his memory by their personal idiosyncracy and their strangeness (16). In the Commedia Dantes mind and the minds of readers are hooked up and hooked in to the associational play of the imagines agens based on the elementary principles of mnemonics: 1. Surprise and st rangeness, 2. Exaggera tion, 3. Orderliness, 4. Copiousness 5. Brevity, 6. Similarity, 7. Oppositi on, 8. Contrast. Following these rules allows for substitution via images that compresses large amounts of material into informationally rich single markers (Carruthers Book of Memory 84) able to stimulate meditation and learning. Eco calls this mnemonic method, the mechanism whic h permits epiphanies, where a thing becomes a living symbol of something else, and cr eates a continuous web of references ( Chaosmos 7). Carruthers, Yates and McLuhan have also noted the synaesthe tic quality of the mnemonic places, as well as scenes pr esented in the various areas of the Commedia especially Inferno wherein all bodily senses ar e involved in the stimulation of memory to create a fully realized sensory experience that includes recrea ted sounds ... and taste ..., and odor ..., and touch (Carruthers Craft of Thought 148) as well as different inte nsities of light and shading and the entire range of ones emotions. 33


As mentioned in the early portion of this chapter, Friedreich Nietzsche argued that searingly painful, emotionally laden memories are the only ones we retain and learn from. Derrida, Ulmer and other theorists have pr essed over and again for the use of ones autobiography, and the emotions remembrance e vokes, in the students interaction with the object of research. Freuds psyc hoanalysis was developed to uncove r the latent emotions driving the imagery of his subjects dreams. Indeed, neuropsychology and medieval memoria agree that memory images of whatever sort require emotional coloring to be laid down strongly for secure recovering and these memories do not exist discrete ly, but in circuits or networks (Carruthers The Book and the Body 10). The aforementioned philosophical and scientific trends at tach to a long history of emotions presence in the intellectual and imagina tive enterprise. In the oral culture of the Odyssey we repeatedly see Odysseus weeping, hooking in to his emotions for the purposes of memory recall, before delivering a long monologue recounting his travels. Dante incorporates every emotion and important people and places from his life associated with those emotions, from despair and pity to euphoric joy, to make the images of his Commedia that much more memorable, and therefore useful. Like Nietzs che, medieval teachers and students understood memory training to require bodily affliction si nce, as Carruthers discusses in Frese and OKeefes short but fascinating collection of essa ys, trauma (either as bodily or mental pain) was understood to ingrain the material to be rememb ered in the mind. Such affliction, figured as anxiety or vexation made the body quite literally the site for memory ( The Book and the Body xii). She notes that medieval people saw it as necessary to impress (v iolently) memories upon the brain those all-important rote-retained hab its of their culture (2 ). The textualized body was thus a book of memory upon which the vi olence of writing where surfaces are pounded, scraped, etched, and bound to contain thoughts as te xts was programatically enacted to produce stable memories (xiii). This trope, of bodies as texts violently inscribed upon by the di scourses organizing and driving a culture, appears fr equently throughout Chaucers wo rk, particularly poems like Troilus 34


and Criseyde and will be discussed in greater detail in the next chapter. Carruthers points out that the Latin root for inscription, scribere, translates as to incise, to cut and the premise of compunctio cordis which guided meditative, emotional mn emonics, stems from the Latin root, pungo, punctus, which translates as a piercing, a puncture (Carruthers 2). To enact compunctio cordis (compelling of the heart) for the purposes of recalling and using the store of ones memory, was a process of piercing, goading and vexing ones feelings through affective recreation of excessive images (2) which were punctuated by particular emotions. The crucial aspect of this sort of traini ng, which illuminates its affnities with Nietsches ideas about ruminative learning while distanci ng it from Freuds dream-work and which makes this style of academic meditati on invaluable to the goals of this dissertation, is that intentio (aiming) and converto (tuning, turning) execu ted upon images in the minds eye assume a degree of conscious control over emotion foreign to modern psychologies which are predicated on the notion that emotion is part of an uncontrollable uncon sious (Carruthers The Book and the Body 20). Horizons: Looking Ahead Towards the end of The Book of Memory Carruthers writes, modern literary theory, when applied directly to mediev al literature, has tended to obscure the very medievalness of that literature, and to present Dante, Chaucer and the French writers of romance and fabliaux, as crypto-moderns, subverters and deconstructors of tradition in an anti -establishment mode. Understanding the fundamental role of memoria ... redresses the imbalan ce in this view. For deconstruction ... is at the heart of med itation and the assimilation of literature. Indeterminacy of meaning is the very char acter of recollective gathering. Emotions are the matrix of memory impressions and so of course desire moves intellect, as all learning is based in remembering. These themes ... are not socially subversive ... in medieval literature, they are the tradition itself. (259) In addition to the post-modern aesthetics me ntioned above, Manovitch has also pointed out several other aesthetics and habits of the emerging electroni c environment, such as modularity, individual customization over mass standardizat ion, variability, interactivity, flexibility, the synthesis of representation and information, multi-me dia, virtual spaces, a nd hybrid texts, all of 35


which correspond to the major features of the medieval memory training discussed in this dissertation. Ulmer notes in Teletheory, the most extraordinary feature of mnemonics and most relevant for academic discourse in the age of television is th at whatever a medieval student was thinking about, learning law, virtues and vices, theology, the entire curriculum it was done by a walk through the childhood home, or along the st reets of a hometown, or a great public building, finding in each room or next to each familiar location an image, either extreme aberration or intimately familiar. (136) Ulmer characterizes the new dimension of textuality present in electronic forms of communication as secondary mnemonics ( Teletheory 191), and argues it is important for the humanities to replace the logic governing argumen tative writing with associational networks related to those found in classica l and medieval memory arts which have the potential to serve as a more practical type of int erface for computer technology as opposed to the devices of the book apparatus ... themselves intended as the interface for print technology ( Heuretics 18). Ulmer expands upon this idea in Heuretics to include hypermedias potential contribution to the development of an electr onic rhetoric which features a re-conceptualized notion of the importance of the knowers memory over a body of knowledge to be memorized. Towards the end of Heuretics he states, Hypermedia provides equipment capable of of bringing the three elements [of artificial memory: familiar settings, familiar figures, specialized knowledge of ones discipline] together, and mnemonics offers a relay for solving the interface problem: the electronic citizen may negotiate the environment of cyberspace the same way an orator memorized immense quantities of written mate rial, or the way an actor learns a play. (193) Henceforth, I shall argue th at the creative, generative ars memoria observed in medieval manuscripts like the Commedia shares several qualities with the aesthetics and habits of hypermedia, and can therefore serve as a useful relay for the creation of electronically-oriented pedagogies. This dissertation and future work will attempt to combine the principles of the ars memoria, exhibited in texts like Dantes Commedia, with the computers potential to serve as 36


part of the new memory machine with which a student can actually perform an inventive convergence of collective and individual resources and better map the terrain between sociality and subjectivity (Ulmer, Heuretics, 138) from within the classroom. This chapter has attempted to lay out the body of my interests and goals in this dissertation project. The following chapters will explore the features of this argument already discussed in this chapter in greater detail. Because they were the first major departures from the use of the printed word as the major medium of information storage and tr ansmission in the 19th Century, the resurgent importance of visual registers of information in modern communicative acts will be introduced in Chapter Two, The Image as the first compon ents in the corresponden ces between electronic culture and medieval memory I intend to discuss in this dissertation. I will point out the rise to prominence in electronic age of the photograph, the moving image, the digital still and multimedia and cite critics like Ulmer who argue th at the status of the image as an interface necessitates a place for it in new rh etorics. To answer this need I will refer to the medieval notion of the imagines agens, images in action and acting upon other things, which functioned as rhetorical and informational hooks in the machina memorialis I will chart the methods by which these images were made a rich in asso ciations and iconic as possible and how visual coding of this sort enabled not just reduplication, but sorting, an alysis and mixing, i.e., genuine learning rather than repetition whereby thought itself became a small-scale composition using old bricks in a new wall. Chapter Three, Virtual Space, will begi n by citing Manovitchs and other critics discussion of the immersion into virtual spaces as the new paradigm for information storage and gathering. I will be sure to note Manovitchs excellent discussion of the collapse between information and representation in the database cyberspace, the world wide web, and virtual environments like games and the differences thes e types of interfaces represent as opposed to information storage and retrieval in a print a pparatus. To account for and accommodate these differences into a redeveloping rhetorical ca non, Chapter Threes discus sion will turn to the 37


concept of the memory palace as a relay for attempts at overcoming these differences and incorporating them into electronically-oriented pedagogy and research. I will discuss in detail the rhetorical uses of mnemonic places ( loci ) within three-dimensiona l spaces in the learners thinking mind, fundamental to the learning process of the middle ag es, serving as organizational maps, gathering places, and points of departure for discourse. I will note medieval examples ranging from St. Augustine, to Hugh of St.Victor and Dante Alighieri, w ho rendered the contents of their minds in virtual spaces while making use of all the bodily senses, and the way such an ordering ( ordinatio ) of the places motivates argument and memory by allowing for navigation through the contents of ones mind. Chapter Four, Interactivity and Modular ity, opens by discussing the increasingly interactive quality of hyperlinks, hypermedia, ga mes, entertainment, multi-user domains, chat rooms list serves, multidisciplinary projects and online publications, as well as the need for users to organize the increasingly rapid and fragme nted transmission of information in these environments. I will again note Manovitch and his illumination of the presence of post-modern operations such as copy, cut, paste, search, and the tendency toward customization over mass standardization. Chapter Four will also point ou t the shift in the maste r-slave relation between texts and their users in examples like the DJ and Napster which are occurr ing in an increasingly authorless environment. Furthermore, I will discuss the emergence of a new cultural economy coeval with these developments wherein producers define the basic structure of an object and release examples, but users build their own versions. In order to address the need for a renovated humanities curriculum to incorporate these transf ormations into a rejuvenated rhetorical canon, I will turn to the interactive quality of medieval meditatio and memoria as relays. This chapter will cover the ways in which textual and memorial habits of the middle ages encourage a user to make a reading ones own by consuming and re -building or re-making a text for ones own purposes. Chapter Four will note the highly inter active quality of the hermeneutical dialogue between the reader and a work which lead to incr edibly creative reading/writing processes. For examples, this chapter will present the poiesis of poets like Dante which, in using these highly 38


interactive mnemonics for com position often involving the a ppropriation of another persona, produced discourse out of operations similar to those listed by Manovi tch and others as central to postmodern acts within electronic media. Chapter Four will also address Modularity, and will provide coverage of this aspect of electracy becoming increasingly important to research and learning, namely, modularity, the collection of discrete samples into large-scale objects quickly available for use and infinitely variable via periodic upd ates. I shall point out the shifting, flexible nature of the world wide web, online gaming environments, mu lti-user domains and electronic research and art. Elements within these electronic obj ects retain their individual identity and can be wired into more than one object. The subject who in teracts with these m odular environments becomes a decentered assemblage, a multiple self that changes in response to different social situations. As a relay for my attempt to apprehend the modular condition for the sake of electronic research and education, the chapter will cite Mary Carruthers discussion of memoria in the middle ages as a shuffling matrix of things posited into a randomaccess scheme which remains both a construction project and finished structure. As examples of this condition as I have encountered it in medieval scholasticism and art, I will discuss Hugh of St. Victors arca sapientiae, a learning and information storage device which the author c onceived of as a shuffling matrix of things ( res). Furthermore, I shall note the ability of poets like Dante, Boccaccio and Chaucer to wire different elements of a work into non-linear webs of associations with other texts. In particular, I will focus on the open nature of the works Chaucer, manuscripts which the poet continually returned to and updated for purpos es of expansion and revision. Chapter Five, Conclusion, will note again the correspondences between the aspects of electracy and the major features of medieval memory discussed in this dissertation. The chapter will be concerned with speculations on how humani ties research and pedagogy might rehabilitate the creative, generative features of the machina memorialis as demonstrated by figures like Dante, and combine these premises with the m oving images, virtual spaces, interactivity and 39


modularity of hypermedia in order to produce a new sort of heuristic learning that expands traditional hermeneutics and creates a learning environment suitable for the electronic age. 40


CHAPTER 2 THE IMAGE Introduction: The Age of the Image Several corresponding habits of medieval a nd electronic culture important to the redesigning of humanities pedagogy in the Twenty-First Century will be the focus of this dissertation project. This chapter will be concerned with the importance of the image to identities (habit as costume), communication habits (habit as repeated behavior patterns) and habitations (habits as public/private spaces) now dominating what is variously called the digital age, electracy, soc iety of the spectacle by cr itics studying the cultural and technological transformations ta king place around us. In particular, this chapter will examine how the aforementioned habits oriented around the circulation of imag es correspond to the society of the spectacle noted by medievalists in the rhetorica lly charged art, architecture and scholarship of the Middle Ages. The reliance of medieval mnemonics, rhetoric, education, religion, and art on an associative, networked im age-logic represents a discourse crucial to efforts at using the medieval memory machine as a relay for the creation of a rhetorical method suited to the digital age. As noted in Chapter One, the research a nd commentary by scholars in the fields of cultural studies, post-modernism, medieval and f ilm studies, as well as the unavoidable crush of everyday experience in our own lives, has made cl ear that we are immersed in an age where images found in photographs, illustrations, comics, cinema, video, computer graphics and games have all become essential components of discou rse (Bakutman 9). W.J.T. Mitchell calls this pictorial turn a postlinguistic, post-semiotic rediscovery of the picture as a complex interplay between visuality, apparatus, in stitutions, discourse (16). Several other scholars have also examined from various perspe ctives the increasing importance of images in America and worldwide. Daniel Boorstin claims that the graphic revolution (13) of the 19th a nd 20th Centuries, which has witn essed considerable increase in the ability to make, preserve, transmit, and di sseminate precise images (13), has made images 41


however planned or contrived, or distorted more vivid, more at tractive, more impressive and more persuasive than reality itself (36). In Boorstins words, fact or fantasy, the image becomes the thing. Its very purpose is to ove rshadow reality. American life becomes a showcase for images (197). Boorstin labels these showcases pseudo-ev ents, but cautions us not to dismiss the cultural transformations wrought by the images increased importance as simply a growing superficiality. Instead, these transformati ons express a world where the image, more interesting than its original, has itself become the original. The shadow has become the substance. Advertising men, i ndustrial designers, and packaging engineers are not deceivers of the public. They are simple acoly tes of the image, not only becau se the image sells, but also because the image is what people want to buy (204). Guy Debord, in his oft-mentioned short work, The Society of the Spectacle utilizes the term, spectacle, to discuss these modern conditions of production wherein everything directly lived recedes into representation ( 43). Debord claims spectacle presents itself simultaneously as society and emph asizes that spectacle is not a collection of images; it is a social relation between people that is medi ated by images. Through news, propaganda, advertising, entertainment, the spectacle rep resents the dominant model of life (45). For Debord, the result of spectacles hegemony is a fetishism of commodity: the real world is replaced by a selection of images which are projected above it, yet which at the same time succeed in making themselves regarded as the epitome of reality (54), an effect which Scott Bakutman calls hallucination (89) The appeal of this hallucin ation, or simulacrum, creates a culture in which, according to Gregory Ulme r, the past is modified, becoming a vast collection of images, a multitudinous, photographi c simulacrum whose practice is informed by the emotion of nostalgia (11). Marshall McLuhans work on modern communica tions media, for all the controversy and disagreement it has generated, has nevertheless spu rred a flood of research built around what has come to be called medium theory, the study of media, that only increases in scope and volume 42


as the humanities increasingly come to recogn ize the importance of apprehending and making use of the ever evolving tec hnologies of communication. In particular, a great deal of scholarship has emerged since the middle of the twentieth century which evinces a concern with the growing influence of film, television and now computers, three media which represent important advances beyond the technology of print and even the still photograph. In Picture Theory, W.J.T. Mitchell stresses that the difference between a cultu re of reading and a culture of spectatorship, for instance, is not only a formal issue; it has implications for the very forms that sociability and subjectivity take, for the ki nds of individuals and institutions formed by a culture (3). One of the more recent and engaging studies of the habits and habitations emerging in science-fiction literature and film, Scott Bakutmans Terminal Identity notes tellingly, Technology always creates a crisis for culture, and the technologies of the 20th Century have at once been the most liberating a nd the most repressive in hist ory, evoking sublime terror and sublime euphoria in equal measure (4). Scholar s like Bakutman are continually fascinated and troubled by the power of modern media to generate within communities a reaction akin to the medieval sense of melancholia brilliant imaginative inte llection and paralyzing despair stemming from ones obsessive contemplation of a desired object, believed to be the driving force behind both the creative and self-destructive capacity in human beings. In particular, cultural studies scholars, me dium theorists and postmodernists are worried that these alluring, effective, and pervasive technologies are creating a passive relation between the human subject and the culture of image and sp ectacle within which we circulate. In their eyes, viewers are reduced to the level of simp le mass consumers of media who do not find sites of resistance and self-knowledge inside thes e technologies. While ev idence points to several new public spaces in electronic culture which do provide for individuality, creativity, dialogue and experimentation, the sad fact remains that humanities pedagogy in the 21st century college classroom is still seeking a language and a method for exploring and understanding ones subjectivity in the electronic environment. 43


Bakutman notes that film and television represent important departures from the discrete, (and, until computer programs allowed for the kinds of deformations of photos seen in avant garde art and film) immutable text of the photograph, and are more representative of the spatiotemporal malleability enc ountered in digital age technol ogy (108). Motion is an explicit and crucial element of televisual and filmic texts. The sweep of landscapes, and panoramas of often violent action in the pages of novels, which could not be convincingly transferred to the stage, have been a cornerstone of film making and television from their beginnings, and have continued to remain a consistent part of not only these sorts of te xts, but computer art and games as well. Daniel Boorstin compares films impact to that of 15th Century printing and claims the comparison is apt because printi ng and film share the aspiration to be universal forms to expand beyond community and region until they ar e national, ultimately global in scope (157). The combination of sound and moving image make s film even more seductive, brilliant and various (Boorstin 158) than prin t and photography. And, like all ar t, it distorts the images it reflects according to the cultural and individual bi ases of its creators and the special imperatives of its medium. It thus changes has change d societys image of itself, and, by a kind of feedback loop, the changing self-image of soci ety changes the image in the mirror. The influences are continuous and reciprocal. Boorstin continues, stating, like printing, film has thus created attitudes and modes of self-awareness at the same time that it has expressed them. These attitudes or modes of self-awareness are now part of the structure of modern consciousness just as, by the 17t h Century, the modes of awarene ss implicit in the medium of print had become part of European consciousness (158). O.B. Hardison extends this historically-ori ented analysis of m odern communication and entertainment to the Middle Ages, noting that modern media can be defined as a work of fancy, to borrow a term from Samuel T. Coleridge, a work of aggregation and association, an assembly of fictives and definites. This said, it should immediately be added that the completed film can, and us ually does, give the im pression of being a continuous whole. In this respect it resembles the communal art of pre-literate 44


societies. Ballads, folk-epics and cathedrals are normally the work of innumerable anonymous hands; yet they seem unified to the modern read er or viewer. ( Entering the Maze 186) Hardison continues his comparison of the modern and the medieval by ap plying the language of modern mass media to liturgy, adding, the mass medium of the Middle Ages was liturgy, which communicated to the illiterate masses through music, vestments, ceremony, and ritual. It was necessarily formulaic because, like a drama, it had to be recreate d each time it was celebrated. Like liturgy, film transcends barriers of geography, and like it, film has a deep mass appeal that does not depend on literacy. Film is more vari ous than liturgy, but underlying its dazzling variety are there not formulas that are as rigid in popular cinema as the formulas of medieval mass? ( Entering the Maze 197) Hardison also attributes a basic grammar to film oriented around the manipulation of images via cut, fade, and dissolve, and long shot, medium shot, and closeup; and the rhetoric of film includes voice-over, musi cal continuo, unusual camera a ngles, trick photography, and special sound and lighting effects (202). This chapter will note how the medieval society of the spectacle traceable in the art, education and architecture of that period possessed a basic grammar comprised of strikingly similar visual elements that should prove useful to the development of an electric rhetoric. Scholars have long noted the power of the im age. Boorstin concurs with Ulmers notion that film and television are propelled by emo tion motivated by recognition and nostalgia. Boorstin feels that popular cinema cooperates wi th desire for reverie rather than opposing it (168). Ulmer feels that televisi on and film in particular, capita lize on emotions function as a guide to the location of myths (ideologies) info rming the cultural reserve of an individual ( Teletheory 11). The compelling power of moving pictures has b een irresistible. In his discussion of early cinema, Lev Manovitch claims, film images woul d soothe movie audiences who were facing an increasingly dense information environment outside the theater, an environment that no longer could be adequately handled by their own sampling and data processing systems (i.e. their 45


brains). Periodic trips into the dark relaxation chambers of movie theaters became a routine survival technique for the subjects of modern society (23). William S. Burroughs is far more blunt in his assessment of the ever-increasing pr esence and power of the culture of the image and calls it a form of junk, an addic tive substance that controls its user (as qtd. in Bakutman 75). Boorstin has developed a language of the im age which he feels is representative of the disempowering allure wielded by modern technologies of communication and entertainment. In the first place, the image is synt hetic: the image is planned and created to serve a purpose, make an impression like a trademark or brand name, for example. The trademark is a legally protected set of letters, a picture, or design identifyi ng a particular product-experience, someone has interest in its use and it is owned and produced by specialists. The trademark represents the studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, co rporation, product of service-value and can be caricatured, synthe sized, doctored, repaire d, refurbished, improved, multiplied. In his examination of the language of the image Ulmer claims that every object in the electronic environment is available, capable of being separated from its original justification or context and remotivated as part of a new discourse ( Teletheory 92). The synthetic, flexible quality of images is also massively present in television and film. Ulmer further notes in Teletheory television organizes information narrative ly ordering the inte raction of sound and image with oral and pop culture forms, extendi ng simple forms like the anecdote, joke, proverb, riddle, and legend into new functions of classification and ev aluation (ix). Secondly, according to Boorstin, the imag e must be believable not true, but nevertheless accepted as a reality by its audience. In Terminal Identity, Scott Bakutman studies several books and films which e ffect a deconstruction of a culture profoundly engaged with images; a culture which allows images to constr uct a whole and reassuring but entirely false image of itself (63). Boorstin characterizes the manipulation of images on television as carefully selected, grouped and staged pseudo-events ( The Image 210), contrived occurrences, like those of P.T. Barnums outrageous public hoaxes, which take the place of truth. 46


In a statement which is crucial to the correspondence I am establishing between the image-oriented cultures of pres ent day electracy and the middl e ages, and one upon which I will expand later in this chapter, Boorstins comments on a modern culture of images raise, like Hardisons, interesting and useful connections to the society of the spectacle of the Middle Ages. Boorstin notes, In this new world wher e almost anything can be true, the socially rewarded art is that of making things seem true. It is the art not of discovery, but of invention [my emphasis]. Finding a fact is easy; making a fact believed is s lightly more difficult (211). Most troubling for Boorstin and many othe rs, our relation to the image is passive: producers and consumers fit into the image, become the likeness of the image, conform with an image. The conformist makes it a ha bit to fit with images around him. In Picture Theory W.J.T. Mitchell notes, images, like histories and technologies, are our creations, yet also commonly thought to be out of our control or at leas t out of someones control, the question of agency and power being central to the way im ages work (6). Ulmer claims the subject of knowledge is a voyeur, in thrall to the pleasur e of recognition by which a text reproduces in the spectator the dominant id eology of the society (Teletheory 7). Mitchell concurs, calling spectacle the ideo logical form of pictorial power; surveillance [an increasingly prominent habit of both pers on to person interaction, law enforcement, commerce, and entertainment on the internet a nd television, causing intense overlap of the discourses dominated by all four] is its bureaucr atic, managerial, and disciplinary form (327). Mitchell is convinced that the badness of television as discussed by medium theorists and cultural studies, has something to do with the pa ssivity and fixation of th e spectator (2). Debord claims the passive acceptance of spect acle is already effectively imposed by its monopoly of appearances, (46) its manner of appearing without allowing any reply. This monopoly of the image and passivity of the view er create, for Boorstin, the paradox of the culture of the image. He writes, in 19th Century America the most extreme modernism held that man was made by his environment. In 20th Century America, wit hout abandoning the belief that we are made 47


by our environment, we also believe our envi ronment can be made almost wholly by us. This is the appealing contradi ction at the heart of our passion for pseudo-events: for made news, synthetic heroes, prefabricated tourist attractions, homogeni zed interchangeable forms of art and literature (where there are no originals, but only the shadows we make of other shadows). We believe we can fill our experience with new-fangled content. Almost everything we see and hear and do persua des us that this power is ours. The life in America which I have described is a spect ator sport in which we ourselves make the props and are the sole performers. (182) In this culture of simulacra, shadows of other shadows, what we regard as reality stands revealed as a construc tion a provisional and malleable alignment of data (Bakutman 30), and Debord notes, the lack of general historic al life also means that individual life as yet has no history. The pseudo-events that vie for at tention in spectacular dr amatizations have not been lived by those who are informed about them ; and in any case they are soon forgotten due to their increasingly frenetic replacement at every pu lsation of the spectacular machinery (73). Debord continues, stating, thi s individual experience of a di sconnected everyday life remains without language, without concep ts, and without critical acce ss to its own past which has nowhere been recorded. Uncommunicated, mis understood and forgotten, it is smothered by the spectacles false memory of the unmemorable (74). Habitation: A Mediascape of Images Film now shares, and now often circulates within, this mediascape (Bakutman 41) of images created by several types of media. Audio recordings have been a lmost as important to transformations in information and entertainment as the moving pictures of film and television. Bakutman claims the comic-book medium is uniquely suited to depiction of spectacular society with its conjunction of image, color, text a nd typography which is exploited with continual variation by its producers (59). Post-modern architecture continue s to reflect its environment with a celebration of hybrid (rather than uni vocal) expression, complexity (rather than linearity), eclecticism (ra ther than historicized homogeneity) and variable space with surprises (Bakutman 60). O.B. Hardison adds to this li st newspaper layouts, television programming, and 48


the web with their shared qualities of disc ontinuity, fragmentation, motion, and collage ( Disappearing Through the Skylight 178). The most important addition by far to the med iascape of electronic culture is computer technology. Having absorbed and adapted visual ar t, audio, movies and games into its own set of technological and cultural transformations, computer technology has also introduced the world wide web, with its attendant explosion of new pu blic spaces and discourses, as well as computerassisted design programs for a vari ety of fields and purposes. Hardison points out that com puter art is holistic in its simultaneous use of image, sound, and text, and it is often kinetic. It moves and changes. It reac hes out to surround and absorb the consumer, creating an artificial reality that fo rces the consumer to confront the increasing irrelevance in modern culture of the distinction between the real in the sense of that which occurs naturally, and the artificial in the sense of that which is a human artifact (21). Hardison adds that film, television a nd computer technology utilize expr ession in metaphors, paradoxes, contradictions and abstractions rather than languages that mean in the traditional way in assertions that are apparently incoherent or collages using fragments of the old to create enigmatic symbols of the new (21). Later in Disappearing Through the Skylight Hardison discusses the highly representational character of Computer Assi sted Design Progams (CADS) already used in several professional fields and college program s such as architecture and graphic design. Hardison states, Frequently they begin with wire frame images that are later converted to solid 3-D representations. These images can be rota ted, set in motion and continuously modified and things that could not otherwise be seen, such as hypercubes and 4-D fract al shapes can now be rendered by a viewer (248). Manovitch calls pr ogramming like this and the latest computergenerated special effects now seen in film and games as digita l compositing, the creation of moving images of nonexistent worlds (153). Ba kutman also notes the increased power and seductiveness of the digital image, writing, t he precision of the computer-generated image inscribes a precision of perspective wh ich eludes the ordinary eye (217). 49


The nature of the subject and subjectivity, always changing, especia lly since the advent of the electronic age in the course of the 19th Century, has only incr eased its rate of change since the arrival of radio, film and, most recently, co mputer technology. Bakutman deploys the term, terminal identity, to describe the new formati ons of subjectivity and it s discourses emerging in new media like the internet. He combines Baudri llards sense of the subject as a terminal of multiple networks (Bakutman 2) wherein media are no longer the extension of man; man has instead become an extension of them (73), w ith Burroughs notion of terminal identity: the unmistakably doubled articulation in which we find both the end of the subject and a new subjectivity constructed at the computer station or television screen (9). The terminal identity of American cu lture now taking shap e only heightens the experience of Feyerabends idea that like every other object, man is an exchange station of influences rather than a unique source of action, an I (qtd in Ulmer, Teletheory 27). Baudrillard considers a theater/props analogy like Boorstins quoted above to be insufficient for describing the electronic subject and states that all of us, in our varied capacities as scholars, students, employees, consumers, etc., are at the controls of a micro-satellite, in or bit, living no longer as an actor or dramaturge, but as a terminal of multiple networks. Televi sion is still the most direct pre-figuration of this. But today is the very space of habita tion that is conceived as both receiver and distributor, as the space of both reception operations, the control screen and terminal which as such may be endowed with telematic power. (Bakutman 86) Computer technology has expanded and intensif ied the audiences change from spectator to participant, passive receiver to message sender (Bakutman 65). Eric Matlow, in his essay, Women, Computer s and a Sense of Self, notes, computer interface presents us with an interface which substitutes i conic representations of real ity for the real (172). Lev Manovitch undertakes an excellent discussion of the subjects ne w relationship to these iconic representations of reality, sta ting, the image acquires the new ro le of an interface (imagemap, 50


desktop); the image interface functions as a porta l into another world, like an icon in the middle ages or a mirror in modern literature and cinema (290). These interactive interfaces turn the image from something we passively observe to something we expect to enter rather than stay on the surface (Manovitch 180). New information and entertainment media turn most images into image-interfaces and imageinstruments that the user actively en gages (Manovitch 183), and Manovitch argues compellingly that information access is no longer just a key term of work, but also a new key category of culture. Accordingly, it demands that we deal with it theoretically, aesthetically, and symbolically (217). Kathleen Welch concurs, pointing out in Electric Rhetoric that students exposed to the screen rhetoric of Bakutmans terminal identity are literate in new ways (4). It is our task in the humanities to provide students with methods of critical thinking that raise their level of self-awareness and understanding and help them expl oit and not be exploited by the potential of the new literacy Welch and Ulmer outline. Unfortunately, because of the humanities current lag in apprehending the new state of the subj ect and subject-formation, scholars and pedagogues have reached what O.B. Hardison calls a horizon of invisibility where our inherited languages are inadequate ( Disappearing Through the Skylight 21). Boorstin laments the lack of self -discovery that should be facilitated by the dynamic new communication, information and entertainment t echnologies which have emerged over the past two centuries. For the present user of the new media image interface, because of the monopoly that television and film have had over the dissemination of images and the passive habits of their viewership, the post-modern subject resembles not the medieval traveler, or pilgrim, who actively engages his or her journey and the objects and places encountered within it, but the modern tourist, isolated from and passively vi ewing a disconnected, deco ntextualized landscape ( The Image 94), or rather, mediascape. 51


The urgent need for the humaniti es to produce a narration of new technological modes of being in the world (Bakutman 6) comes at the same time the humanities disciplines are facing a dire crisis of identity at all levels of the curriculum. O.B. Hardison is unremittingly bleak in his assessment of the humanities fall to such a low status within the American educational system, especially at the college and university level. He observes, at the early levels of education the idea of th e useful is identical with the idea of humanity, but continues, writing, Literacy is both a useful skill and the precondi tion for reading significant texts. At more advanced levels, a divergence occurs. One ar ea of the curriculum is dedicated to the reading and interpretation of culture texts, and its subjects are called humanities. Other areas devoted to useful information and skills, and their subjects are called sciences and social sciences and professions; they can be summarized under the general label technique. As the technique becomes more complex, it becomes more demanding. The natural divergence in edu cation between technique and th e idea of humanity is thus intensified until it becomes a radical separation. The humanities cease to be the foundation of the curriculum and become one of its parts. ( Entering the Maze 118) Hardisons verdict is that the humanities disciplines finds themselves in a system dominated by the idea of the useful to which they cannot demonstrate their utility. Whereas in the ancient and medieval curricu la the humanities served the aim of providing students with sound character, broad knowledge of human affairs and a well-developed ability to communicate (Hardison 123), by being simultaneously practical (useful), ethical (ideologically self-conscious), and aesthetic (e ncouraging progressive discovery through experience) (122), the strength of modern humanities education a nd scholarship, built around the familiar foundations of the seminar, essay, journal and book, reflects its scrupul ous fidelity of humanisitic scholarship to its tradition and its weakness becau se they are often incomprehensible and hence seem ridiculous or tedious or elitist to th e general public (Hardison 129). Centuries of constant exposure to the structure of knowledge expressed by arrangement of books, reinforces assumptions about that structure encouraged by agencies outside th e library, including the structure of cour se in official curricula and the structure of academic 52


departments and government agencies. If no assumptions exist regarding an area of thought, the library tends to crea te them by imposing patterns of association on the users mind. A classification system thus encourages the compartmenta lizations of thought within the standard classifications. It makes orthodoxy easy a nd thought outside of compartmentalization extremely difficult. Th e same tool that creates knowledge may inhibit those unorthodox pattern s of thought that enlarge knowledge. (Hardison 139) Even in the 1960's, Marshall McLuhan rec ognized the difficulty the humanities would have in studying and incorporating electronic me dia because of the long influence of the print apparatus. He writes in The Gutenberg Galaxy when we see the reason for the total failure of [Schramm, Lyle, and Parker] to get in touch with televisions themes, we can unders tand why in the Sixteenth Century, men had no clue to the nature and effect s of the printed word. Schramm, et al, make no analysis of the television image. They assume that apar t from the program or content, television is a neutral medium like any other they like Quixote believe that print is the criterion of reality and non-prin t media are fantasy-oriented. (177) Walter Ongs Ramus discusses in depth the efforts of influential scholars like Rudolph Agricola and Peter Ramus to capitalize on the technol ogy of the printing press to produce a schema for understanding various concepts in a more visualist, observ ational, objective, mechanistic way (115). The printing press was amenable to Ramus and Agricolas ideas for simplified philosophy whereby any and all rea lity could be explained in terms of simple analogy with mechanical constructs (Ong 97). Ong characterizes the printing pre ss as the first assembly line which had assembled not tools, but a pattern of words, a pattern for th ings in the mind. In a parallel maneuver Ramus organizes in an observational fiel d not the external world but the contents of consciousness (195) with the result that language is reduced to spatial relationships (85) and allegory disappears in a representation of human t hought processes which are developed by the generalization of print and appear self-evident (113) and students are left with no real understanding of the semantic impo rtance of metaphorical or of a ny similar processes (274). 53


Ongs litany of the desecrat ion wrought upon language by the institutionalization and domination of the printed word reveals the extent to which l earning by the book has produced a passive reading subject and passive learning process, leaving stude nts ill-equipped to engage the discourses of hypermedia. Ong notes that print enhances the illusion of a one-to-one correlation between terms and things opposing divergent meanings (203). In the interest of simplification and generalization, Ramism reserve[d] only elocution and pronunciation from rhetoric (270), and the ancient ars no longer persiste d as a course in general culture in the ancient se nse (275) and became simply a cour se in Latin with the result that a rhetorical approach to life is sealed off (291) for students who learn from the printed word. Poetry and rhetoric were separated ( 280), fostering the great schism in European philosophical and education traditions discusse d in Chapter One of this dissertation. For modern students, the exterior objective world is now viewed as distinct from the interior personal world (279). Thought is now an anti-social exercise wherein speech is no longer a medium in which the human mind and sensib ility lives. It is rese nted rather as an accretion to thought, hereupon imagined as ranging noiseless concepts or ideas in a silent field of mental space (291). The grammar teachers j ob is to now unweave and resolve balances in a text in opposition to the ancient notion of texare to weave associated w ith art and rhetoric. In the modern English classroom, students rarely lear n to weave do things with the rules of grammar and rhetoric (263). Marshall McLuhan echoes many of Ongs sentiments concerni ng the influence of the printed word and notes that as th e literal, the letter later became identified with light on rather than light through the text, there was also the equi valent stress on point of view or the fixed position of the reader ( Gutenberg Galaxy 138) inspiring a movement to ward visual word order which eliminates the principle of verbal decoru m, is the end of wordplay, and an insistence on the homogeneity of utterance (278) in the classroo m. Jerome McGann notes that, as a result of this process, 54


critical and interpretive limits are thus regul arly established (and fo r the most part quite unselfconsciously) at the masoretic wall of th e physical artifact, whose stability and integrity is taken as inviolable. From an interpretive point of view, this assumption brackets off from attention crucial features of imaginative works, features wherein the elemental forms of meaning are built and el aborated. These forms are so basic and conventional governed they are alphabetical diacritical, they ar e rules for character formation, character arrangement, and textual spa ce, as well as for the structural forms of words, phrases, and higher morphemic and phonemic units that readers tend to treat them as pre-interpretive and pre-critical. In truth, however, they compromise the operating system of language, the basis that drives and supports the front end software. (115) McGann concludes, stating, that computer me taphor explains why most readers dont fool around with these levels of language To do so entails plunging into the deep recesses of textual and artifactual forms (116). De rrida concurs, claiming that with in the print appa ratus, we are authorized to see the sun, to deserve the light that keeps us on the surface of the mine ( Of Grammatology 165). The humanities classroom no longer operates with a concept of method, favoring a routine of efficiency instead of a routine of thi nking or discoursing about a routine of efficiency (Ong Ramus 267). In Ongs assessment of the modern humanities cu rriculum, ironically, what is commonly thought of as scholastic logic by neo-scholastics today is in r eality a residual, quasischolastic, post-humanist logic, not the logic of the central medieval tradi tion (93). For Derrida, books, the dead and rigid knowledge shut up in biblia, piles of hist ories, nomenclatures, recipes and formulas learned by heart, all this is foreign to living knowl edge and dialectics ( Dissemination 73) because writing ... cannot flex itsel f in all senses, cannot bend with all the differences among presents, with all the variable, fluid, furtive necessities of psychology (114). The monopoly of learning by the book expe rienced for centuries at all levels of education has been of major influence in creating a population which exists in the sort of passive relationship to signs and symbols described above. Derrida is very direct regarding this problem and writes in Of Grammatology writing breeds passive forgetfuln ess (lxvii) and furthermore, the dignity of writing is refu sed to non-alphabetic signs (110), which is one reason why the 55


humanities have been so slow at developing a language, or rhetoric, for communications media not solely dependent on the printed word. Jero me McGann ruefully notes that interests in literary and cultural studies ha ve preserved the book as the cri tical tool of choice for the humanities community. When it comes to processe s of reflection, digital tools lag far behind the technology of the book (213). McGanns last statement remains sadly true, especially for the humanities classroom. However, other departments within the American university system, such as various Fine Arts programs nationwide, are quickly incorporating computer tec hnology and courses designed to capitalize on the growing influence of hypermedia A colleague of mine who teaches in the Department of Graphic Design in the School of Art and Art History at the Un iversity of Florida, was kind enough to answer questions and provi de insight concerning the application of multimedia within the Fine Arts curriculum. At present, she teaches a studio course and a senior design seminar. In the MINT Studio, students run a graphic design cour se in which they work with actual clients to meet several graphic design needs such as websites, logos, environmental design, posters, etc. Students in this course have collaborated with many departme nts across the UF campus, including music, theater, and anthropology. Stude nts taking part in the course come from departments like computer science, engineering and digital media. The senior design studio is a finishing course in which students polish their portfolios and work with professionals from outside the university who place them in real world settings as writers, artists and business persons. In both courses, students work intensively with page layout softwa re such as Quark Express, graphics programs like Illustrator, Photoshop, and In-design, HTML programs like Dreamweaver, Go-Live and Flash animation software (interview with Dr. Connie Hwang, 4/21/04). The most troubling aspect of these new devel opments for the humanities is that computer engineers and graphic design expe rts are deciding what shape th e discourses emanating from the emergence of hypermedia into our culture will take in the future. The interest in traditional scholarship described above has left the humanities isolated from this proce ss ironic since it is 56


the avowed aim of the humanities discipline to in crease students awareness and engagement of a cultures textual objects. Unfortunately, where graphic design course s recognize the practical importance in producing a body of students well-v ersed in the application of new technologies (i.e. getting a job) and have therefore made these new technologies the central subject and tool for learning, the humanities have only just begun to introduce cultural studies cour ses that examine the discourses of new media and are still far behind other departments in thei r efforts to create a method wherein the computer becomes the apparatus thr ough which we teach and our students learn. As I have already stated many times, the task of this dissertation project, a nd I would argue of the humanities discipline in general, is to decide wh ich resources to draw upon in order to create a rhetoric teachable through the electronic, as opposed to print, apparatus. In more hopeful tone, Bakutman writes, television and computer cultures have repeatedly been posited as formations of spectacul ar control, but it is important to note that the new modes of challenge and resi stance have themselves become spectacular in form (27). W.J.T. Mitchell stresses it is crucial for the hum anities to emphasize to students and colleagues that anxieties about the power of visual culture are not just the province of critical intellectuals (2) and asks, What forms of resistance are likely to be efficacious in an era when traditional oppositions (avant garde vs mass culture, art vs k itsch, private vs public) no longer seem to have cultural or political leverage? (365) Mitchell, quoting Thomas Crow, states that the avant garde now functions as a kind of research and development arm of th e culture industry. Oppositional movements such as surrealism, expre ssionism, and cubism have been recuperated for entertainment and advertising and the boldest gestures of High Modernism have become the ornaments of corporated public spaces (376). Dramatic shifts are already occurring within the university curriculum as the liberal and fine arts work to make up the technology gap th at has appeared between the practices within the classroom and the world at large. Mitchell poin ts out that art history s marginality is being overturned by account of its principal theoretica l object visual representation that will be 57


usable by other disciplines in the human scien ces (15). Sandra Kemp agrees and writes in Technologies of the Face, if art looked to sc ience in the 19th Century, now science and technology look to art: or, at best, the two are mo re interdependent especially in the links between science, art, and technol ogy where discursive and discip linary distinctions are breaking down (20). Guy Debord echoes this sentimen t, quoting August von Cieszkowskis Prolegomena to Historiosophy: thus, just as the direct practice of art ceased to be the most eminent activity and that preeminence shifted to theory as such, th eory is in turn losing its preeminence to the holisitic, post-theoretical practi ce that is now developing, a prac tice whose primary mission is to be the foundation and fulfillment of both art and philosophy (53). For Debord, the point is for the humanities to actually take part in the comm unity of dialogue and the game with time that up till now have been represented by poetic and artistic works (52). During the Twentieth Century, film makers such as Dziga Vertov and Stan Brakhage forged radical departures from the linear, en tertainment-based models of popular cinema and attempted to exploit the ways th at the technology of the camera constructs a new kind of vision, extending the power of the human eye and thus the experience of consciousness itself (Bakutman 218). Lev Manovitch po ints out that Vertovs film, Man With a Movie Camera is motivated by a particular argument, which is that the new techniques of obtaini ng images and manipulating them, summed up by Vertov in his term kino-eye, can be used to dec ode the world. As the film progresses, straight footage gives way to ma nipulated footage; newer techniques appear one after the other.... It is as though Vertov re stages his discovery of the kino-eye for us and along with him, we gradually realize th e full range of possibilities offered by the camera. Vertovs goal is to seduce us into his way of seeing and thinking, to make us share his excitement, as he di scovers a new language for film This gradual process of discovery is films main narra tive, and it is told through a ca talog of discoveries. Thus, in the hands of Vertov, the database, this nor mally static, and objective form, becomes dynamic and subjective (12). In Vertovs work, cinematic eff ects acquire meaning. In Manovitchs words, Vertov creates a meaningful artistic language (12). 58


Scott Bakutman discusses the c yberpunk literature of William Gibson and science fiction films like Videodrome and Blade Runner to demonstrate how the language of science fiction provides a self-critical, discursive level from which theories of la nguage and media benefit (28). In Bakutmans analysis, science fiction literature and film have proven adept at using, in Ulmers words, the machine of realism operating in our discourse to say something else, something more and other, a neo-allegorism ( Teletheory 8). Like the works of post-modernism, science fiction literature and film either emphasize [a] sense of dislocation or produce so me form of cognitive mapping so that the subject can comprehend the new terms of existence (6). Bakutman characterizes science fiction as inhe rently writerly in the Barthesian sense of positing an active reader who must wittingly constr uct the text in the process of reading it in a process that encourages demands a tremendous inferential activity from the reader (12). Bakutman attributes this quality to the fact that the language stru ctures of science fiction bear an inherent reflexivity, although not always e xploited, that can denaturalize language by foregrounding the processes by whic h meaning is made (12). In science fiction films, the inferential activity of viewers is propelled by the films visual organization, and their inevitable attention to the act of seeing, and thus the significance of special eff ects begins to emerge (13). A text like American Flagg utilizes the mall as a metaphor to the implosive concentration of images and text (Bakutman 61) in American culture representing the transcendence of the individua ls capacity in elaborate, post-modern hyperspace to comprehend the surrounding territory: the inability to get ones bearings thus becomes a further indicator of the crises of subjectivity and rationality whic h obtain within post-modern culture (61). The film, Videodrome, also presents the idea of postmodern subjective disorientation through a destabilized reality in which image, reality, hallucination, and psychosis become indissolubly melded, and it is on this level that the film becomes a work of post-modernity, rather than simply a work about it (98). 59


Conversely, literature like Gibsons Neuromancer capitalizes on and revels in the ambivalent tendencies emerging in computer ar t, modern physics and the collaborations of groups like OULIPO wherein it become s impossible to draw a neat line between the serious and the playful (Bakutman 196). Bakutman notes th at, because of its literalness, cyberpunk does not represent the same rejection of high/low (or other) boundaries in culture as postmodern fiction. Concentrating on Gibson, cyberpunks prem iere rhetorician, Mc Hale observes that juxtaposition is Gibsons primary rhetorical tactic (167). Gibs ons work depends on seemingly incongruous juxtaposit ion of American with Japa nese, high tech with street subcultures, and Bakutman points out that these incongruous juxtapositions or mongrelizations dont elide cultural hierarchies, they revel in them: the effect of incongruity here and elsewhere in Gibsons writing obviously depends on the persistence of hierarchical cultural categories and not on th eir dissolution. Gibsons images and prose deliberately build upon the detritus of other arts other fields (171). Bakutma n summarizes the importance of work like Gibsons as a resource for the humanities attempts to engage the changing forms of subjectivity in the electronic environment, writing, This hyperbolic language, which characterizes the philosophy of Baudrillard as well as the cyberpunk of William Gibson, constitutes a new mimesis it is a language of spectacle and simulation, a language designed to be appropriate to its era. But the language is more than mimetic: McCaffrey write s that the reader of science fiction is forced to temporarily inhabit worlds comprised of cognitive distortions and poetic figurations or our own social relations as these are c onstructed and altered by new technologies. The thematic and stylistic es trangement offered by the most challenging science fiction permits that renewal (and cogniti ve mapping) of the readers present. (11) The hero figure of this new mediascap e is no longer the English detective the paradigm of literary logic who solves problems ra tionally. Hardison calls this figure the Child of the Enlightenment ( Entering the Maze 223) who, like Newton, saw the world as sane and ordered by reason. In cinema, the world of E nglish mystery novels has been replaced in the Twenty-First Century by the world of the thriller a dream world where normal rules of reason 60


no longer apply, the hero is a bu ffoon, not an intellectual, and which explores the spectrum of realities having the common characteristic of s trangeness and varying from the comic through the absurd, the sinister and the daemonic to the explicitly insane. In sc ience fiction writing and, more recently, film, the detective, the man of science, has been supplanted by the hacker, the saboteur whose capacity to ca vort amongst the digital air waves threatens the dedicated participant. This is an indi vidual who, in Jungian terms, pers onifies the archetypal trickster whose job it is to challenge the stab ility of the status-quo (Adams 57). Manovitch notes that film, and Bakutman would probably add science fi ction literature as well, has been able to suture the gap between the aesthetic in sight of art and the data and understanding of rhetoric, between representa tion and communication, via the ability to overcome indexical nature through montage by pr esenting a viewer with objects that never existed in reality (4). Medi a like these meet the demands of electronic logic whereby, it is necessary to reason directly from thing to thing from particular to particular, supplementing the inferential detour through c onceptual reasoning (Ulmer, Heuretics 194). Manovitch stresses that the goal of resear ch, and I would also add of pedagogy, is to encode the cinematographic expertise (86) of film makers, and, here again I add, the linguistic expertise of post-modern criticism. The result will be a translation of the heuristics of film making (and postmodernism) (86) into not only computer software and hardware, but their applications within the hum anities classroom as well, maki ng the cinematic techniques of image production and manipulation the toolbox of th e computer user (86) and a means to the creation of writing just as flexible and subtle as wr itten language (Oswald 237). Correspondence: Musings on Memory Ulmer characterizes film and television as pure memory in the sense that [they] include two of the three elements of artificial memory the familiar settings and the striking or familiar images or agents. What is missing is the specialized knowledge of Discipline ( Heuretics 192). Kathleen Welch adds in Electric Rhetoric that the rhetorical beauty of television [and film] is made more apparent when one turns off the sound (138). Unfortunately, 61


the rhetoric operating within th e play of sound and image in electronic media is studied only by film-makers and scholars in film studies prog rams, and goes largely unnoticed, unappreciated and unused by persons outside these professions, t hus creating the passive relationship of the audience to the images of modern media described earlier in this chapter, despite the fact that individuals exposed to this new screen rhetoric are literate in new ways. Ulmer argues in Teletheory that just as literacy is the prosthesis of hermeneutics in a print-oriented classroom, video must become th e prosthesis of the i nventive/eure tic thinking possible in the electronic classroom (42). This goal can only be accomplished through the development of a critical language for meta-re presentation, comprised of the features of electronic media, able to promote doubt and the acquisition of knowledge, to use expert systems and commonsense models, discipline an d contingency, folk models of orality and disciplinary models of schooling (37). In order to encode the speci alized knowledge of Discipline into the relationship between the society of the spectacleand the humanitie s classroom, Manovitch suggests that by looking at the history of visual culture and media ... we can find many strategies and techniques relevant to new media design (314). Because new media objects are multimedia in nature, adeptly play upon emotions like nostalgia and desire and our faculty of memory, and change our concept of what an image is because they turn a viewer in to an active user (183), several scholars have shown increased interest in the visual culture of the Middle Ages as a reference for studying discourses mediated by images and not print. In his excellent The Gothic Idol: Ideology and Image-Making in Medieval Art Michael Camille argues, Guy Debords society of the sp ectacle did not suddenly come about in the Twentieth Century; its roots lay in the multiplicat ion of image-investment, in altars, statues, painting and windows that cluttered the medieval church, where the community displayed itself to itself (215). Eco states the case for studyi ng relationships between electronic culture and the Middle Ages quite bluntly in Travels in Hyperreality when he writes of the 62


fairly perfect correspondence between [the Middle Ages and the modern] that, in different ways but with identical educa tional utopias and with equal ideological camoflauge of the paternalistic aim to cont rol minds, try to bridge the gap between learned culture and popular culture through visual communication. In both periods the select elite debates written texts with an al phabetic mentality, but th en translates into images the essential data or knowledge and the fundamental structure of the ruling ideology. (81) Furthermore, in OKeefes collection of essays, The Book and the Body Camille notes that the computer screen, as opposed to the book format, is far more like a medieval manuscript in its hypertextual nature, glossing, rapid scrollin g and iconic-cueing techniques. In addition, he further stresses the importance of studying the Middle Ages as a resource for understanding electronic discourses because, in Camilles words, the picture-making capacity will, in future communications systems, overtake all previous discursive strategies. Medievalists are in a better position than most humanists in the university to deal with the current transformation of writing into imaging, because we are so involved in th e historical process whereby writing and imaging first became so central in western culture dur ing the 12th and 13th Cent uries (The Dissenting Image: A Post-Card from Matthew Paris 145). The medieval concept of art and the disc ourses within which it circulated during the Middle Ages are quite different from the presen t position of the artist and his/her works in American culture. Johan Huiz inga devotes a section of The Waning of the Middle Ages to the changing relationship between the culture of the pe riod and the art that repr esented it. Huizinga points out that the Middle Ages knew both art and rhetoric in a more applied sense the purpose and meaning of a poem, sculpture, painting, bui lding, etc., always prep onderated over purely aesthetic value. Love of art for its own sake was not understood or reject ed; the artist was not distinct from a craftsman, and his work dr ew upon high and low elements for all sorts of occasions (244). Furthermore an art, or ars for a medieval scholar was a method or set of prescriptions that added order and discipline to the pragmatic, natural activiti es of human beings (72). The idea that all artwork must be set in the context of some soci al function, along w ith the habit of 63


seeing an art as a creative a pplication of ones knowledge to ones everyday life, created a culture of spectacle in the world at large as well as the thinking minds of the Middle Ages, and in both, rationality was inseparable from imaginati on (Mazzotta 10). Images were acceptable as objects and tools for meditation a s long as they were channels diverting attention from the materiality of the signifier and pointed to its transcendental meaning (Camille The Gothic Idol 204). Comprehension of the world, whether embodied by a work of art or the habits of ones mental processes, was the result of a creative pr ocess and, in light of the growing influence of technologies which combine arts of representation with those of information, the task for the humanities is to re-discover and utilize the cogn itive function of art as understood in the Middle Ages. As Camille has noted, in this period, which evinced no bifurcation between popular and elite culture (342), the image served as the vehicle for not only mass manipulation, but also high intellection until its replacement by pr int (Camille 347). Mary Carruthers emphasizes early in her book, The Craft of Thought the need to see thoughts in the mind as an organized schema of images and use them for further th inking is a striking and continuous feature of medieval monastic rhetoric, with significan t interest even for our own contemporary understanding of the role of images in thinking (3). Of particular interest to this dissertation projects attempts at re-designing rhetoric for the electronic apparatus is the extent to which im age-making and its discourses in the Middle Ages were bound up with the rhetorical canon of memoria an interactive, creative, active process quite different from modern con cepts of memory and memorization that was absolutely central to the practice of not only rhetoric, but communi ties representations of themselves during the period. In his discussion of the relation between memory a nd the image, W.J.T. Mitchell describes memory as, a specific technology, a mechanism, a material and semiotic process subject to artifice and alteration. More specifically, memory ta kes the form in classical rhetoric of a dialectic between the same modalities (space/time), the same sensory channels (visual/aural), and the same codes (image/word) that underlie the narrative/descriptive 64


boundary. That is, classical memory technique is a way of reconstructing temporal orders by mapping them onto spatial confi gurations (most notable, architectural structures), with various loc i and topoi or memory places inhabited by striking images and sometimes even words; it is also a way of mapping oral performa nce, an oration from memory, onto a visual structure. Memory, in short, is an imagetext, a double-coded system of mental storage and retrieval that may be used to remember any sequence of items, from stories to set speeches to a list of all quadrupeds. (191) In the medieval rhetorical canon, memoria offered orators, artists, and scholars a pictorial script able to c onjoin epistemology, invention, mental images and delivery (Enders Rhetoric,Coercion and th e Memory of Violence 25). W.J.T. Mitchell argues that investigation into this form of memory can be useful to the restructuring of humanities disciplines to accommodate the computer apparatus because the i magetext structure of memory seems to be a deep feature that endures all the way from Cicero to Lacan to the organization of computer memory (193). Scholars like Ulmer describe memoria as a practice and process, not a subject, in which memory information is organized associationally, so that the address of an item is another item related to the first item by its content. Knowledge is not in place, it is not there except as a ghost as the pattern of an activity as a whole. A key issue of this ghost economy concerns its shortcuts, its efficiency, the reflection process by which the us er judges what is and is not relevant to the case; rememberi ng is not essentially different from solving everyday problems, because in each case, fragments of incoming information wake up networks of interacting knowledge, resulting in a pattern of activity that represents a memory, or the answer to a problem, that is most consistent with the evidence ( Heuretics 216). Activating networks of information motivates the intertextual play of a vast terra incognita of mythologemes, ideologemes, descri ptive systems and sememic structures that the sociolect feeds into texts and which is the stuff, the precast, prefabricated stuff of literature [which] lives a latent life and remains in a stat e of potential indeterminacy until activated, fixed up by what readers find in the text that is analogous and homologous to their stored-up possible worlds (Riffaterre 33). In this associational, intertextual process of memory, Marcia Colish 65


points out that, for practitioners in the Middle Ages, both the ve rbal and the pictorial had the same cognitive and communicative functions (qtd in Enders Rhetoric and the Origins of Medieval Drama 53). Carruthers terms the verbal and pictorial tools of memoria ornaments of brevity, whose force consisted in the inventive abundance or c opiousness by which they gathered together in ones mind associations through homophonies, ass onances and dissonances, puns, parodies, etc. ( Craft of Thought 156). Eugene Vance characterizes the image and the word as they were understood and used in art and scholasticism of the Middle Ages as points of convergence, intersection, refraction of a number of discourses which had privileged place in memoria because of their capacity to animate a sizable po rtion of the latter by en abling the activation of all the discourses that course th rough [a] specific locus (xv) a nd thus function like a computers RAM (Random Access Memory), and provide a s et of patterns or foundations upon which to construct any number of additional collations and concorda nces (Carruthers Book of Memory 16). The mixed use of verbal and visual medi a in the often synaesthetic literature and architecture of the Middle Ages, is a quality of medieval aesthetic practice given major impetus by the tools of monastic memory work (3). The tools made of language and image supported one another. Carruthers states manuscript painting traditions suggest the mnemonic role of book decoration was consciously assumed from the beginnings of the book in the west ( Book of Memory 131). Manuscript images functioned textu ally and gave users a way of dividing up, marking and punctuating a text ( distinguere) and the relative positioning of such images acted as cues to the order of the material with which they were a ssociated (133). In monastic education, the complementary re lationship of words and images represented an art for mneme rather than mimesis (3). This art of tropes and figures was an art of patterns and pattern-making (3) that enab led the artificial organization of a mass of unrelated material. Carruthers notes the figures in the carpet pages of interlace in The Book of Durrow and Kells ... must be looked at again and again, absorb ed and made ones own .... One looks long enough 66


to begin putting together what at first seems fragmentary (254). Carruthers presents Giraldus commentary on The Book of Durrow and Kells as support, and the medieval scholastics language resonates surprisingly with words that echo Derridas deconstructive terminology in Of Grammatology In Giraldus opinion, superficially (t he book) seems an erasure, not tracery .... You will make out intricacies so delicate and su btle, so exact and compact, so full of knots and links, with colors so fresh and vivid, that you might say that all this was the work of an angel (qtd in Carruthers Book of Memory 255). This ruminative, meditative activity of a so rt described by Nietzsche in Chapter One of this dissertation, was not limited to images alone Words also were objects of contemplation whose purpose was not simply to express a trut h, but rather to unlock and gather up the energy of a particular word. This sort of et ymology, dismissed by Curtius as insipid trifling, but now acknowledged to be the present domain of the avant garde, proceeded in terms of creativity and invention as much as truth (and not in terms of historical philology) (Carruthers Craft of Thought 156). For the scientifically trained student of philology this figure is annoyingly playful for it pays no attention to th e actual history of word s, but instead whacks up the roots and endings, rearranging them arbitrarily and inconsistently, apparently just to make some whimsical rhymes and far-fetched puns, often in two or more languag es at the same time which may or may not have anything to do w ith the actual language of the word being etymologized (155). Carruthers gives us the example of a 12th Century English monk fr om Pontefract abbey, writing a saints life, who began by etymologizing his name, or rath er riffing from the starting point of Thurstan (Anglo-Saxon), from Latin thus: Thuris (inc ense) or Turns Stans (standing tower) (156). She also discusses the extensive wo rdplay utilized by Hugh of St.Victor to create his arca sapientiae which was at once arca both the ark of Noah and the chest where the Covenant of Gods arc-ana (secrets) are hidden away as well as arc-es, or citadel, and arcus the triple triumphal doorways, leading to the Divine. The concordances of sound (syllables) and shapes (arches, gates, chests, walled cities) are fundamental to meditative 67


troping, making a mnemonic machine that can serv e to inventory and find out a multitude of things hidden away (arcana) in memory (150). From antiquity, the image was understood to be a powerful tool for containing and conveying vast amounts of information. Informati on was transferred from writing on a page or spoken words one heard, to images impressed in ones brain by emotion and sense (Carruthers Book of Memory 10). Carruthers, as I alr eady pointed out in the first chapter of this dissertation, stresses that visual codi ng of this sort, like writing, allows the memory to be organized securely for accurate recollection of a sort that permits not just reduplic ation of the original material, but sorting, analysis, and mixing as we ll, genuine learning, in short, ra ther than simple repetition (19). In this combinative, compositional activ ity of the mind combining images from memorys store (33), its users were taught th at received meanings can be a hindrance to constructing mnemonically valuable markers and ev ery writer on the subject urges students to form their own habitual schemes rather than relying on those of ot hers (21). Augustine encouraged his pupils to meditate upon the Script ures and retain their reading and revelations by compiling images to serve as hooks in their me mories particular to their own knowledge and reactions. These personalized hooks in the form of imagines agens allowed students to domesticate, that is, internaliz e in a personal fashion, subjects of learning. Carruthers notes that no advice is as common in medieval writ ing on the subject and yet so foreign, when one thinks about it, to the habits of modern scholar ship as this notion of making ones own what one reads in someone elses work (164). The nature of mnemonic association was inte nsely personal, often arbitrary, and neither universal nor necessary (Carruthers Craft of Thought 178). Thus, knowledge was imprinted upon memory in a signature-lik e fashion, as with signet-rings (17) by using incredibly affective images, sensorily derived and emoti onally charged, that went beyond the notion of existing as simple abstractions, and which were heavily associat ed with the time and place in which the information they contained was first apprehended. Students we re trained to make 68


extensive use of their own experiences as reser voirs for the figures and emotions necessary for the compilation of effective hooks (59). Camille notes in The Gothic Idol that iconographical dictionaries would have been of little use in the Middle Ages wh en the meaning of a motif or represented thing depended totally on its contex t and function. Both the exegetes of Scripture and artists manipulated conventi ons in order to evoke different and sometimes dialectically opposite associations (200). McLuhan acknowledges that mnemonic images contain a wide complex of ideas that would fill volumes were they written down (146). In De Memoria et Reminiscentia Aristotle describes memory as a mental picture (phantasm, simulacrum, imago), an appearance which is inscribed in a physical way upon that part of the body which constitutes memory (qtd in Carruthers Book of Memory 16), with the result that all sens e perception ends up as a phantasm in memory. These seals in the wax, incised on ones memory, symbolize information and thus are representations that serve a cognitive purpo se, as do representations of words, whether by phoneme or syllable or unit of sense, used in writi ng systems (Carruthers 22). Images utilized in this way allowed users to organi ze single bits of information into informationally richer units by a process of substitution that compresses large amounts of material into single markers (84). The imagines agens of the ars memoria capitalized on the fact, acknowledged more recently by figures like Nietzsche and Freud, th at memory retains what is extraordinary, wonderful, intensely charged in other words, images of extremes whether of ugliness or beauty, ridicule or nobility, la ughter or weeping, worthiness or salaciousness, bloody figures or monstrosities, or figures brillia ntly or abnormally colored, all of which would be engaged in activity of an extremely vigorous sort and associa tively joined to one another in an active, even violent manner (133-134). Shock: Useful Acts of Violence The idea of using acts of violence or the viol ent disfiguration of object s as rhetorical tools is potentially very useful for the humanities disciplines of the present. Scholars have noted an increasing obsession with a fragmentation of the human body alongside th e ubiquitous violence 69


in art, information media, games, cinema and mo st entertainment forms of our culture. In the preface to Discourse Networks, Kittler utilizes the term corpor eality to describe the condition of modern subjectivity in which discourse ne tworks are inscribed upon the body and describes it as process whereby the body replaces the subjec t in a transformation which disperses (bodies are multiple), complexifies (bodies are layered systems) and historicizes (bodies are finite contingent products) subjectivity rather than exchanging it for a simple absence (xv). For decades, feminist critics have examin ed how modern media has heightened the objectification and fragmentation of the female body in service to producer/consumer relationships which play upon met onymic uses of the human form in order to manipulate the emotional responses of an audience. Scott Bakutman expands upon this view to characterize the culture of all bodies inhabiting terminal ident ity as a post-modern crisis of a body that remains central to the operati ons of advanced capitalism as sign, while it has become entirely superfluous as object The body exists only as a rhetorical figure ( Terminal Identity 16). Unfortunately, only the producers of the opera tions of advanced capitalism have fully grasped how useful and powerful the body can be as a rhetorical figure. Bakutman also points out how, in the genre of horror films, the retu rn of the body could actually be understood as an obsession with the surface of the body (261). Film makers in th is genre tend to figure the body as incomplete and inadequate a nd in the buffoonery of principle characters (which usually gets them slaughtered wholesale), the rationa l is betrayed by the physical (268). Bakutman also notes how science fiction cinema incorporates mutilation of the human form in order to explore how subjectivity is absorbed and transfor med by the electronic apparatus. In Videodrome the body of James Woods character literally opens up the stomach develops a massive, vaginal slit to accommoda te the new videocassette program. Image addiction reduces the subject to the status of a videotape player/recorder; the human body becomes part of the massive system of reproductive technology (89). However, habits of deformation and disfigur ation in electronic media are not limited to furthering the passive image addictio n of the post-modern subject. In Radiant Textuality, Jerome 70


McGann tells us that even though criticism (scholar ship, interpretation) te nds to imagine itself as an informative rather than deformative activity (114), the deform ation of images in computerized art editing programs suggests that such operations can be used to raise our perceptual grasp of aesthetic objects (85). In McGanns opinion, distortions suggest the usefulness of thinking about art as if it is inform ed by an idea, or an in ertia that has not been exhausted in the executed fact of the work we think we know. This is a ancient way of engaging art revived by symbolist and su rrealist practice (87). At present, though, the humanities possess no vocabulary for talking about this proce ss of developing unknown images in relation to familiar aesthetic images a dialectical relation which arrests our attention because we already know the original (86). In my own attempts to develop such a voca bulary, I have turned to the Middle Ages as a relay and discovered surprising correspondences to each of the habits of electronic culture described in the preceding paragra ph. As a central episode in the final chapter of Christs life, the agony of the Passion inspired a powerful traditi on within the Church of painful disfiguration of the mortal human form as a path to divinity. The long line of martyr s from early Christian history were followed by ascetic monastic prac tices which revolved around inflicting actual physical pain on students so that they might reme mber their lessons by asso ciating them with the physical price paid not only by Ch rist, but the martyrs whose blood helped found the Church in Rome. In several of her books and essays, Mary Carruthers has also explored the tradition of compunctio cordis puncture the heart, whereby monastic students dwelt upon extremely tragic and horrific images and stories knowing, like Niet zsche and Freud after them, the trauma and heartbreak of exposure to th ese scenes would make these exemplaria unforgettable. This extreme fascination with the disf iguration of the human body as a powerful rhetorical tool continued throughout the High and Late Middle Ages in both sacred and secular circles. In Chaucers Body, R.A. Shoaf observes that the late Middle Ages in England evinced a more mysterious circulation of goods and pe ople as well as signs (4) brought on by several major events in the second half of the Fourteenth Century: 1. Th e Black Plague; 2. Increased use 71


of coinage; 3. Increase of ve rnacular literacy; 4 Uncontrolled spread of heresy; 5. Restless mobility of the lower classes (peaking with the Peasants Revolt of 1381); 6. The gradual and incomplete, but distinct, empowerment of wome n; 7. The shocking circulation of the monarchy at the end of the 14th Century with th e deposition of Richard II (Shoaf 3). Like the subject of the post-modern, el ectronic moment, Shoaf emphasizes that in Chaucers period, the desire to expr ess I is also the desire to lo cate and stabilize the subject in a world increasingly marked by the instability of uncontrolled circulation (4) and the very fluidity of people and signs generated the need for a discourse of peopl e and signs in complex (e)motion (5). Chaucers anxiety over the in creasing circulation (3) of bodies naturally led him to use the human body itself as a central figure in his rhet orically charged poetry. In The Canterbury Tales Chaucer makes heavy use of metonymy and juxtology; associations driven by assonance and dissonance; referenc es to and in some cases outrigh t pillaging of s ources sacred and secular, high and low, contemporary and cl assical; Geoffreys commentary on the pilgrims physical appearances; their conv ersations; presentations of themselves; th e events in their prologues and tales, and constant surprises (Shoa f 10) to reinforce the notion that the body in Chaucer is fragmented and vulnerable (11). Th e tales remind us that the body is broken and breakable, fragile and frangible beaten, battered, abused: in a word, fragmented, or reduced to the body of a wild beast (14). Chaucer uses rhetor ic in his verses to re-member the social as well as personal fragmented body when nothing else can (11). Jody Enders has also extensively investig ated the way in which images of extreme violence were, like similar images in modern me dia, used in the Middle Ages as vehicles for mass manipulation. In Rhetoric, Coercion, and th e Memory of Violence she writes, when Deleuze and Guattari extrapolate from Nietzsche that societies record their essences in such violent operations as tattooi ng, excising, incising, carving, scar ifying, mutilating, encircling and initiating, with the design of creating a memory for man (Anti-Oedipus 144-45), they too stress the importance of a primordi al cultural drive to invent a co llective memory from violence (44-45). 72


With regard to the medieval period, Enders notes, rhetoric documents the commingling of legal, political, or theologica l process, literary i nvention, violence, and dramatic performance. Rhetoric is the theoretical site at which the vi olence of representation is articulated as theory, rehearsed in the imagination, and concretized dramatically (Enders Medieval Theater of Cruelty 9), particularly in public punishments and myster y plays. The acts of violence performed upon the bodies of sinners and saints alike in medieval public spectacles were ob jects of meditation for an audience to observe in or der to remember the rules governing not only divine events, but those of their everyday lives. These spectacles functioned as tools of lear ning in the same way that similar imagery did in manuscripts studied by the periods clergy. En ders points out that torture has always been intertwined with rhetoric, law, and theater at the levels of etymology, ideology, and performance (27), and in these public displays, the truth of medieval to rture is cast in terms of dramatic verisimilitude, probability, characte r, and catharsis, and adumbrated with a panoply of theatrical, illusory, subjective and aesthetic te rms, while the truth of highly rhetorized medieval plays is frequently enhanced by scenes of torture (3). As a tool of persuasion not only for its victims, but the audience observing such act s, torture was extremely persuasive in its tautological manipulations of ar tifice, power, agency, and specta cle the precise qualities that underpinned the invention of good rhet oric and good theater (34). In medieval rhetoric, memoria was conceived as a mental space in which violently discovered truths of invention were visualized through detailed visualiz ations which functioned as virtual performances (5), and mnemotechni cs answered acts of violence with acts of commemoration, iteration and regeneration .... [in] a vast epistemological system ... by which any rhetor could generate and store words, st ylistic devices, topoi, pr oofs, and performances before speaking and enacting them (64). As a principal means by which the learned organized, categorized, and hierarchized their world and their thoughts, the memory space was no mere frame, but rather a process that raised those exposed to it to aestheticise both figuration and disfiguration (70). 73


Enders feels that dramatists of the cycles produced a process that was not only violent and dramatic, but mnemonic in its reliance on generative figures (121), and argues, specific invocations of mnemonic techniques restage, commemorate and perpetuate various violent lessons, whether these be the great agon of Ch ristianity or the apparent comedy of the submission of servant to master and woman to man (67). Enders continues, stating, as a violent, dramatic process, rhetoric promises to illuminate substantially such an oftstaged moment as the scourging of Christ in medieval religio us drama. On the one hand, that scene exemplifies the rich if frightening union of word and ac tion, investigation and punishment, epistemology and violence, tortur e and death. On the other hand, in the reciprocal relationship between rhetoric and literature which has long been affirmed by historians of rhetoric, a violent literary (a nd in this case, dramatic) moment might have influenced the conception of new rhetorical treatises. (6) This sort of violently influenced invention was possible because in the medieval culture of spectacle, moments of extreme violence were always decontextualized .... A beating was never associated exclusively with the theater. Instead, it recalled other sp ectacles of punishment (legal or illegal) in which bodies in pain were displayed (6). With particular regard to the medieval mystery and morality plays, Enders st resses, the reintegration of memory into medieval drama criticism promises to shed considerable light on the long standing debate about medieval textuality, insofar as it offers detailed evidence as to how early theorists conceived of a kind of symbiosis between image and performance: one that is rehearsed within the memory scene (110). Dante Alighieris Commedia represents the most famous medieval example of the rhetorical uses of violent di sfiguration of human bodies and the dis-figuration of well-known images. Especially in Inferno, the horrid physical a ppearances of the sinn ers and the violent tortures they are subjected to at the hands of malicious devils evoke through their powerful, unforgettable images the various discourses Dante ut ilizes to present his arguments on particular issues. The physical punishment meted out to ea ch sinner embodies the sin he or she committed in life. One of the more memorable examples of this tactic is to be found when Dante the 74


pilgrim and his guide Virgil enter the eighth bolgia of Hell to encounter the sowers of discord. They find those sinners who have torn communitie s apart with their schemes are now themselves rent and horribly torn in manners that reflect their particular crimes. The most notable persona to em erge from this group of the damned is the famous poet/knight Bertran de Born. Bert rans persuasive wiles were cr edited by many with turning the sons of Henry II (Richard Couer de Leon among th em) against their father and instigating years of internecine strife in the r oyal family of England. Thus, having sundered the head of a great family from his progeny, Bertran is himself decapita ted in Hell. Dante extends the association of his verbal figuralism (cite) still further, remi nding us that Bertran was a notable poet by having him hold for his severed head like a lantern, an im age already associated earlier in the poem with the poets beloved Virgil. The difference here is that while Virgils genius was a guiding light for those who followed him, Bertrans deviousness guided a royal household to ruin, earning him the ruination of his ow n body in the afterlife. I have already noted in Chapter One how Virgil is also an example of Dantes ability to dis-figure the objects of hi s education and turn them to his own purposes in the Commedia. Mary Carruthers reminds us in The Craft of Thought that Dante re-invents Virgils image, transfiguring him from a god-li ke figure who could perform magic, into the earnest, purehearted, sometimes flawed teacher and guide of the Commedia. Carruthers own language describing this process is heavy with notions of disfiguration and dismemberment as she writes, Virgil is taken apart not to oblite rate him and ridicule him, but to save him. And the only way to save him was to re-member him, re-locate h im and re-pattern him into a Christian (58). Appropriation: Secular Applic ations of Church Rhetoric The mnemonic arts and their relationship to the artistry of the Late Middle Ages continue to be an extremely useful relay for assessing and making better use in the humanities of the electronic environment as a subject for discussi on and tool for learni ng. This potential is particularly compelling because, like our own rapidly transforming technological and social habitations, the later Middle Ages witnessed an expanding society, not only more complex in 75


itself, but consequently in its se lf-reflection, as the mirror world of its representations teems with images (Camille, The Gothic Idol 244). Scholars have long noted the later Middle Ages experienced radical changes in s ubjectivity wrought by t he irruption of subj ectively experienced history into the culture world of the middle ages with its epic, mythological, philosophical and rhetorical stamp (Curtius 369). In Peter Brow ns opinion, this development emerged in part from the transformation of societys notion of the supernatural from group legitimation to substantiating the inner resources of the individual (as qtd in Camille, The Gothic Idol 224). Dante and Chaucer are representative of a period in which a new, sometimes dangerous, freedom of expression emerged in artistic works which liberally appropriated the carefully sanctioned images of the Catholic Church. As the concept of the artist moved outside the theological constraints of a secondary maker (Camille 244), religious metaphors were increasingly borrowed to express profane sentiments (Huizinga 157). Camille notes that by pilfering the various image topoi of the Church, poets developed a schema for self-presentation that increasingly allowed the writ er a framework for his own voice ( The Gothic Idol 314). In his discussion of the work of Chretien de Troyes, Eugene Vance notes that his use of the image of a lion is a way to produce his own poetic identity. Vance states, given that metaphors are speech acts that always signify discursively, and not in isolation, Chretien has found in the lion a symbol w hose polyvalence will work his text as a shifter between multiple discourses (biblical, clas sical, folkloric, scientific), all of which he entertains, yet controls, as he distributes them within the economy of his own story, thereby asserting the preeminence of his own poetic voice as a vernacular litteratus over the tangled legacy of discourses inherited in his matiere. (84) Subversion of these sacred code s by analogy allowed for the depict ion of new, often erotic, and sometimes political experiences outside the confines of schematic religious narrative (Camille 314). The period of the Late Middle Ages re presents a fascinating appropriation of institutionalized rhetorical and artistic practices for the production of some of the most brilliant individual statements ever produced in works of art. Curtius states eloquently, the tension 76


between Latin and Volgare becomes more perceptib le the more the poet is imbued with Latin culture and the more he is inclined to technical experiments (351). Both these points create the palpable tension over the creative proce ss that readers witness throughout Dantes Commedia Edward Peter Nolan argues, Dante s allegory is mimetic of the allegory of the theologians, and his dense verbal figuralism f unctions typologically in the Commedia systematically driving the poem with the result that every event in one part of the poem s hould figure forth and be fulfilled by another event in the poem ( Through a Glass Darkly 175). Although the results are still dazzling to behold, Dantes use of the rhetorical play of images gained from his education within the Church is constantly grappled with and fretted upon by the Florentine within his verses. While Dantes vernacular gained (somewha t guiltily) connotational authority from the stable structures of Latinity, other artists and ar tisans were not nearly so contrite and Camille points out that working outside the Churchs norm s also typifies the art works described in the romances, the statues, mausoleums, and other marv elous architectural stru ctures in Latin or ecclesiastical Gothic guise (243). Shoa f argues that William Langland produced several versions of his inflammatory Piers Plowman because his culture had abstracted itself from stable tradition; its codes circul ating in ever wider arcs of comp lexity (5). The most important message that emerges from the works of figures like Langland, Chaucer and Dante, and one we would do well to impart to Twenty-First Centur y students of the humanities, is that, as Shoaf states, rhetoric is magic that every man can practice to some degree (71). Dantes Commedia is easily the most completely realized example of an artists borrowing from the rhetorical traditions of the medieval church for his own purposes. For the Florentine, the art of memory was a watershed form for the rhetorical conception of how to reenact a dramatic story by showing and telli ng it during delivery, creating a performative conflation of image, word, and commemoration in an activity that was as symbolic and inherently dramatic as the sacred dra mas of the medieval church (Enders Rhetoric and the Origins of Medieval Drama 53). 77


Of course, the use of Church traditions concerning the rhetorical applications of images in the art of memory was coupled with misg ivings in that tradition about the material, incomplete, fallen nature images beheld in the outer world and in the mind. In the 12th Century, Andreas Capellanus characterized love as the immoderata cogitatio of an interior phantasm and the 15th Century Florentine Neopla tonism of figures like Fi cino, heavily influented by Dantes poetic endeavors, and echoing Agambens sentiments concerning melancholia acknowledges, the double polarity of demonic magic and angelic contemplative of the nature of the phantasm is responsible not only for the melancholics morbid propensity for necromantic fascination, but also for the apti tude for ecstatic illumination ( Stanzas 24). Medieval students of the Na rcissus story, systematically referred to throughout the Commedia, did not identify love of se lf but rather love for an im age as the salient feature of the tale during the Middle Ages (Agamben 82). The sin of Curiositas, affectively and effectively embodied by the l overs Francesca and Paolo in Inferno V, is more often defined in the Middle Ages as a desiderium oculorum desire of the eyes, than in any other way. There is an optic quality to curiosity; the curiosity of the eyes is the worlds curiosity in acquiring temporal things and empty cares (Evans 114). Dantes teacher, Bruno Latini, held to the conv iction that it is within, in the inner images which are nearer to reality than the objects of the outer world that reality is grasped (Yates 299). By holding to the virtue of Prudentia prudence, one could make moral, ethical use of the images generated either in ones mind or, in Dantes case, a poem. Frances Yates has claimed, Prudence is a leading symbolic theme of the poem, its three parts can be seen as memoria, remembering vices and their punishments in Hell, intellegentia the use of the present for penitence and acquisition of virtue, and providentia the looking forward to Heaven, and calls the Commedia an intense visualization to hold in memo ry [Dantes] scheme of salvation (95). Nevertheless, as Mazzotta notes, Dantes poem cont ains a pattern of figurations and concerns that dramatize how far beyond St. Thomas pruden ce and constraint about play Dantes vision can stretch (217). 78


Dante operates from the notion that the aesthetic imagination is the ground of cognition (Mazzotta 217). Umberto Eco argues the aesthetic imagination was understood by Dante not as the flashing exercise of an intuitive faculty, but as a process of intelligence that deciphers and reasons, enraptured by the difficu lty of communication and calls this the pivotal element of the Commedia (Eco Chaosmos 83). Carruthers notes that story telling in the Commedia proceeds by picture making. Each epis ode in the poem becomes a fram e or form which (or into which) one learns to hook up a multitude of diverse material ( Craft of Thought 150), and shows something by strategic elaboration of an image (Eco 27). Such showing and telling in Dante draws upon what Quintilian referred to as enargeia the power in verbal description to call up cognitive visions useful for invention an d able to call up the emotional energies of oneself and ones audience (Emmerson 172) necessary for good teaching and learning. Inferno XIX presents an excellent example of the way the Commedia offers poetry as well as philosophy (Curtiu s 595). In this canto, and indeed throughout the Commedia the entire book imagery of the Middle Ages is brough t together, intensified, broadened and renewed by the boldest imagination in Dantes work (326 ), and the subject matter of the figurative language driving the poem is consta ntly value charged (303). Inferno XIX centers around the nepotism and greed of the simoniac popes, Nicholas III, Boniface VIII, and Clement V. Dante intertwines biblical, apocryphal, sacramental, contemporary a nd autobiographical sources to produce an image of these sinners thr ough assonance, parody and wordplay. In particular, Dante draws heavily upon the story of Simon Magus from Acts 8.9-24 and the apocryphal Acts of Peter. Simon Magus, the great counter feiter who sought saintly powers through monetary and demonic ends, was regarded as the major opponent of Peters and Pauls preaching. Simons upside down fall from the heav ens during his attempt to ascend in Christlike fashion in the arms of a demon is a powerful im age that is re-used in this canto to emphasize the fallen, corrupted qualities of these three popes. The sinne rs are shoved head-down into flaming baptismal fonts to reflect their kinship w ith Simons sin and parody their inferiority to the magnificence of Peter, the first pope who was himself crucified upside down. The fonts 79


themselves are drawn from Dantes own experien ces at the Baptistery of San Giovanni, and the poet presents them as having been broken to re -enforce the notion of th e Churchs corruption, thus strengthening the memorable quality of the images being portrayed in Inferno XIX Furthermore, assassins of Dantes period we re buried upside-down and Dante notes that he stands over Nicholas III like a friar over th e accused. The association emphasizes the notion expressed in the Canto that these men have been instrumental in assassin ating the virtue of the Church in Rome. Nicholas III admits to the pilgrim that his greed in life has caused him to pocket (19.72) himself into the font like a coin into a bag. Clement V is compared in lines 8587 of the poem to Jason of 2 Maccabees who bought the office of high priest. Emmerson notes that the trumpet blast at the beginning of the can to and the sheep/goat allusion in line 131 of the canto signify the scenes of judgment well know n to Dante from apocalyptic Last Judgement iconography. He continues, stating, what is given an apoc alyptic and hence universal framework within this canto is not simply th e condemnation of an especially heinous and destructive group of sinners, but the journey of the pilgrim from ignorance to knowledge, from self to God (140). In Emmersons opinion, the Commedia is both the experience of Dantes journey as it is unfolding in time, and the record of that journey in his memory after it has taken place (142). The result is a view of eschatology both pers onal and universal (106) which is, like Ezekiels vision of the New Jerusalem as commented upon by Gregory the Great, not to be understood literally, but figuratively, fictively and take n as evidence for the arguments on simony and corruption that Dante makes in the canto. The et hical, mediational usefulness of the imagery in this canto and throughout the Commedia is foregrounded over objective truth (184) Challenge: Rediscovering the Rhetoric of the Image Users of the mnemonic arts recognized the power of making full use of the total range of human emotions and discourses. In her insightful studies of the medieval mnemonic arts, Carruthers notes in The Book of Memory that, like the science fiction prose of writers like Gibson, no opprobrium of childishness or frivolity or obscenity or inappropr iateness attaches to 80


such image-making. The disgusting and the silly the noble and the violent, the grotesque and the beautiful, the scatological and the sexual are pr esented ... usually as part of some scene, just as memory dictates (137). As I already noted in Chapter One, the narrative details of these images are few, but nevertheless vivid, specifi c, and uncluttered. Not only are they eyecatching, but also fully synaes thetic: a total sensory experien ce that includes sounds, tastes, smells, and touch (particularly pain). Intense images of this sort stick in the mind not as concepts or objects but as an inventory of synaesthetic, syncretic memory cues to be drawn upon, drawn out from, and used for constructing new work (Carruthers, Craft of Thought 148). In her two excellent books on medieval mnemonic arts, The Book of Memory and The Craft of Thought Mary Carruthers has extensively discus sed the nature of the properly made phantasm beheld by the minds eye. Regard ing the synaesthetic quality of these imagines agens, Carruthers writes, memory images are com posed of two elements: a likeness ( similitudo ) that serves as a cognitive cue or token to the matter or res being remembered, and, intentio or the inclination or attitude we have to the re membered experience, which helps classify and retrieve it. Thus, memories are all images a nd they are all and always emotionally colored ( Craft of Thought 13). The phantasai resulting from this syncretic process represented a balance of the individual and communal adju sted with tools of rhetoric: images and figures, topics and schemes (21). Because these tools of rhetoric were underst ood to be social phenomen a with a great deal of ethical and communal instrume ntality, figures like Albertus Magnus considered the memory arts to be valuable not only for the rhetor but also for an ethi cal life and good judgment (Carruthers Book of Memory 138). Albertus used the term pha ntasy to describe the comparing, uniting, dividing faculty which combined imagina tion with memory. Avicenna called phantasia the link between the power of the mind and the exercise of will (Collette 8-9). The intentio driving the exercise of ones phantasy was thus the judgement or use attached to a word or object which identified what comm unity one belonged to. Where the similitudo (word or image) 81


remained constant on its surface, studen ts understood that their application of intentio changed its meaning associatively (Carruthers Craft of Thought 45). As an example of this principle, Carrut hers points out how Augus tine treats the gold and silver of the pagans in the way that rhetoric treats its tropes and common places, which are useful precisely because they are not absolutely invariable in their form, but can (and must) be turned (the basic metaphor in c onver as it is also in trope) in the speakers own ethos (126). Understanding the concept of intentio resulting from such combinations of figural, emotional resources and individual, contextual needs is cr ucial to attempts within the modern humanities disciplines to re-habilitate the image as a us eful rhetorical tool in our classrooms. As noted above by Ulmer et al, images wi eld power in modern media by way of their ability to manipulate the nostalgia and desire of their audience and as Carruthers has stated, intentio and converto assume a degree of conscious contro l over emotions foreign to modern psychoanalysis which are predicat ed in the notion that emotion is part of an uncontrollable unconscious (qtd in Frese and OKeefe The Book and the Body 20). This conscious control over emotions and images that evoke them was the vehicle for inventio (invention) in medieval rhetoric. Those who used the rhetorical arts for a variety of ends in the Middle Ages habitually understood invention to possess a double meaning in the compositional art of memoria. Inventio represented not just the creati on of objects to be stored away as inventory, but also the invention of discourse through the inventive juxtaposition and disfiguration of these same objects. This ability to riff with fi gurative language and the figures of imagines agens themselves has its roots in the cl assical foundations of rhetoric. Rhetorica Ad Herennium, a central text for medieval rhetorical practices, de clared the crown of all our study and the highest reward of our long labors is the power of improvisation (Carruthers Book of Memory 205). An excellent, oft-cited, example of this process appears ea rly in the Old English poem Beowulf when the aged king, Hrothgar, gazes upon a sword hilt depicting the Flood and uses the depicted scenes on the weapon to both pr aise Beowulf and reflect generally upon hu man life and death. 82


The hilt, is not only inspiration, but an i nventional ordering instrument with which he composes (Emmerson 205). Carruthers predecessor, Francis Yates, notes that in this atmosphere, the relationship between man, the microcosm, and the world, th e macrocosm, takes on new significance. The microcosm can fully understand and fully remember the macrocosm, can hold it within his divine memory or mens (148). Th e rhetorical arts, particularly memoria operated under the profound conviction that man, the im age of the greater world, can grasp, hold and understand the greater world through the power of his imagin ation (230). Though th is habit has all but disappeared from the humanities disciplines and most of the university curriculum in general, the fine arts have seen a floweri ng of improvisational approaches since early in the 20th Century. Carruthers reminds us that the elaborately punning riffs of memory do to a word [or image] what jazz does to a written musical phrase, turning it into oratio brevis serving as a germ for an expanded composition ( Craft of Thought 159). Such an awareness of the power of the image as a site for storage and invention, not merely mimetic or artistic repr esentation of objects, was clearly understood by those who used both words and images as sites for clusterin g discourses together Martianus Capella characterized the imagines rerum (images of things) as compositional sites and associational cues that could gather in much related mate rial laid down elsewhere in memory in what postmodernists would describe as a deconstructiv e process able to unlo ck the latent host of meanings embedded in a word or image (Carruthers Book of Memory 149). Gregory the Great characterized this use of word and image in memory as the act of providing a habit, or clothing, for the edifice of ones thinking, a nd in the context of monastic culture, worshiping mind. In his wo rds, it was the scholars task to put in place the foundation of literal meaning, and build up the fabric of the mind through typological interpretation in his walled city of faith, and, through the grace of moral understanding as though with added color, clothe the building (18). 83


Carruthers has described memoria as a modality of medieval cultures utilizing symbols which were matters of relationships to be pub licly recognized and remembered. These symbols were not absolutes, but functi oned entirely within social life (259). Representation was understood not in an objective or reproductive sense as often as in a temporal one: signs made something present to the mind by acting on memory (221). The memorial culture of the Middle Ages made present the voices of the past, not to entomb either th e past or the present, but to give them life together in a place common to both in memory (260). The task for the scholars, pedagogues and students of the humanities di sciplines of the present is to incorporate the medieval rhetoric of the image into a teach ing and learning process that enables users to create image objects generated from their own reservoirs of education and experience, and make these images, in Barthes words, profitable to contemplation (52) both inside and outside the classroom. 84


CHAPTER 3 VIRTUAL SPACE Immersion: Living in Virtual Spaces The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the importance of virtual spaces in the emerging new electrate environment. This first portion of this chapter will note the rise of virtuality of spaces like post-Civil War cycloramas, radio, film and television, and the exploitation of virtual space within new hypermedia environments. This chapter will also cover discussions by postmodern and medium theorists regarding the im portance of incorporating virtual realities of cyberspace into all areas and levels of the curr iculum. Finally, this chapter will note several correspondences between the virtua l realities of cybers pace and the virtual spaces that were central to the mnemonic techni que known in antiquity and th e Middle Ages as the memory palace that will be crucial to re-designing rhet orical methods in the 21st Century humanities classroom. Since the latter portion of the 19th Century, American culture has become increasingly immersed in virtual spaces. N. Katherine Hayles defines virtuality as the perception that material [and now, digital] structures are interp enetrated with informational patterns (Embodied Virtuality: Or, How to put Bodies Back into the Picture Immersed in Technology: Art and Visual Environments ). After the end of the American Civil War, the de cades of the 1870's, 's and 's were marked by an upsurge of postwar nostalgia that lead to the creation of several large-scale, three-dimensional, 360 degree recreations of majo r battles like Gettysburg, Second Bull Run, and Atlanta. The Atlanta Cyclorama has b een maintained and todays visitors are able to enter a theater and take their seats in a revolv ing set of chairs that l iterally move the viewers through the major events which occurred during this famous 1864 battle. Notable in relation to Hayless statements about virtuality above is the manner in which the Cyclorama restages the cataclysmic 1864 battle with a particular focus on what the designers considered certain major figures and events that needed highlighting in order to effectively 85


remake the narrative of this fight. While the stands in which the audience of the restored Cyclorama sits rotate 360 degrees certain participants, locations, and occurrences in the fighting are spotlighted with lamps placed in the ceiling and a narrators voice details the spotlighted subjects importance to the overall course of the battle. The resu lt is that this historical narrative is staged in a manner that leav es it shot through with informational patterns the Cycloramas designers considered crucial to the retelling of the Battle of Atlanta. The Cyclorama display in Atlanta was restored in the 1980s and 1990s. The performance of the Cyclorama now includes canned sounds of explosions, horses, screams, becoming more like the virtual realities we en counter in films, on television and in what theorists, scholars, students and public discourse increasingly term cyberspace. Atlantas revamped, updated Cyclorama has been re-fashioned to be the sort of vi rtual environments the senses, intellects, and imaginations of its spectators ar e now immersed in every day. Buffalo Bill Codys Wild West live-action shows of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries mythologized Codys life and the conquest of the Plains Indians by staging re-enactments of major, and often fictional, events from this pe riod, complete with explosions, cavalry, cowboys and Indians. In a series of biza rre twists, chiefs like Sitting Bull would actually be hired to play themselves in re-stagings of Custers Last Stand, while Cody himself would take breaks from the show, leave for army posts and purposefully put hi mself in harms way so he could later play himself in stories of these episodes. Simula tions like these anticipated the ever increasing immersion into virtual realities American culture has been experiencing since the appearance of photographic, phonographic, and cinematic technologi es starting in the mi d-nineteenth century. In Kittlers opinion, the emergence of technological media c.1900 represents a decisive historical discursive caesura th at alters structure, placement a nd function of cultural production (xxxi). Since the period of postwar and post-pioneer commemorati ons in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, American culture has seen so cial, educational, political and commercial discourses move into ever more virtual environments and devel op a language of spectacle and simulation designed to be appropriate to the era (Bakutman, 11). And presently, Television, 86


[cinema], video cassettes, [DVDs], [DVD] recorder/players, video games and personal computers all form an encompassing electronic system whose various forms interface to constitute an alternative and absolute world that uniquely incorporates the spectator/user in a spatially decentered, weakly temporalized and quasi-embodied state (105), in short virtual reality. Following upon the creation of the massive dioramas of the sort seen in the Atlanta cyclorama, cimema was the first technology of th e modern age to capitalize not on the emphatic dramaturgy of narrative tempora lity, but rather in a spatial ex ploration that complexly binds multiple perspectives and scalar shifts (Jean Epstein as qtd in Bakutman 137). Even Buffalo Bill finished his career making films based on even ts like the massacre of Native American ghost dancers at Wounded Knee. Commercia l filmmakers like D.W. Griffith capitalized on Civil War nostalgia and white racism to create a virtual rendition of the war in Birth of a Nation producing a sweep of landscape and panoramas of violent action seen in pa ges of novels [which] could not be convincingly transferred to th e stage (127) and a demonstration of the rhetoric al possibilities within cinematic technology for staging cultur al, historical arguments from a particular perspective, and re-writing the hist orical record. The hi story on display in C odys and Griffiths films is virtual in both its ability to transport audiences into alte rnate realities and fabricate fact. Film camera technology created an entirely ne w kind of vision, whos e extensions of the power of the human eye, as well as the trans mission of acoustic and visual elements (Barilli vii), and thus the transformation of human cons ciousness itself, was also compellingly explored in the experimental films of Dziga Vertov and Stan Brakhage (Bakutma n, 218). Commercial films capitalized upon, and experimental films co mmented on, the fact th at the logocentric space of the photographic image is thus superseded by the precarious movement of meaning and being in the space-time of cinema gra phia (Brunette and Wills, eds. 250). The fluid three-dimensional space of film created a new aren a for explorations of subjects and subjectivity itself. As film technology and production improved, cinema greatly enhanced its existence as a plastic art of time and space (Vidler 102). In 1920's films, production design is 87


seen to have improved until the architecture seen in these films, no longer simply inert, twodimensional backgrounds, now participates in the very emotions of the film the surroundings no longer surround, but enter the ex perience as presence (103). Advancing past the world of two-dimensional pictures and photos, filmmakers gained the ability to dominate and create every aspect of the virtual spaces of their films, including furniture, room, house, street, city, landscape, universe (104). Film always has and always will continue to further blur the line between illusion and reality made indistinct by the moving pictures of film images and production elements like set design and audio/visual special eff ects. In cinema, the plastic is amalgamated with the painted, bulk and form with the simulacra of bulk and form false perspectives an d violent foreshadowing are introduced, real light and shadow combat or reinforce painted shadow and light. Einsteins invasion of the law of gravity is made visibl e in the treatment of walls and supports (104). By the 1950s, film companies exploited the craze for UFOs, science fiction, and horror films with experiments in Three-Dimensional view ing experiences for their audiences that many films still make use of today. With horror films like The Tingler (1959), a Vincent Price scare vehicle, distributors took the ability of cinema to immerse viewers senses into virtual environments to another level by implanting vibr ating devices behind cert ain audience members heads and activating them when th e alien creatures featured in th e film implanted their insectoid forms into the bases of their victims skulls. In addition to the thrilling e xperience with special effects a nd alternate realities, cinemas ability to warp and control the Fourth Dimens ion of time extended and deepened the spaces of filmic texts and added to the allure of thei r developing audio/visual vocabularies. This compelling new cinematic, virtual experien ce of phenomena like space and time achieves particular power through films and filmmakers ab ilities to connect exteri or, sensual experience to interior mental processes. Even at its incep tion, the imaginary worlds of cinema were not simply formalistic and decorative; [films] prem ise was from the outset psychological (109). 88


Munsterburg notes the photoplays power to tell the human story by overcoming the forms of the outer world, namely space, time, a nd causality, and by adjusting the events to the forms of the inner world, namely, attention, memory, imagination, and emotion (as qtd in Vidler 106). The audial and visu al spaces of film are able not only to focus audience attention, but also reformulate the real in to the imaginary, to fuse the physic al and the mental, leading to the disclosure of the inner menacing or en igmatic meanings of everyday objects by simple close-up techniques and camera angles, light, shad e, and space which established the poetic potential of art to endow with poe tic value that which does not posse ss it, to willfully restrict the filed of vision so as to intensify expre ssion (Louis Aragon as qtd in Vidler 109). Audience engagement with film revolve s around cinematic technologys ability to poetically and rhetorically exploit two paths of the spatial eye: the cinematic, where a spectator follows an imaginary line among a series of obj ects through the sight as well as the mind diverse positions passing in front of an immobile spectator and the architectural, where the spectator move[s] through a series of carefully disposed phenomena which he observe[s] in order with his visual senses (119). The spatial and sensual disorienta tion that the audience of film experiences as the camera eye and recording stud io ear move viewers th rough stylized cinematic spaces has become part of what O.B. Hardison ca lls the grammar and rhetoric of cinema. In Hardisons opinion, the gram mar of film includes the cut fade, and dissolve, and long shot, medium shot, and close up, and the rhetoric of film includes voice over, musical continuo, unusual camera angles, trick photography a nd special sound and lighting effects ( Entering the Maze 202). Hardison uses Sir Laurence Oliviers film, Henry V (1946), as an example of the way application of the aesthetic insight and rhetorical understanding made possible by film technology is exploited in the numerous stylistic shif ts of Oliviers piece, wherein a relatively straightforward, highly unified play has been converted into a mosaic of different styles presented in a surrealistic fr amework of space and time (193). More recent films like 300 (2007), have taken audiences further into the aesthetic and rhetorical possibilities of stylized cinematic spaces by placing actors in completely virtual 89


environments. The virtual space of 300, populated by actors whose own bodies have undergone physical and special effects enhancement, pres ents audiences with a hyper-sensual film whose surroundings and characters visu ally stage the arguments a bout male/female, east/west, loyalty/dishonor, courage/cowardi ce embedded in the films very ahistorical narrative. In addition, this picture was part icularly popular in IMAX theater s which, like the post-Civil War cycloramas, immersed viewers in a three-hundred-sixty de gree retelling of the epic battle of Thermopylae. 300 is only the most recent and fully reali zed of a long list of films which have forced audiences to temporarily inhabit worlds composed of cognitive distortions and poetic figurations of our own social relations (McCaffrey as qtd. in Bakutman 11). In studying the language of new media, Lev Manovitch has pointed out several important features of the audio/vi sual approach to representation refined in television and film which have been absorbed and extended by deve loping digital and computer technologies. He first notes representation as simulation, noted in various screen technologies such as postRenaissance painting, film, radar and television, where the screen is a rectangular surface framing a virtual world that exists within the phy sical world of the viewer. Technologies of new media are now seeking to advance the potential for simulation to immerse the viewer completely within a virtual universe that represen ts just the latest in virtual space development that Manovitch claims includes Baroque Jesuit churches, the 19th Century panoramas described earlier and of course, 20th Ce ntury movie theaters (16). Manovitch further notes that the conver gence of media and computers creates Teleaction opposition between t echnologies used to create illusi ons (fashion, realist painting, dioramas, military decoys, film montage, digital compositing) and representational technologies used to enable action, that is, to allow the viewer to manipulat e reality through representations (maps, architectural drawings, X-Rays, telepresence). In addition, new media create an opposition between representational technologies (film, audio, video, magnetic tape, digital 90


storage formats) and real-time communicat ion technologies (telegraph, telephone, telex, television, telepresence). The visual and aural illusioni sm which combines traditiona l techniques and technologies that aim to create a visual [and audial] resembla nce of reality perspectival painting, cinema, panorama, [radio, music, sound production technique s], etc., has been absorbed into simulation, a quality which has been and continues to be explored in film and described by Manovitch as various computer methods for modeling othe r aspects of reality beyond [simply] visual appearance movement of physical objects, shap e changes occurring over time in natural phenomena (water surface, smoke), motivations, behavior, speech and language comprehension in human beings (16). Manovitch notes we are in a technological transformation of rare importance, pointing out that just as the printing press in 14th Century and photog raphy in the 19th Century had a revolutionary impact on the deve lopment of modern society and culture, today we are in the middle of a new media revolution the shift of all culture to computer-mediated forms of production, distribution and communication (19). It is crucial for teachers of the humanities to embrace what Manovitch calls the two opposing goals of new media design: immersing users in an imaginary fictional universe similar to tradi tional fiction and giving us ers efficient access to a body of information (search engine, web site, on-line encyclopedia) (16) and turn both trajectories to the service of a new method for thinking about and with rhetoric capable of immersing students in virtual sp aces suited to the processing a nd communication of information in a humanities, and inevitably a curriculum-wide, academic setting. Frances Dyson characterizes virtual r eality technology as th e accumulation of the auditive technologies of the past and a realiza tion of the telepresence and interactivity first offered by telephony, a computation of the inscri ptive strategies of the phonograph and tape recorder, an appropriation of the disembodied presence of radio, an embrace of film sounds spatiality and an instantiation of the hyperreal sound effect presen t in all auditive media (When is the Ear Pierced? The Clashes of Sound, Technology and Cyberspace Immersed in Technology 91


73). Manovitch adds that computer-based illusionis m, rather than utilizing the single dimension of visual fidelity, constructs the reality effect in a number of dimensions, of which visual fidelity is but one (182). The absorption of visual and aural repres entations found in illustrations, paintings, comics, television and cinema into the electronic virtual spaces of video, computer graphics and computer games represent an important shift in ne w media. The creation of virtual realities for social, professional, commercial and entertainment purposes sp eaks to the desire to see the space of the computer, and to further figure it as a space one can move through and thereby comprehend (Bakutman 200). Bakutman notes, whether Baudrillard calls it telematic culture or science fiction writers call it the Web, the N ET, the Grid, the Matrix, or, most pervasively, cyberspace, there exists the perv asive recognition that a new and d ecentered spatiality has arisen that exists parallel to, but out side of, the geographic topograp hy of experiential reality (105). The holistic, simultaneous use of image, sound, and text in cyberspace is different from the kineticism of cinema because it moves and changes. It r eaches out to surround and absorb the consumer, creating an artificial reality that forces the consumer to confront the increasing irrelevance in modern culture of the distinction between the real in the sense of that which occurs naturally, and the artificial, in the sense of that which is human artifact (21). Along with this substitution of iconic repres entations of reality for the real (Mattlow 172), Erica Mattlow notes computer interface enables us to visual ize text in three and four dimensions, moving around text as if it existe d in a physical space imbuing the words we use with a particular sense of locat ion and creating information envi ronments that enable us to negotiate with textual information from within a range of different dimensional, virtual perspectives (173). This sense of space is, of course, a fabrication which is virtually a space. Bakutman characterizes cyberspace as a redu ction of the infinite abstract void of electronic space to the definiti ons of bodily experience and physical cognition grounding it in finite and assimilable terms like web a nd net. In Bakutmans opinion, this phenomenologically relevant other space of inform ation circulation and control (145), is an 92


abstraction which, diegetically and extra-diegetically, provides a narrative compensation for the loss of visibility on the world, the movement of po wer into the cybernetic matrices of the global computer banks, and the correspond ing divestiture of power from th e subject. The imagined planes of cyberspace enable th e activity of spatial penetratio n and thus produce the subjects mastery of a global data system (143). Science-fiction films like The Matrix Trilogy have already fantasi zed about the dangers of this new virtual reality, in which the s ubjects objective body remains in the real world, while a phenomenal (Bakutman 187) body, or avatar, is projected into cyberspace, where users interface with a completely spat ialized visualization of all in formation in global information processing systems. The virtual realities users encounter are a combinati on of the synaesthetic, direct sensory engagement of the sort found in video games and theme parks and the narrative qualities of literature, television, video games and film. Ba kutman notes Jamesons opinion that this latest mutation of space ... has finally su cceeded in transcending the capacities of the individual human body to locate itself, to organi ze its immediate surroundings perceptually, and cognitively map its position in a mappable extern al world (225). This fusion of kinesis and interactive narrative in cyberspace is a crucial feature of new media that the humanities of the 21st Century must address in scholarship and incorporat e into classrooms. Synaesthesia, a sensual, tot alized rather than compartmentalized activity of perception, has become the rule of percep tion in virtual reality and is problematic because scientific knowledge and the paradigm of learning visually through textbooks shifts the center of gravity of experience, so that we have unlearned how to see, hear, and generally speaking, feel, in order to deduce from our bodily organization and the world as the physicist conceives it, what we are to see, feel, and hear (Bakutman 176). Synaesthesia produces an active bodily engagement with a virtual world that a user moves th rough, involves other senses besides vision, and accurately simulates physical objects, natura l phenomena, anthropomorphic characters, and humans (Manovitch 182). 93


It is absolutely e ssential for any redesign of humaniti es pedagogy to address this issue because the imploded arenas of the datasc ape become the new phenomenal ground for bodily awareness. It is the experien ce of the body that operates to cent er the subject, which is why the body must serve as the locus for any interface with terminal reality (243). And, as Hayles has noted, one cannot experience cyberspace, an arena of discourse w ith its own logic and geography, except through the physical sens es of the body (230 Wertheim). However, the physical immersion of the senses into the virtual realities of cyberspace goes far beyond our sensual experi ence with the physical world. Th e laws of the physical world are discarded and the subjects movement through and control of the virtual realm, as seen in online gaming environment like Ultima, Riven, and Halo, as well as films like The Matrix becomes almost god-like. Bakutman notes the poin t of view of an online gamer, much like the cinemas camera eye, can begin at an encompassing angle high above the action, then move smoothly down, ease beneath it, and rotate and track to allo w a hurtling vehicle towa rd its destination. This is not a trajectory associated with th e physical experience of a human perspective and represents a kind of ecs tatic terminal vision, a kine tic transcendence of bodily limitations. The human appropriates the space through the exercise of a powerful, nearly omnipotent gaze. (218) Users of virtual spaces virt ually fly through clusters of in formation rendered in a threedimensional environment that provides conten t designed to enable the connection between physical and conceptual spaces their own minds. The revelations afforded by interfaces with Windows, desktops, websites, virtual spaces, electr onic files, searches, navigation, surfing links, Multi-User Domains, and various online cybergames take place in simulated environments where the users interaction is no longer a readerly one. Doing replaces Reading, and knowledge acquisition takes place in an active, generative fashion as opposed to passive, receptive fashion (Ulmer Heuretics 49). Regarding humanities research that seek s to produce new models of thought and apprehension suitable for cyberspace, Manovitch write s, If there is a new rhetoric or aesthetic 94


possible here, it may have less to do with the orde ring of time by a writer or an orator, and more with spatial wandering. The hypertext reader is like Robinson Crusoe, walking across the sand, picking up a navigation journal, a rotten fruit, and instrument whose purpose he does not know, leaving imprints like that, like computer hyperl inks, follow from one found object to another (78). The inhabitants of cyberspaces virtual realit ies put on electronic identities like cloaks [or habits] (Haraway Cyborg Ma nifesto) and immerse themselves into not only the acoustic, visual and performative (in terms of deliver y, pronunciation, facial expressions, gestures) elements of cinema, but also, remembering that material structures of cinema and all virtual realities indeed, all conceptu al, social and material spaces are interpenetrated with informational patterns, the figurative and narra tive forms of literature, film and television as well. Ulmer notes that the power and allure of television and film lies in their well-developed abilities to organize information narratively, ord ering interaction and sound image with oral and pop culture forms, extending simple forms like th e anecdote, joke, proverb, riddle, and legend into now functions of cla ssification and evaluation ( Teletheory ix). This practice has now been extended into the virtual realities of c yberspace. Information and simulation work together through narratives wherein users play roles often derived directly from the events and characters of popular movies and television shows like Star Wars SpiderMan The Godfather and The Sopranos. The designers and user s of virtual worlds are cinematographers, architects and actors (Manovitch 76), and narrative is the linking concept that gives the structured time and temporal spaces of these virtual worlds dynamism of the sort found in the fine arts and the structure experienced in the performing arts. The virtual realities of computer games em body the essence, or zeitgeist, of cyberspace that the humanities must embrace in order to rede sign its pedagogy in order to keep pace with the burgeoning influence of cyberspace. The wo rd cyberspace is derived from the Greek, kybernetikos, defined as the art of the steersman, and game environments unfold in terms of narrative action and exploration on th e part of the player. Manov itch notes, rat her than being 95


narrated to, the player herself has to perform actions to move the narrative forward, and exploring the world, examining its details and enjoying its images is as important for the success of games such as Myst and its followers as progressing through the narrative (247). The player navigates virtual reality and thus ste ers the narrative of a game or a search through a database in a particular direction. In discussing their work, Dancing with the Virtual Dervish, Diane J. Gromala and Yacov Shrir suggest the virtual body that a user occupies and direct s in order to st eer a narrative is itself an expressive, textual, and therefore rh etorical object itself. They note the virtual body becomes an immersive, nonlinear bo ok, a text to be read, an archit ecture to be inhabited .... The Dancer exists both as representations within th e virtual environment a nd as performer in the physical performance space .... Virtual technologies a llow us to manipulate, externalize, distort, and deform information as well as the expe rience of the body [and] augment and extend possibilities creatively and expe rientially, spatially, visuall y, sonically, and cognitively (Digital Desires 283). Scott Bakutman declares, Cyberspace is clearly a paraspace as Samuel Delaney has defined the term (157). For Delaney, paraspace is the space in which the characters language, rationality and subjectivity ar e broken down and deconstructed. This deconstruction and analysis of rationality an d subjectivity is precisely the function of rhetoric. According to Paul de Man, Rhetoric radically suspends logic and opens up vertiginous possibi lities of referential aberration (qtd in Bakutman 176), and cyberspa ce offers a powerful new forum for exploring these possibilities. Bakutman points out that while writing and speaking about cyberpunk fiction like William Gibsons Neuromancer Delaney has begun to develop a notion of science fictional space that exists parallel to the no rmal space of the diegesis a rhetorically heightened other realm (157). In the interactive, narratively-org anized, online para (or vi rtual) spaces similar to the cybernetic domain of Gibsons novel, the d ifferent ontological re alm of paraspace is 96


experienced by the characters within the dieges is .... Hypertechnologized arenas of cyberspace [are] marked by a rhetorical ex cess which describes enacts [experiences] (Bakutman 176). Crisis: Questions for the Humanities The question now for humanities scholars and pedagogues seeking to merge the database and the narrative into a new form suitable for ed ucational enterprises is: how can new abilities to store, classify, index, link, searc h, and retrieve data le ad to new narratives, and what artistic and theoretical traditions can the de signers of navigable educationa l and professional spaces draw upon to make them more interesting (Manovitch 264) ? Because the navigabl e virtual realities of cyberspace are such subjective spaces, respondi ng to the subjects movement and emotion (269) and function as mirrors to a users subj ectivity at sites such as Facebook and Myspace, they fall firmly into the domain of rhetoric. Rhetorical approaches of the 21st Century must achieve an integration of repres entation and of signifying systems, with the enhanced perceptual and informational field of cybertechnologies (Tenhaaf Mysteries of the Bioapparatus Digital Desires 286). The problem with trying to achieve a narration of new technological modes of being in the world (Bakutman 8), made necessary becaus e cyberspace has become a conceptual space that shapes ideas we have about things and their relationships, a social space that patterns social relationships both mentally and physically, and a material space of socio-political environments across which attitudes and actio ns are played out (Jos Boys Windows on the World?: Architecture, Identities, and New Technologies Digital Desires 125), lies in the fact that with every decade popular edu cation falls farther behi nd technology (Boorstin The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America 55). ODonnell characterizes this ch allenge as an effort to balance old models with new modes of behavior that exploit the possibilities of the new environment effectively without disorien ting us so completely that we forget who we are ( Avatars of the Word 13). 97


Unfortunately, as Jerome McGann has noted in Radiant Textuality digital technology used by humanities scholars has focused almost exclusively on methods of sorting, accessing, and disseminating large bodies of materials, and on certain specialized problems in computational styles and linguistics (xii). Only recently have humanities scholars and pedagogues begun to engage questions about inte rpretation and self-aware reflection that are central concerns for most humanities scholars and educators as they relate to the virtual realities of cyberspace. McGann urges, we must expand interpretational pr ocedures of digital technology to move it beyond instrumental servi ce (xii) because new textual environments have yet to develop operational st ructures that integrate archivi ng and editorial mechnisms with critical and reflective functions at the foundational level of their material form, that is, at the digital/computational level (17). Thus, the hum anities are left facing the task of discovering how digital tools can be made into prosthetic extensions of that demand for critical reflection (18). Building on the work of Gregory L. Ulmer, Kathleen Welch, in her work Electric Rhetoric notes that students used to interfacing with the rhetoric of television and the film screen, as well as the computer, are literate in new ways (4). Ulmer himself calls this new interface with communication, information and en tertainment technologies, electracy. Relevant to the study and teaching of the humanities in the 21st Century is the fact traditional literacy does not work anymore because inters ubjective and intrasubje ctive communication has changed drastically for many reasons, one of wh ich is the change in communication technology that has permeated the last 100 years, allowi ng electronic forms of co mmunication toe reshape literacy, and, therefore, s ubjectivity itself (30). The humanities must redesign rhetorical met hods to incorporate the seductiveness of electronic discourse ... embedded in a merger of written, aural, and visual structures of articulation (Welch 7). Lev Manovitch notes, w e are no longer interfaci ng to a computer, but to culture encoded in digital form (69), and the humanities must keep pace with this transformation because the language of HCI [Hum an Computer Interface] already represents a 98


powerful cultural tradition, a cultural language offering its ow n ways of representing human memory and experience. This language speaks in the form of discrete objects organized in hierarchies (hierarchical data system) or as cata logs (databases) or as objects linked together through hyperlinks (hypermedia) (72). Gregory L. Ulmer points out in Internet Invention general education writing courses, staffed by English departments, serve at least th e following consensus need s, listed in order of current priority methods for using the language to learn specialized knowledge; practices of rhetoric and logic required for c itizenship in a democratic societ y; models of self-knowledge for living the examined life (5). English Departme nts will still meet these needs, articulate them differently because, as Ulmer continues, the emerging predominance of the image as technology and culture is a problem of societ y, which is stated in disciplinary terms as the spectacle the convergence of image and reality into a virtual co ndition of simulacra. A proper task for English departments in particular or Arts and Letters programs in general, is to develop rhetorical and composition practices for citizens to move from consumers to producers of image discourse (6). The need for such development is pressing because the infinite mutability, the seemingly endless permutations and rotations of digital constructions the speed of virtual travel withing the image, not to mention the complexity of the ne tworks of communication th emselves, all lead to the suspicion that some transformation in subjecthood is under way (Vidler 242). If English departments invent new practices of writing and critical thinking native to hypermedia, they must consider the corresponden ces among the features of digital hypermedia, the associative logic of creative thinking a nd the aesthetics of popul ar culture (Ulmer Internet Invention xiii). Inventing these practices for what Ulmer calls the electrate virtual sphere (8) will align digital hyperlinked media to associa tive lateral reasoning de scribed in studies of creative thinking and the dreamwork of entertai nment narratives (6) described earlier in this chapter and keep pace with technologys influen ce on our professions and lives. Unfortunately, as Ulmer points out, As a civi lization, we have preserved the memory of the poetic and we 99

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continue to sometimes to honor its diviners without knowing why or what purpose might be served by the dimension of language (the remainder) that th ey operate (4). The dreamwork narratives of art and entertainment, which audiences derive pleasure from by reading in terms of condensation (which in literary terms can be defined as metaphor), displacement (metonymy), reflection, a nd revision (association) (Spivak, Of Grammatology xlii), will serve as tools for English departments unde rtaking these efforts. Ulmer notes, Although the academic discipline of rhetoric, and Englis h departments in general, have remained Aristotelian and ignored Diogene s, the arts and letters community (artists, poets, philosophers) have been inventing institutional practices that accord with the technol ogies of the emergent apparatus (38). Ironically a nd tragically, the aesthetic r easoning that dominates popular entertainment and the fine arts, and with wh ich the humanities seeks practical correspondences, is not taught is th e schools after about the third grade (4). Because education since the period of Franci s Bacons pervasive influence has separated memory, reason, and imagination from one anothe r, scholars and pedagogue s are faced with the challenge of balancing old models with new mode s of behavior that expl oit the possibilities of the new environment effectively without disorienti ng us so completely th at we forget who we are (ODonnell 13). The virtual realities of cyberspace, the emerging platform for social, professional, and educational discourse, have already been described in this chapter as amalgamations of the spatio-temporal, audio-vi sual, altogether sensual spaces that have circulated in western culture throughout its history and whose importance and presence have only been accellerated with the adve nt of computer technology. Manovitch notes in his preface to The Language of New Media, one effect of the digital revolution is that avant garde aesthetic strate gies came to be embedded in the commands and interface metaphors of computer software. Th e avant garde became materialized in the computer. Furthermore, The avant garde move to combine animation, printed texts and live action footage is repeated in the convergence of animation, title gene ration, paint, compositing and editing systems into all-in-one packages (xv). Therefore, the humanities must examine the 100

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potential of aesthetic pleasure of the sort experienced by readers of literature, viewers of artwork, and the audiences of theater, film, and television, not as a flashing exercise of an intuitive faculty, but as a process of inte lligence that deciphers and reasons enraptured by the difficulty of communication (Eco Chaosmos 81), and able to merge the database and the narrative into a new rhetoric. For this process to be suc cessful, Jerome McGann feels th at understanding the structure and potential of digital space requires disciplined aesthetic intelligence in terms of the textual models and codes being assimilated into computer technology. For Mc Gann, digital codings summon us to new investigations into our textua l inheritance, and, of th ese, he considers the poetical to be the most adva nced, powerful and useful ( Radiant Textuality xi) for purposes of inculcating students with a disciplined aesthet ic intelligence they can deploy both inside and outside the classroom. Even before the upsurge of new media critic al theory, avant garde critics spent decades seeking ways to merge critical thin king and aesthetic experience. In Beyond Interpretation Vattimo calls Derridean deconstruction an exemplary way of practicing philosophy as hermeneutics (poetics), namely as an encounter with and listening for new metaphorical systems, and since this way of practicing ph ilosophy offers no justification for its own preferability, ultimately it is itself a poetic and creative proposal of a new paradigm, of a new metaphoric language (99) and further notes th at deconstructive meditation increasingly resembles a performance, the effect of which is not easily distinguished from an aesthetic appreciation (101). If, as Derrida declares, Imagination must be awakened ( Of Grammatology 217) in the curriculum, particularly by enabling students to use the power of the narrative, fable, drama, allegory, and pun as tools for criti cal thinking in in disciplines as diverse as physics, mechanics, mathematics, theology, politics, medicine, musi c, painting, logic, ethics, commerce, and law (Hardison Entering the Maze 146), in a manner as pervasive as that currently exercised by the form of the printed text book, the humanities discipli nes must take as their task an application of 101

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the phonographic, cinematic, and cybernetic technol ogies discussed above to the representation of knowledge (Ulmer Teletheory 134). Manovitch calls the narrative logic and virtual spaces of cinema the toolbox of the computer user (86), and notes that just as in cinema, ontology is coupled with epistemology: the world is designed to be viewed from particular points of view. The designer of a virtual world is thus a cinemat ogrpher as well as an architect (82) and the goal of research into electronic rhetoric is to encode cinematographic expertise, translating heuristics of filmmaking into computer software and hardware (86). ODonnell feels that exposing students to an el ectronic rhetoric that translates the goals of arrangement, style and delivery into a new technological format far beyond print will undoubteldy disorient them, but will also energize them, and inculcate in them a taste for the hard disciplines of seeing and thinking (123). He further notes, heuri stic quality of life in cyberspace and the ease with which multiple paths can be ceated will let us create such opportunities with ease and indulge in the high-spirited play of manipulating the tokens of the past in as many different ways as we can imagine (137). ODonnell also cites Richard Lanham, author of A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms, who states, electronic media show us how to use our communicative skills, self-consciously in an environment in which we do not seek to possess trut h but to create it coll ectively (149). If, like the humanists of the Renaissance who guided the transition within the university from manuscript to print technology, humanities scholars are able to use new media technology to link the verbal and quantitative (150) in effective, practical new ways the result will be a renovated curriculum, not in terms of the core disciplines but the core techniques used to teach them (149). Ulmer characterizes video, audio and their synthesis in cyberspace as prosthetics of inventive/euretic thinking just as liter acy is the prosthetics of hermeneutics (Applied Grammatology 42), and the humanities must think an apparatus in which there is more than one way to listen, more than one way to extend the intellectual senses hearing and sight, knowledge from a distance by means of audio-visual technology ( Teletheory 160). A re-vitalized 102

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rhetorical method that effectiv ely incorporates these prosthe tics will enable teachers and students to, in Ulmers words, compose a diegesis an imaginary space and time, as in a setting for a film that functions as the places of invention (Applied Grammatology 48). Ulmer uses the word heuretics to decribe the fusion of crit ical interpretation and artistic experimentation that adds to critique and hermeneutics a genera tive productivity of the sort practiced in the avant garde (xii). The heuretics of a ne w electracy can demonstrate the fluidity and complexity of knowledge in any cu lturethat the rhetoric of the table, [l ist, page, and line] denies (Heuretics 57). Ulmer stresses in Applied Grammatology the multichanneled interactivity of hypermedia provides for the first time a machine whose operations match the variable sensorial encoding that is the basis of intuition, a technology in which cross-modality may be simulated and manipulated for the writing of an insight, in cluding the interaction of verbal and non-verbal materials and the guidance of analysis by intuition, which constitute creative or inventive thinking (140). A technologically refined liberal arts curriculum that capitalizes on these features is essential because p roducing discourse in writing, spea king, and other ways is central to developing considered action in the newly emerging constructions of private and public worlds and about how intelligence, sensitivit y, and emotional well-being are cultivatedby advancing our awareness of them (Welch 73). Welch acknowledges the necessity of encoding what Manovitch calls cinematic ways of seeing the world, structuring time, telling a story, linking experience (prologue 1) into a new rhetoric suited to the virtual realities of cyberspace, and point s out that ancient and medieval accounts of composing do present us with drama tic alternatives to modernist accounts, and hence, they can serve as sources for understa nding the workings of human communication in non-modern ways ( Electric Rhetoric 34). Such alternatives are necessary because, as Manovitch states, Interfaces developed for the computer in the role of calculator, control mechanism, or communication device are not necessarily suit able for a computer playing the role of 103

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cultural machine. Converese ly, if we simply mimic the existing conventions of older cultural forms such as the printed word asnd cinema, we will not take advantage of all the new capacities offered by the computer : it s flexibility in displaying and manipulating data, interactive control by the user, ability to run simulations, etc. (93) Mimicry will not suffice because, as Manovitch notes, the image interface of hypermedia, distinct from the viewers experience with cine ma, becomes a portal into another world, like an icon in the Middle Ages.... Rather than staying on the surface, we expect to go into the image (290). Resolution: Sense and Emotion in the Memory Palace While seeking ancient and medieval relays for developing a rhetorical performance, a continuous process of creation, of reconstituting and transf erring elements not in any mechanical sense, but in an imaginative way that allows a latitude, an autonomy, a play element (Heuretics 116), new media and postmodern schol ars have turned increasingly to studies of memory. Ulmer notes that memory w ill be the point of inception of this change, as people, interacting with elec tronic technology, come to experi ence their conduct differently ( Teletheory 133). A rediscovered appreciation of memorys impor tance to the liberal ar ts, and rhetoric in particular, is an essential tool in the humanities disciplines efforts to keep pace with a computer media revolution that not only affects all st ages of communication, including acquisition, manipulation, storage and distributio n; it also affects all types of media texts, still images, moving images, sound, and spatial constructions (Manovitch 19). Memorys usefulness lies in its status as a specific technology, a mechanism, a material and semiotic process subject to artifice and alteration. More specifically, memory taks the form in classical [and medieval] rhetoric of a dialectic between the same modalities (space/time), the same sensory channels (visual/aural), and the same codes (image/word) that underlie the narrative/descriptive boudary. That is, classical memory technique is a way of reconstructing temporal orders by mapping them onto spatial configurations (most notable, architectural struct ures, with various loci and topoi, or mem ory places inhabited by striking images and sometimes even words); it is also a way of 104

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mapping oral performance, an oration from memory, onto a visual structrue. (Mitchell Picture Theory 191) For W.J.T. Mitchell, memory is an imaget ext, a double-coded system of mental storage and retrieval that may be used to remember any se quence of items, from stories to set speeches to lists of quadrupeds (191) and this imagetext structure of memory seems to be a deep feature that endures all the way from Cicero to Lacan to the organization of computer memory (193). Furthermore, as Ulmer notes in Internet Invention if memories are one individuals, their associations, reflections, and inte rpretations extend far beyond the pe rsonal. They spread into an extended network of meanings that bring together the persnoal with the familial, the cultural, the economic, the social, and the historical. T hus, memory work makes it possible to explore connections betwen public histor ical events, structures of fee ling, family dramas, relations of class, national identity, and ge nder and personal memory .... outer and inner, social and personal, historical and psychical, coalesce; a nd the web of interconnect ions that binds them together is made visible (87). As inheritors of the tradition of mnemonic arts built on a foundation of applied poeticsdefined by Eco as the study of the structural mechanism of given text which possess selffocusing qaualities and capacities fo r releasing the effects of ambiguity and polysemy medieval thinkers could not conceive, explain, or manage the world without insert ing into the framework of an Order, a mental virtual space providing an unlimited chain of relations between creatures, people, places, texts, and events. This mnemon ic space, or memory palace, functions as a mechanism which permits epiphanies, where a thing becomes a living symbol of something else, and creates a continuous web of references (Eco Chaosmos 7). Memory was conceived of as a templum spiritualis where a student listened to the music of the heart, the associational symphony of all matters in ones inventor ied and inventive memory (Carruthers Craft of Thought 86). This spatially and sensually oriented t echnique, functioning as both inventory and invention, was carried by Chri stian scholars and philosophers into the Middle Ages in an 105

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attempt to examine the artifacts of the pagan past, including art and rhetoric to see if a different, in their case Christian, answer might be born fr om a new combination of the pieces (Eco 9). Students were trained to identify connecting codes from within sp acial-temporal mental continua of their own designs and the architectural spaces they inhabited, in which everything carried the initial right of associat ion (44). This notion of immersi on into virtual spaces in students surroundings and in their own th inking minds enjoys several co rrespondences to the virtual environments we and our students circulate in today. As Michael Camille notes in The Gothic Idol and Ideology: Image -Making in Medieval Art Guy Debords society of the spectacle did not suddenly come about in the 20th Century; its roots lay in the multiplication of image investment, in altars, statues, paintings, and wi ndows that cluttered the medieval church, where the community displayed itself to itself (218) an d used these architectural displays, along with the idea that images could live, move, and brea th in ones memory, as building materials for creative meditations rendered as virtual spaces in their memo ry palaces. Camille continues, noting, environments and installations are not an invention of postmodernism, but were enjoyed throughout the Middl e Ages as the very highest form of play (247). These spaces of fertile ambiguity (Eco Chaosmos 65) and polydimensional reality (73) overcame divisions between sense and refe rence, and represented the true nature of discourse, a concept noted by Barthes to have derived from the Latin dis-cursis, the action of running here and there, comings and goings, measures taken, plots and plans (Ulmer Teletheory 167). The ars memoria taught students to memorize and produce discourse through a technique of impressing place s and images on memory (Yates xi). Like Dante in his otherworldly journey, students ex plored, and learned to navigate discourse as virtual terrain which simultaneously engaged their emotions, senses, and intellects. The basic model of memory with which medieval scholars and artists worked was that memory was a repository, a treasure-house. As [author getting it wrong] notes, things not present to the senses can be re trieved from where they are stored in the memory so that we can think about or with them. The Greek Simonides is credited 106

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with having developed a parlour trick which enabled him to recall a long list of unrelated things suggested to him, by mentally locati ng them in objects about the room. He then looked inwardly at the place where he had put each object and the object presented itself to his recollection. (43) Ulmer notes that what we see here is an activat ion of memory in an imaginary walk through the places with one image [or a cluste r of images related to one c oncept] at each site, spaced regularly along the way ( Teletheory 135). Students used their own autobiographies and/ or fantasies as the grounds or medium with which to think. The combination of familiar asso ciations (emotional investments) with familiar settings could serve to bind images and the ideas they evoked in place ( Teletheory 135). As I already noted in Chapter One regarding the usef ulness of memory palaces to new rhetorical methods, Ulmer emphasizes, The most extraordinary feature of mnemoni cs and the most relevant for academic discourse in the age of televi sion is that whatever a mediev al student was thinking about, learning law, virtues and vices, theology, the entire curriculum it was done by a walk through the childhood home, or along the st reets of a hometown, or a great public building, finding in each room or next to each location an imag e, either extreme aberration or intimately familiar. (136) The locus communis, the place of knowle dge, as it was understood in rhetorical training, held importance for Greek, Latin and mediev al rhetoricians because they needed to be able to marshal arguments in an orderly a nd purposeful way without the aid of notebooks, outlines, tables, lists and other accoutrements of thinking and learning by the book. Giw tells us, This was achieved by drawing from a stock of what were called topoi [Greek] or loci [Latin], learned partly in the schoolroom and added to with experience (Evans 130). Evans continues, From mnemonic places topics [topoi/lo ci] derive their name and the term locus and its fellows thus covered stories, illustrations examples, similitudes, analogies, and stock principles or arguments, understood as p laces where arguments start (131-132). As these techniques developed and students were responsible for ever more realms of information, these memory palaces became, in the words of Frances Yates, the custodian of all 107

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parts of rhetoric (5). Students had to exercise their rhetorical skills of invention, arrangement, style, delivery and, yes, memory, to the utmost in order to visually and aurally connect their imaginations, emotions, and experiences to thei r educations. As students memory palaces became stretched improbably in time and space (Evans 48) to the extent seen in Dantes sprawling Commedia they had to exercise an astonishi ng degree of visual, aural, and tactile precision in detailing their loci communi. The rules for building me mory palaces grew out of the artistic feeling for space, lighting, distan ce (Yates 117) we apprec iate now in photography, cinema, and hypermedia. Not only were practitioners of these mn emotechniques concerned, like architects and cinematographers with issues of size, shape, characterisitics, number, order, distance, lighting, angle, etc., but with sensations and emotions as well, making them immersive, synaesthetic environments of the sort we increasingly interface with every day. Rhetorical invention in this environment is not a process of the intellectua l soul, but primarily of the sensory-emotional one, dependent upon the images stored in memory and the effectiveness of the heuristic structures in which they have been laid down there (Carruthers Book of Memory 200). The genius of Dante Alighieris Commedia lies in his ability to re-hear, re-see, re-feel, and therefore, re-organize knowledge, particularly in Inferno, into a narrative that journeys through memory places which are not only eye-catc hing ... but also a fully realized sensory experience that includes recreated sound (screams and cries and batt le trumpets), taste (chiefly blood and crushed bone) and odor (vomit and blood but also crushed violets) and touch (chiefly pain) (Carruthers Craft of Thought 148). Margaret Wertheim calls the space of the Commedia thrillingly real. Slogg ing through the foetid di tches of the Malebolge or trekking up the crisp terraces of Purgatory, you feel as if you are really there. You can almost smell the stench of the muck in Hell, hear the choraling of the Angels in Heaven (51). Fu rthermore, Dante makes careful use of the madmans wild variation of mood and behavior (giw 162) as he makes his pilgrimage through the loci of the Commedia. Like the infelix and insanus madman, Dantes pilgrim avatar veers from sadness to merriment; now he is depressed; now he is elated; now he 108

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is drunk; now he is starving; now the accused; now the guilty; he jokes; he plays; he sighs; he longs (162). Emotion and sense are essential for maki ng firm impressions on the mind (Carruthers Book of Memory 10). Mind and body become text in the ars memoria. Carruthers examines the understanding of and its construction of the human body essen tially as a book. Training of memory required bodily affliction, since trauma (e ither as bodily or mental pain) was understood to ingrain the material to be remembered in the mind. Such affliction, figured as anxiety or vexation made the body quite literally the site for memory (Frese and OKeefe xii). Philosophers from Socrates to Nietzsche, and studies of neuropsychology and medieval memory agree memory images of whatever sort require emotional coloring to be laid down strongly for secure recovering and these memories do not exis t discreetly, but in circuits or networks (Frese and OKeefe 10). The rhetorical role of emotion and violen ce in the art and pedagogy of the Middle Ages revolved around the concept of the punctus a piercing, puncturing of th e body and the heart in order to, like the punctuation of a written text, point the produc tion or learning of text in a particular direction to create a remembering of an affectiv e, recreative sort (Frese and OKeefe 2). Punctus occurs when there is a match between a signifier in a scene, image, or text and a scene in ones memory (Ulmer Internet Invention 45). Trauma and joy were pragmatically used in medieval mnemontechniques to produce st able memories in textualized bodies (xiii). The anxiety of grief, fear, shame, love, hope and the ability to connect in tensely anxious personal emotions and bodily senses to learned material locates you in your readi ng place (21), and in the words of St. Anselm, allows a student med itating on the Bible to taste the goodness of your redeemer ... chew the honeycomb of his words, su ck their flavor which is sweeter than honey, swallow their wholesome sw eetness, chew by thinking, su ck by understanding, swallow by loving and rejoicing (Clanchy 217). Jody Enders has extensively st udied how pain was always pa rt of medieval aesthetics ( The Medieval Theater of Cruelty 27), particularly in legal matte rs, education, and mystery play 109

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productions. Memory ( memoria), a mental space in which violently discovered truths of invention were visualized and deceptively author ized through detailed visu alizations as virtual performances, was translated into action ( actio ), the means by which real bodies with real voices translated violent imagery of an invent ional memory into the speech and action of the courtroom, the classroom, and the stage (5). E nders describes the medie val theater of cruelty as a mental rhetorical theater, and a theater of rhetoric which exists as a theory of virtual performance. That virtuality is repeatedly translated into actual dramatic practice (11). Torture, physical or mental, self-inflicted or offi cially administered was extremely persuasive in its tautological manipulations of artifice, power, agency, and spectac le the precise qualities that underpinned the invention of good rh etoric and good theater (34). In this rhetorical exchange between memo ry and action, mnemontechnics answered acts of violence with acts of commemo ration, iteration and regeneration [in] ... a vast epistemological system ... by which any rhetor could generate an d store words, stylisti c devices, topoi, proofs, and performances before speaking and enacting them (64). The use of emotion and sensation restaged, commemorated, and perpetuated various violent lessons, whether these be the great agon of Christianity or the apparent comedy of the submission of servant to master and woman to man (67). As one of the principal means by which learned authors organi zed, categorized, and hierarchized their world and their thoughts, t he memory space was no mere frame .... It was an epistemological system that roused those e xposed to it to aesthetic ize both figuration and disfiguration (70-71). The ars memoria, particularly the way Dante deploys the medieval theater of cruelty in his Commedia, resolved the paradoxes of violence by reconfiguring violent, theatrical images of destruction and dismembermen t as creational, persuasive, salubrious, curative, civilizing, edifying, instru ctive and, ultimately, all the more beautiful, desirable, and even entertaining b ecause of those effects (67). 110

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Order: The Logic and Arrangement of the Memory Palace The primacy of emotion, sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch in the ars memoria corresponds to our current immersion into virtua l realities, but Yates notes that medieval students use of this technique was active and not simply passive reception (26). In addition to rendering topics in sensually, emotionally, a nd thus rhetorically charged mnemonic places, students organized memory palaces to form a series and remembered their topoi in orders that, if properly and firmly fixed in the memory palace, could be navigated quickly and easily. One had to be able to keep track exactly of each location in relation to the others in its own and related sets in order to function as the protag onist of one own memory play (Enders Rhetoric and the Origins of Medieval Drama 51). Memory places needed contiguity, that is, their physical details needed to exhibit a relation to closely re lated spaces, and direction like that accorded to numbers and letters. Without th ese schematics for linking different places, sites, of information, one could not find and place easily, nor could one move about or gather them together (Carruthers Book of Memory 132). Careful attention to the way the ornamentation of loci communi played a key marking function for finding ones way, ductus through a literary co mposition (Carruthers Craft of Thought 78). This meditational way provides a user with necessary cognitive dispositio ordering the whole and loc alizing it and its parts ( 82) and placing emphasis on the building process rather than the built object; thus on the interpreting mind rather than on interpretation or even the text, except as it intends or energize s the mind (110). In order to stress the importance of th e concept of an order, ductus to the medieval learning process and the implications it might have for thinking with and in the technology of hypermedia, Carruthers writes, If we adopt for a moment the central figure of the concept of rhetorical ductus that of flow and movement, as through an aqueduct we can think of the ornaments in a composition as causing varieties of movemen t: steady, slow, fast, turn, back up. They not only signal how something is to be taken (like a pa thway) whether straight on (literally) or obliquely (metaphor ically or ironically ) but can also give an indication of 111

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temporal movement, like time signatures in written musical composition. Compositional ductus moving in colors and modes varies bo th in direction and pace after it takes off from its particular beginning (the all impor tant where one starts) towards its target (skopos). If a thinking human mind can be said to require machines made out of memory by imagination, then the ornament and decoration, the clothing of the piece will indicate ways in which these mental instru ments are to be played. A stylistic figure, an image, signals not just a subject matte r (res) but a mood (modus, color), an attitude (intentio), and a reading tempo. Movement within and through a literary or visual piece is performed as it is in music. Choice is involved for the author in placing ornaments in a work, and choice for an audience in how to walk among them. And, as in all performances, variation from one occasion to another is a given. (116) In The Craft of Thought her follow up to The Book of Memory Mary Carruthers notes the mixed use of verbal and visual media, and of ten synaesthetic literature and architecture is a quality of medieval aesthetic practice was given major impe tus by the tools of monastic memory work (3) and taken to its ultimate artisti c and rhetorical extent by Dante. Carruthers asks modern readers to conceive of this sort of memory not only as rote, the ability to reproduce something (a text, formula, list, incide nt) but as a matrix of a reminiscing cogitation, shuffling and collating things stored in a rando m-access memory scheme or set of schemes a memory architecture and a library built up during ones lifetime with the express intention that it be used inventively (4). The medieval notion of memory was not rest ricted to modern concepts, but instead recognizes essential rules of emo tion, imagination, and cogitation wi thin the act of recollection and the construction of thought (Carruthers The Craft of Thought 2). In the memory palace, mental places are associativ ely related to some content t hrough analogy and transference and metaphor, as, for example, for joy the most sim ilar place is a cloister garth [pratum], and for feebleness, an infirmary [infirmaria] or hos pic [hospitale] and for justice, a courtroom [consistorium]. All knowledge depends on memory, and so it is retained in images, fictions gathered into several places and regrouped into new places as the thinking mind draws them together (14). Carruthers reminds us that memoria thus in cludes, in our terms, creative thought, but not thoughts created out of nothing. It built upo n remembered structures located in ones 112

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mind as patterns, edifices, grids, and most basica lly association fabric ated networks of bits in ones memory that must be gathered into an idea. Memory work is also a process, like a journey; it must therefore have a starting point. And this assump tion leads again to the need for place, because remembering is a task of findi ng and of getting from one place to another in your thinking mind (23). A good ordering scheme with topics in their places divided material to be remembered into pieces short enough to be recalled in single units and to key these into some sort of rigid, easily reconstructable order a random access memory RAMby means of which one can immediately and securely find a particular bit of information (Carruthers Book of Memory 7), as well as construct a ny number of addtional collations and concordances ( Craft of Thought 16). The proof of a good application of these medieval mnemonics lies not in simple retention even of large amounts of material; rather it is the ability to move about, instantly, directly, and securely that is admired (Carruthers Book of Memory 19). The power of this technique lies in the fact it provides immediat e access to stored material and also provides means to construct any number of cross-refere ncing associational links among the elements of such schemes ( Craft of Thought 16). In order to effect the ease of navigation and identification of contents in their places, students of thes e mnemonic techniques were continually called upon to practice the rhetorical operati ons of sorting, analysis, mixing, re ference, juxtaposition, etc., in short, genuine learning over simple repetition ( Book of Memory 19). The ars memoria was a key part of litteratura, the study of letters, in fact, as Carruthers notes, litteratura was what memory was for. The ability to take the lonely pathways of imagination and channel them along the powers of association in memory (3) enabled students to use their creative imaginations to produce intricate reasoning and original discovery (4). These rhetorical practices built around mnemonic meditations had great import for the development of secular narratives like those of Chretien de Troyes and Dante Alighieri. In the preface to Eugene Vances From Topic to Tale Vlad Godzich notes th at topoi (argumentative structures, part of dialectics) ca me to structure narrative spaces. Ruth Morse concurs, noting that 113

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fables were used as instrumen ts for learning latin and morals (42). In Godzichs opinion, Thus, instead of having a story move from event to event a notion not available to dialectic in any case a section of narrat ive would provide concrete and particular instantiation of a universal abstract process su ch as articulation of the particular to the whole, for example, the narrative would be organized around these particular concrete instantiations of the universal abtract pa tterns constituted by the topics, and, given the latters universality, it would necessarily have cognitive import and thus, ultimately, ethical value as well. (xiii) Vance defines the poetics of the 12th Cent ury and beyond as part of an important interdiscursive process which both liberated poetic narrative from obs olete epistemological constraints of epic (The Song of Roland ) and opened vernacular poe tic narrative up to the possibility of far more amb itious intellectual constructions embodied for example in the Roman de la Rose and The Divine Comedy (27). Chretien and Dante challenged audiences with narrative situations and with cons tructions of plot which carry what we may call hermeneutical imperatives finding (inveniendi) and evalua ting (iudicandi) arguments (41). Regarding Chretiens use of the lion image in his verse, Vance notes, given that metaphors are speech acts that always signify discursively, and not in isolation, Chretien has found in the lion a symbol whose polyvalence will mark his text as a shifter between multiple discourses (Biblical, classical, folkloric, scientific), all of which he entertains, yet controls, as he distributes them within the ec onomy of his own story, thereby asserting the pre-emin ence of his own poetic voice as a vernacular litteratus over the tangled legacy of discourse inherent in the matiere. (84) In an interdiscursive environment of creativ e thinking and learning li ke this, any object, space, or text that can serve as a point of convergence, inters ection, and refraction of a number of discourses, will have priveleged place in memoria since it can animate a sizable portion of the latter by enabling the activation of all the disc ourses that course thr ough its specific locus (Godzich xv). Utilizing these pr emises to construct an architec tonically and formally coherent narrative of his journey into language as a journey in to the afterlife, Dante joins clerical spheres of knowledge to terrains of practical political [and literary] power (xv). Carruthers believes this 114

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creative application and construction of memory a nd what it meant to practitioners like Dante is important for the humanities disciplines of the present day, currently mired in the belief that the highest creative powers of imagination and intu ition exist apart from memory and are claimed to be devoid of intellect such judgement come s in the post-romantic, post-freudian world where imagination is identified with a mental uncons cious of great, even dangerous creative power ( Book of Memory 1). Within the cinematic consciousness of Dant e (Chance 79), Curtius notes, the entire book imagery of the Middle Ages is brought togeth er, intensifies, broadened, and renewed by the boldest imagination of the Commedia (326). The Florentines work represents a crucial relay for the development of new rhetorical methods suited to the virtual re alities of cyberspace because as his art shows an unparalleled abil ity to not only bridge the corporeal and intellectual, his fictions build the elusive bridge between rhet oric and poetics so assiduously sought by postmodern critics and medium theorists. Dante brings rhetorical discour se and Christian pilgrimage together in the narrative of his emotional, spiritual, and intelle ctual journey. Theoretical and re ligious precepts interact with artistic practices and habits of composition (Eco Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages 41), and in the Commedia, the architectural, plastic, and semantic come together to teach and communicate (62). While moving from place to place, topi c to topic, as he descends into the Inferno climbs Purgatorio and flys through Paradiso Dante the poet performs discursis, the running here and there of rhetorical discourse. Drawing upon th e traditions of Boethius, Augustine, and Theodulf who who equate the pagan heros descent into the underworld with that of the reader who must, finally, emerge from darkness and turn to the light (Chance 151), the Florentines very first steps into the selva oscura, of Inferno Canto I place him firmly within the practice of rhetorical mnemonics. Builders of inventoried and inventive memory palaces needed a distinct and set order with a clear beginning li ke the dark, jumbled forest in Canto I of Inferno understood as an image of a disorderd mass of information (Carruthers Book of Memory 61). The wilderness was also 115

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conceived as a potential paradise, a place of te sting, bliss, and contempl ation (Dyas 17). From this starting point, the Commedia follows a consistent route thr ough a series of emotional and intellectual epiphanies which culminate, in Dant es case, with the lumin ous, harmonious, ordered spheres of Paradiso Along the route, Dante continually describes his passage with nautical images of navigation to emphasize his progression from barbarity and disorder to a state of integration and harmony. Education is rende red as a journey through an inner space. Drawing on the ancient tradition of the arts of memory, Dantes textual divisions point toward the inherently spatial conception he has of his textual field. Derrida notes, in Of Grammatology Time itself for Dante occupies a space of events mapped on a grid of mathematical and astrological re lations. Movement, textual as well as human, occurs within a fixed space where the relations of things is uni maginably deep and complex. One divides this space in order to mark a way into those complex relations (198). The route laid out by Dante in the Commedia, and his careful disposition of sym bols, condensation, displacement, puns, physical details, emotional affects, and bodily sensations, working by analogy with Biblical exegesis, forms a complex network of associatio ns by which every event in one part of the poem should figure forth and be fulfilled by another event in the poem (Nolan 175). Dante also combines the jour ney through his memory palace with the notion of Christian pilgrimage. The word pilgrimage itself evolved from the Latin peregrinus through (per), the land (ager) (Dyas 1). A Christ ian pilgrim of the Middle Ages was a foreigner in a state of peregrinatio a traveller with a particul ar religious goal (1). Ca rruthers notes the pilgrimage routes to the Holy Land became paths in physical actuality for making ones way through the Bible readings ( Craft of Thought 43) of the Old and New Testaments. The pilgrims route, or ductus, was a map, a way among the places of the Bible, and the processions were networks running among the memories associat ed with and evoked by the Bibles narrative (43). The trope of steps or stages was co mmonly applied to the affective, emotional route that a meditator was to take in the c ourse of a composition, like Dantes, which travels 116

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through loci communi associated with fear, to those rela ted to joy. These routes were emotional and rational, and al ways characterized as routes through the things in ones memory, and composition was understood in terms of making a way among places or seats, or climbing the steps of a ladder (60). Carruthers notes that Peter of Celle, writing in On Affliction and Reading clearly thinks of Genesi s in terms of a map; ... a series of journeys, a sight-seeing pilgimage. In each site he commands us to observe the stories and events as mental scenes. This is exactly the manner of the early pilgrims who made the actual journeys through the Holy Land; the sites mark the ductus of a reader making his way through the Biblical narratives (109). Dantes journey into the corpus the body, of his artistic, sprit itual, and intellectual knowledge incorporates the three main strands of the idea of pilgrimage as it was understood at the time. The Commedia is the interior pilgrimage of the contemplative life, of meditation and mysticism. It is also the moral pilgrimage, the active life of obedien ce to God, the commitment to avoid sin. And finally, it is the place pilgrimage, the journey to places in order to secure forgiveness, to seek healing and other bene fits, to learn and expr ess devotion (Dyas 6). Wertheim labels Dante the supreme carto grapher of Christian soul-space and his weaving together of personal experience, educ ation, theology, and cosmology creates a physical, spiritual, and intellectual space representing a voyage of (and into) a Christian soul (43). Dante moves beyond time, space, and language its elf by combining the three (63) into a vocabulary suited to the mnemonic space of the Commedia. Acting as poet and politician, artist and rhetorician, Dante projects himself into this virtual space with the phenomenal body of his pilgrim persona. Embodied in this way, he travels the length and breadth of the material universe as understood by the scien ce of his day; but, simultaneously he travels through the immaterial domain of the soul (45). Dantes logic and organization of this virtual space are quite cinema tic. The squalor of Hell, the grass and sky of Purgatory, and the light of Paradise enhance the pilgrims associations with the lessons evoked by encounters in these regions (59). Fu rthermore, motion and radiance 117

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increase in the enlightened space of Heaven, and decrease in the damned space of Hell. Sin is associated with the downward pull of gravity, while virtue is associated wi th sensations of light, speed, and levity (61). Dantes ro ute is also structurally consis tent, with the path throught the bolgia of Inferno progressing down and to th e left, the terraces of Purgatorio s mountain moving up to the right, and the spheres of Paradiso rendered as an arrow-like ascent straight toward the mind of God. Dante does not limit himself to the mastery of the plastic arts of space in the Commedia. He also utilizes Time as an organizing feature useful for keeping track of his progress. The downward spiral Dante-pilgrim takes with Virgil into Hell takes exactly twenty-four hours. While mounting the steps of Purgatory and rising through the spheres of Paradise, he carefully marks the movement of the Sun, Moon and constella tions in order to kee p his place in this multi-dimensional space which makes full use of the entire tradition of mnemotechnics. In the Commedia, Dantes genius weaves together the Christian epic of mans soul with the particular tale of his own uni que life and times. The combinat ion of the epic and particular creates a space for a p rofound work of social commentary at the center of which is Dante himself (50). In this new space of social commentary, the property of the old and th e property of the new jointly o ccupy the place of the former, and this is new space as of many dimensi ons co-inhering together reciprocally (so supremely with Dantes Commedia and Vergils Aeneid ). The new version, because the old is also there, is a co mparison that we can understand its very structure promotes understanding. And the assay of the old by the new (and of the new by the old, which is not, to repeat, voiceless) is free to all: each reader can judge what for him succeeds and what for him, fails, what the va lue of the difference is. (Shoaf 130) To Shoafs estimation, Economou adds, the poe t Dante, who uses the classical tradition in his poem, also appears in that poem, discusses that tradition with its chief practitioners in a conversation we are expected to imagine and part icipates in the enactme nt of a motif borrowed from that tradition in an episode that dramatizes the meaning of his poetic career in a way that is finally and surprisingly affirmative (181). Dante recreates himself in a fiction that unfolds in 118

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virtual space and gives his poetic self a voice th at rings throughout the ages in the person of a virtual Dante so compelling th at, like the online identities pe ople construct and encounter on Facebook, in Myspace and online game environments we know more about the virtual Dante, Dante-pilgrim, than we do about the real historical person, Da nte-poet (51). In Carruthers opinion, the medieval assumption that human learning is above all based in the memorative processes (rather than in communication or information that we now emphasize) has profound implications for the cont emporary understanding of all creative activity and the social role of literature and art ( Book of Memory 1), a key for re-establishing the relevance of the humanities at all levels of education. The ars memoria helped students mentally construct a concordance to learned ma terial (82) and was in tegral to developing students prudence, which makes good moral ju dgement possible, and in a trained memory, one built character, judgement, citizenship and piet y (8). For these reasons, the manipulation of virtual spaces in the rhetoric al mnemonics of the medieval ars memoria should be revitalized as a key feature of re-imagined rhetorical methods su ited to the virtual spaces of digital media and computer technology that will dominate the curriculum in years to come. 119

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CHAPTER 4 INTERACTIVITY AND MODULARITY Phenomena: Interactivity and Modularity in Electracy The previous chapters of this dissertation have dealt with objects of digital culture, namely the image and virtual space, and discusse d the need for the humanities disciplines to integrate these objects and their current uses in entertainment and information into a 21st Century curriculum increasingly dominated by com puters instead of books. This chapter will deal with habits of interac tivity and modularity that have emerged along with these new technologies. The first portion of the chapter will engage habits of electronic interactivity and modularity as they are understood by post-modern scholars, deconstructiv e critics and medium theorists all of whom have argued compelli ngly for the apprehension of these electronic methods of conceptualization a nd their inclusion in humanities scholarship and curricula. The second half of this chapter will shift the focu s to medieval sources and scholarship which has explored the well-developed capacity that medi eval art and scholarship in its own context displayed for useful applications of interactiv ity and modularity appl ications which provide important relays for the integration of digital technologies into the mode rn university classroom. Jerome McGanns Radiant Textuality has proven to be an invaluable resource in my investigations because he takes up the issue of comprehending digital textuality and what its difference from the world of the printed word means for the humanities classroom of the 21st Century. McGann is particularly adept in this work at bringing the tr aditional concerns of humanities education and scholarship to bear on hi s argument concerning the disciplines need to understand and make use of dig ital technology. He argues that all textualizations but preeminently imaginative textualities are organi zed through concurrent st ructures texts have bibliographical and linguistic structures and those are riven by other conc urrencies: rhetorical structures, grammatical, metrical, sonic, referential the more complex the structure, the more concurrencies are set in play (90). 120

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The concurrencies addressed in McGanns statement have been the domain of the humanities for centuries. Mountains of scholarship have been generated to study the ways these concurrencies interact to produce the particular te xtual aesthetics and iden tities of a certain time and place which, McGann argues, recreate they stage or simulate a world of primary human intercourse and conversation. As with their reciprocating critical reflections, they manipulate their perceptual fields to generate certain dominant rh etorics or surface patterns that will organize and complicate our understandings (173). Internet related and digital te chnologies represent the most dr amatic shift in textual form and transmission of information since the advent of moving pictures. Because the task of humanities scholarship and pedagogy has been to use rhetoric as a vehicle for exploring the ways the subject is produced by the above-mentioned c oncurrencies, it is absolutely crucial for the discipline to harness the aesthetic, technological, institutional and subjective shifts taking place around us for use in our criticism and pedagogy. Digitizing information and making it availabl e on the internet has made all bodies of information translatable into one another, capabl e of instant recall and tr ansmission to any point within the network (Deibert 188). In particul ar, the transformation of textual aesthetics has heightened the importance of interactive procedures involved with getting access to and utilizing digitized information. The more passive relation between user and information found within the culture of print relied on stat ic stacks of books packed onto li brary shelves and representing closed texts which could only be effectively ju xtaposed with the information found in other volumes through the long process of reading and note-taking in other words, the process that has made this dissertation, and the cu rriculum it emerges from, possible. This type of reading and re search is being replaced by a process of information gathering heavily reliant on a users own intuition and inte lligence, not only as a site of coalescence and reflection, but also a point of departure which leads a user to a state of immersion in and interaction with open types of information that can be quite overwhelming for many persons who encounter the mass of resources one must navi gate in an electronic environment. Gregory 121

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Ulmer comments that users must develop a met hod for dealing with this fundamental shift in our textual ontology, away from the text itself and the hermeneuti c tradition, toward a conception of the textual system as an illimitabl e matrix, crossing through all cultural, political, social dimensions (303). This sort of reconceptualizing is crucial for the humanities disciplines because the changes in the ways that information is now st ored and accessed in digital environments have been sweeping. The interplay among different media is vastly more complex. Modern information and communication media like the internet feature a nonlinear cognitive orientation favoring jumps in in tuition over a st ep-by-step logical chain (Deibert 189), along with a blurring of the lines between public and private domai ns, personal and professional discourses, representation and narrative. In Avatars of the Word James ODonnell covers several of the transformations being wrought upon textuality in the digital age which the humanities disciplines must assess and incorp orate into the pedagogy and research being conducted within this field. Online chat room s, email listserves, interactive educational programs like Blackboard, DVD special features, and the entire body of networked conversations that already surround us suggest that in the dialogue of conflicting voices, a fuller representation of the world may be found (41). As the fixity of closed, printed texts fade s and gives way to electronic, open bodies of information, juxtaposition and comparison of text s will be easier and more natural as primary and secondary materials will inte ract more powerfully than before as both are online side by side and, as hyperlinks continue to be the dominant lines of travel from one item to another (62), controverted passages will be linked to multip le articles and treatments directly and then also to intermediate links that would seek to organize and arrange the body of secondary literature (134). Electronic publ ication has become, for OD onnell, a form of continuing seminar, and the performance is interactive, dialogic and self-c orrecting (136), while the singleauthor tradition is becoming what it already is in prin ciple: a component of a larger whole. 122

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Online publications of monographs will facilitate a multip lication of approaches and comparative interaction (133). Ulmer notes in Teletheory that this multiplication of appr oaches for textual and subject formation and increased interactivity emerge fr om the fact that new media have erased the tripartite division between the fiel d of reality (world), field of representation (book) and field of subjectivity (author) (23). The ro le of users of new media, repres enting the field of reality in this textual triumvirate, is especially important in light of the now co mmon, synchronous use of informational and aesthetic resources all around us in our everyday experieces. Online, interactive novels, databases, DVDs and gaming environments all possess an element of searching and discovery that mix the roles of character/audience, object/subject. As discussed in my chapter on virtual space, one doe s not read about an adventure, one has an adventure; additionally, one does not simply acce ss information as from a book reference. A user is immersed within and navigates informatin ally rich, digital spaces whether he or she is searching for holiday gifts on or sear ching for enemies to annihilate in games like Quake or Ultima. These immensely popular and ever-evol ving game systems and Multi-User Domains (MUDs) have taken the interactive, role -playing aspect of fant asy and science-fiction board games into virtual realms which sust ain many levels of narrative only through the interaction of subjects with, as well as within, these environments. The habits of interactivity dominate every le vel of electronic discour se. In databases and search engines, the users own intuition and in telligence are the vehicles for information access as these technologies are reliant on keyword sear ches which allow users to devise their own topics of interest. Users also exhibit a great deal of interactiv e agency in the hypertexts they encounter in these searches. Jerome McGann notes that in a hypertext, each document (or part) can therefore be connected to every other docum ent (or document part) in any way one chooses to define a connection ( Radiant Textuality 72-73). O.B. Hardison points out that this principle of the uniqueness inherent to ea ch users interaction with a te xt holds true in interactive computer fiction, wherein each reading of a work generates a different plot. Some plots 123

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resemble other plots; on the other hand, some plots produce new and unexpected adventures ( Disappearing Through the Skylight 217). In reality, even since the a dvent of the still pho tograph and the marketing of hand-held cameras, through the introduction of personal computers and on into technologies like web-pages and online environments, users, whether stagi ng a family vacation photo, writing programs in BASIC, constructing web-pages or a new playing level for Quake or creating a computer virus, have been encouraged to interact with the new me dia and to build things with these tools rather than simply to reflect abstractly on the new technologies (McGann 5). The pervasive element of interactivity present at all levels of electronic culture that encourages users not so much to find as to make order and then to make it agai n and again as established orderings expose their limits (McGann 72), forces me to include in this chapters discussion of the changing habits of the electronic environment, a discussion of the quality of new media that makes the heightened presence of inte raction in digital texts possi ble namely, modularity. Like interactivity, modularity pervades ev ery level of electronic discourse. O.B. Hardison points out that computer-generated novel s are seldom the work of a single author. He compares them to folk ballads, and like ballads, after they have been in circulation for a few years, they may have several layers of input from many tinkerers many variants ( Disappearing Through the Skylight 260). Similarly, public domain computer programs go through a similar process of modification, augmen tation, revision, explicati on, annotation (260). Furthermore, many PC games are released before several bugs are worked out of the system by developers and it becomes the responsibility of a products users to download and install patches or expansion kits that improve and enhance their gaming experience. The Star Wars saga of George Lucas, which has cons istently pioneered the use of cutting edge technology in its inventive transformations of cinema, repres ents the most visible example of modularity that has emerged in the film indus try. With advances in digital technology, Lucas and his associates have undertaken ambitious pr ojects which seamlessly combine digital and real elements. Furthermore, in a spirit of re-ima gining that Chaucer would be proud of, Lucas has 124

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gone back to the earlier Star Wars films like The Empire Strikes Back and included digital imagery that enhances the vision of his space opera in the first three releases from the 1970's and 1980's and makes these earlier films visually more c onsistent with the special effects seen in the Star Wars films he has released since 1999. The open, evolving, modular nature of dig ital texts is the most important feature contributing to the heightened level of interacti on between texts and their audiences in electronic environments. McGann notes that electronic texts have a special virtue that paper-based texts do not have: they can be re-d esigned for complex interactiv e transformations (81). He describes the internet itself as an information netw ork that can be destroyed or cut at any point, or number of points, and still remain intact as a strucutured information network (72). McGann lists two matters concerning hypertext crucial to the humanities re-imagining of textuality and teaching in new media. In the first place, the specific, material design of a hypertext is theoretical ly open to alterations of its contents and its organizational elements at all points and at any time hypertext need never be complete because it will incorporate and then go beyond its initial desi gn and management, evolve and change over time, gather new bodies of material, and organizatio nal substructures will get modifi ed, perhaps quite drastically. Secondly, hypertext does not focus attention on one particular set or sets of texts, and shows a marked capacity for dispersing a users attent ion broadly, decentraliz ing design, and possessing an indefinite number of centers, expanding th eir number and altering th eir relationships (7172). Prescience: Post-Modern Applicat ions in New Media Criticism The technological and cultural realities of the electronic information environments we now inhabit are pushing the humanities discipline s toward a re-conceptualizing of textuality, scholarship and learning as intera ctive, modular processes of the so rt that have been anticipated and argued for by the most important post-modern criticism of the past few decades. The explosion into our culture of new media which range from television to the internet to I-pods, has 125

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made it necessary for scholars to examine not only the social impact of these new technologies, but the new subjectivities that coincide with th eir growing presence and importance in our daily lives. This development in humanities scholarship has given new energy to the use of ideas like Deleuze and Guattaris rhizome and the semiotic games that Derrida plays in his explorations of the literate apparatus in works like Of Grammatology and Dissemination Post-modern and deconstructive theories have constantly sought ways of imagining new uses of language and communication that reach far beyond the limitations of the printed word. These concepts, which favor the use of artistic creativity and intuition in critical endeavors, have proven useful to examinations of electronic subjectivity because, as Gregory Ulmer notes in Heuretics the multichanneled interactivity of hypermedia pr ovides for the first time a machine whose operations match the variable sens orial encoding that is the basi s for intuition, a technology in which cross-modality may be simulated and manipul ated for the writing of an insight, including the interaction of verbal and non-verbal mate rials and the guidance of analysis by intuition, which constitute creative or inventive thinking (140). In his preface to Derridas Of Grammatology Gyatari Spivak stresses the unique, interactive play of differance in each readers en counter with a book, whereby two readings of the same book show an identity that can onl y be defined as difference. The book is not repeatable in its identity: each reading of the book produces a simu lacrum of an original that is itself the mark of the shifting and unstable su bject that Proust describes using and being used by a language that is also shifting an d unstable (xii). Derridas task in Of Grammatology is to foster a change in the habits of mind governing the relationships between subjects, language and textuality. As Spivak notes, Derr idas deconstructive stra tegy encourages subjects of a particular textual system to use many registers of language such as commentary, interpretation, fiction, and typographical play (xxix) in order to effect a self-conscious meditation on writing (73) which exposes the interactive, modular re lations of textuality and subjectvity. 126

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One of the more compelling concepts to emerge from post-modern ruminations on textuality and subjectivity, and one I have found to be consistently analogous to the features and habits of new media, is Deleuze and Guattaris image of the rhizome, which describes an idea, text, or subject as an assemblage having no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, inte rbeing, intermezzo ( A Thousand Plateaus 25), and has been compared by the authors to a patchwork quilt an amorphous collection of juxtaposed pieces that can be joined an infinite number of ways (479). Technologies like the world wide web have ma nifested several characteristics presented almost presciently in Deleuze and Guattaris de velopment of the rhizome. According to the authors, a rhizome displays pr inciples of connection and heterogeneity, which means any point of a rhizome can be connected to anything other, and must be. Th is is very different from the tree or root, which plots a point, fixes an order (7). Furtherm ore, these connections are dynamic and unlimited, for not every trait in a rhizome is necessarily linked to a linguistic feature: semiotic chains of every nature are connected to very diverese mode s of coding (biological, political, economic, etc) that bring into play not only different regimes of signs but also states of things of differing status givi ng the rhizome the capacity to c easelessly establish connections between semiotic chains, organizations of power a nd circumstances relative to the arts, sciences and social struggles (7). Certainly, the intern et could easily be labe lled rhizomatic because of its dymanic, unlimited interconnectivity. A second rhizomatic principle which has emer ged in new media is that of multiplicity, wherein an assemblage is precisely this incr ease in the dimensions of a multiplicity that necessarily changes in nature as it expands its connections (8). For Deleuze and Guattari and Derrida as well in the games he plays with sign ification and subjectivity the ideal for a text which displays the principle of multiplicity would be to lay everything out on a plane of exteriority of this kind, on a single page, the same sheet: lived events, historical determinations, concepts, individuals, groups social formations ( A Thousand Plateaus 9). A good example of this rhizomatic principle in action is the ubiquito us keyword search we all make use of when 127

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exploring the world wide web. In itiating a search by ones browser with a keyword like poetry will result in a set of links to pages that cover every permutation and representation of poetry available on the web. A third rhizomatic principle we again encount er in new media like the internet, with its ever-shifting network of public and private web pages, is the cartogr aphic principle which makes the rhizome a map, which is open and connectable in all of its dimensions; it is detachable, reversible, susceptible to constant modification. It can be torn, reversed, adapted to any kind of mounting, reworkd by an individual, group or social formation and possesses multiple entryways (12). Like a keyword sear ch, or construction of a website or series of linked sites, or the navigation of a gaming envi ronment all processes which favor ones own instincts and interests rhizomatic mapping emer ges as an intensive trait starts working for itself, a hallucinatory perception, synaesthesia, perverse mutation, or play of images shakes loose, challenging the hegemony of the signifier w ith the result that gestural, mimetic, ludic and other semiotic systems regain their freedom a nd extricate themselves from the tracing, that is, from the dominant competence of the teachers language (15). Derrida also exhibits a fascination with rh izomatic modularity of this sort throughout his work. In The Signature Experiment Finds A ndy Hardy, Robert Ray points out that a book like Signsponge is extremely rhizomatic in character b ecause it always has multiple entrances, can be cracked and broken at any point, but starts off again following one or another of its lines, or even other lines (284). Ray also notes that in Derridas, My Chances, an implacable program takes shape through the contextual necess ity that required cuttin g solids into certain sequences (sterotomy), intersecting and adjust ing subsets, mingling voices and proper names, and accelerating a rhythm that merely gives the feeling of randomness in those who do not know the prescription (283). Scholars searching for a way to characterize the shape and influence of new media have taken up concepts like Derridas differance and pharmakon as well as Deleuze and Guattaris rhizome as frames for their arguments. New media are consistently described as de-centered 128

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technologies that produce de-centered subjects what Deibert calls historically constituted identities that are continuously being reconstructed (181), a nd the terms and methods of postmodernism have been usefully transposed into di scussions of these new te xtualities, technologies and subjectivities. As Scott Bakutman notes, the works of post-modernism either emphasize that sense of dislocation or produce some form of cognitive mapping so that the subject can comprehend the new terms of existence (6). Bakutman considers these to be important c oncepts to build on in new media scholarship because digital technology so clearly reveal s reality as construc tion a provisional and malleable alignment of data (30). In an effort to bring post-modern sc holarship and avant-garde art to bear on his studies of digital technologies, Bakutman adopts the notion of terminal identity: the unmistakably double articulation in which we find bot h the end of the subject and a new subjectivity constructed at the comput er station or television screen (9). The humanities are not only applying post-modern concepts to the analysis of electronic information environments. Humanities scholars and educators are also using these concepts while attempting to integrate new cultural habits of interactivity a nd the phenomenon of modularity into the humanities classroom in orde r to facilitate the critical and editorial reconstitution of our inherite d cultural archive in digi tal forms (McGann 184). Many of the information environments our ne w students encounter daily feature elements of synaesthesia, kinesis and inter active narrative (Bakutman 197) th at allow them to control their consumption of information and products and blur the distincti on between producer and consumer, composer and listener, au thor and reader. As noted earlie r in this chapter, students are now growing up in a new cultural economy in which producers define the basic structure of an object and release a few examples and users build their own versio ns (Manovitch 245). The students who now enter our co urses circulate within an el ectronic apparatus of subject formation which has changed the status of th e audience of new media from spectator to participant, passive receivers to message senders (Bakutman 65). 129

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Students are also surrounded by entertainment and art, ranging from television shows and hip-hop recordings, to cyber punk novels and online game environments, whose images and prose build upon the detritus of other arts, othe r fields (171), and emphasize expression in metaphors, paradoxes, contradictions and abstracti ons rather than languages that mean in the traditional way in assertions that are apparently incoherent or collages using fragments of the old to create enigmatic symbols of the new (Hardison Disappearing Through the Skylight 5). These qualities of new media make it difficult to draw a neat line between the serious and the playful (Bakutman 196) because the dispruption of physical space in these technologies privileges interchangeable, mobile signs over original objects and relations (Manovitch 7). Many critics and pedagogues are excited abou t the potential of new media to show us how to use our communicative skills self-consciousl y in an environment in which we do not seek to possess truth but to create it collectively (ODonnell 149). ODonnell argues that the heuristic quality of life in cyberspace and the ea se with which multiple paths can be created will let us create such opportunities with ease and indulge in the highspirited play of manipulating the tokens of the past in as many different ways as we can imagine (137). If these qualities of interactivity and modularity already present within new media are successf ully integrated into the humanities classroom of the future, it w ill represent an opportunity for the humanities disciplines to return to the goals of the discipline as expressed in the ancient curriculum, which used the humanities as a foundation for the devel opment of sound character, broad knowledge of human affairs, and a well-develope d ability to communicate (Hardison Entering the Maze 123). The task for the humanities disciplines in th is regard is to find ways of utilizing new media to facilitate students explorations of pr actical concepts useful to their everyday lives, ethical concepts which can make them more ideo logically self-conscious, and aesthetic concepts which allow for progressive discovery through experience (122) cornerstones of the humanities disciplines since their inception and now all the mo re important for students immersed in a shift from print-based to electroni c texts and discourses. 130

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Unfortunately, the method for meeting thes e goals in the new humanities classroom remains a work in progress. As McGann notes, digital technology used by humanities scholars has focused almost exclusively on methods of sorting, accessing, and disseminating large bodies of materials, and on certain specialized problems in comput ational styles and linguistics and the work rarely engages questions about inte rpretation and self-aware reflection that are the central concerns for most humanities scholars and educators (xii). Indeed, as scholarship, learni ng and entertainment become ever more integrated within new media that provide a more flex ible medium of expressive forms that work in or with visual and auditorial materials (McGann 18), the hum anities must reshape the teaching and learning process that takes place inside a more interactive and modular information environment. Just as 16th century humanists re-defined the rhetorical method in light of printing press technology in a way that led to the static, linear textual forms whic h dominate education at all levels in all fields, the undeniable and powerful emergence of new me dia as the new technological paradigm for not only education, but the world at la rge, places this generation of t eachers and students in a similar position. The humanities disciplines of the presen t day must produce a rhetorical method useful and suited for the synaesthetic, modular, inte ractive technologies within which we and our students live and learn. As our information environment becomes ever more synaesthetic, modular and interactive thanks to technologies like the cinema, the internet a nd virtual reality, humanists have before them the opportunity to de velop a rhetoric a technique for intellectually and emotionally engaging not only the world at large, but our own subjectivities within it as well that encourages students to take part in the community of dialogue and the game with time that up till now have been represented by poetic and artistic works (Debord 52). Poetry represents an important resource in the making of an electronic rhetoric because those with intimate appreciation of literary works must become actively involved in designing a new set of tools (McGann 186) for studying, representing and commenting on them with new media. Furthermore, poetry has remained a bast ion of interactive and m odular creativity in the 131

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domain of the printed word, able to overcome the fact, observed by Derrida, that writing ... cannot flex itself in all senses, cannot bend with all the differences among presents, with all the variable, fluid, furtive ne cessities of psychology ( Dissemination 114). The pleasure, insight and creativity of poetry stems from wh at McGann calls its rationality, which consists in its exploitation of the polysemous dimensions of language, whose structures are no more (and no less) diffi cult or even mysterious than processes of logical deduction and induction (127). Poetrys exploitation of the polysemous dimensions of language leads to the crea tion of texts whose organization is more mobile with a shifting set of poles and hinge points carrying a variety of objects, many of an opposite and discordant character, as Coleridge might say (183). McGann notes that even though some textual information in poems in indexable, nearly ev erything most salient about them is polyvalent (186), and these works of imagination contai n within themselves ... multiple versions of themselves, are perceiver-oriented, and encourag e an audience not to search for an inherent truth, but rather examine the poem for satisfyi ng, interesting forms and patterns (218). One of the main reasons that Derridas d econstructive approach has been taken up by new media theorists attempting to analyze the polysemous, polyvalent dimensions of digital culture, is the persistent presence of poetic wordplay, and a healt hy dose of play as in fun, within the game-like investigations of the writin g comprising his own texts. Derrida repeatedly capitalizes on the fluid, multi-registered na ture of written language with terms like pharmakon, through which he explores the regular, ordere d polysemy that has, through skewering, indetermination or overdetermination but without mistranslation, permitted the rendering of the same word by remedy, recipe, p oison, drug, philter, etc ( Dissemination 70). It is Derridas aim in Dissemination to embrace all the possible forms of pharmakon, which he calls an antisubstance: that which resi sts any philosopheme, indefinitely exceeding its bounds as nonidentity, nonessence, nonsubstance (70), and demonstrate to what extent the malleable unity of this concept, or rather its rules and the strange logic that links it with its signifier, has been dispersed, masked, obliterat ed, and rendered almost unreadable not only by 132

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the imprudence or empiricism of the translator s, but first and foremost by the redoubtable, irreducible difficulty of tr anslation (71-72). Ulmer also cites Derridas efforts in The Ot her Heading, to use an image, in this case the sense that on a map Europe appears to him as a head protruding from Asia, to open a connection between the particular an d the general facilitated by his playing with the term cap. In the essay, Derrida navigates al l senses of cap and its related terms (capital, capitale, captain, etc) to find some relation among these meanings and apply it to Europe ( Heuretics 81). Ulmer notes the premise behind this mobilizing the whole set of vanguards is that a new gesture or unforseen heading (in every sense of the term geographic and symbolic) is most likely to emerge when categorically distinct elem ents are brought into contact (88). Later in this chapter, I will detail features of medieval translation and exegesis crucial to any understanding of art and scholarship from th e period. Medieval theo ries of translation, poetry and exegesis, with their heavy apporpria tions of classcical and monastic mnemonic premises and techniques, demonstrate ways that artists, scholars, and students embraced the redoubtable, irreducible difficulty of translatio n, and used the gap between texts caused by dialectical, linguistic and cultural shifts as a site for infinite creativity wherein one text finds death and rebirth in the hands of a ne w reader/translator. Becaus e medieval poets and scholars were so successful at turning the dispersing, ob literating and masking me chanics of language to such inventive uses in a variety of interac tive and modular contexts for learning and selfexpression, the fruits of their efforts represen t an important relay between the theories of deconstructive, post-modern and medium-oriente d criticism and the attempts to apply these theories to the development of a rhetori cal method and accompanying pedagogy suited to the increasingly electronic humanities curriculum of this and future eras. Derridas goal through the entire corpus of hi s work is to produce a writing able to reveal its status as a complex intersecti on of representation and subjectivi tyt. Wigley uses the analogy of a house under (de)construction to describe Derridas deconstructive project as 133

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an affirmative appropriation of structures that identifies structural flaws, cracks in the construction that have been systematically disguised, not in order to collapse those structures but, on the contrary, to demonstrat e the extent to which the structures depen on both these flaws and the way they are disguise d.... Derridas texts re peatedly locate the abysses on which the structures they interrogate depend in orde r to call into question the dominant tradition of thinking that is orga nized by a certain image of building. (The Domestication of the House Brunette and Wills, eds. 207) Derrida imagines this writing as a development so little mo deled upon a law of conceptual immanence, so hard to anticipate, that it must bear the visible marks of its revisions, alterations, extensions, reductions, partial antici pations, play of footnotes, etc ( Dissemination 34). His efforts to create a writing that is also a r eading of writing itself led to the formation of deconstruction a theory informed by artistic practice. It is also important to note that the bene fits of grammatological investigations are not limited to the writers of deconstructive texts. Qu ite to the contrary, Derr ida hopes to provide his readers with a craft for self-consciously expl oring the interactive matrix of technology, institutional practices and ideolo gical subject formation (Ulmer, Heuretics 17) within which they circulate. Spivak notes in the preface to Of Grammatology that Derrida asks us to change habits of mind: the authority of th e text is provisional, the origin is a trace; contradicting logic, we must learn to use and erase out lan guage at the same time (xviii). Spivak herself hopes for a reader who woul d fasten upon my mistranslations and with that leverage deconstruct Derrida s text beyond what Derrida as controlling subject has directed in it (lxxvii). Derridas readers are encouraged to apply the deconstruc tive paradigm to their own acts of reading and writing to use many registers of langua ge, to utilize the conceptual operation of reversal/displacement already present in poetry, visual art and film so that they might become more aware of the way a person wr iting is inscribed in a certain textual system (160). As I noted earlier in this chapter, severa l scholars have already recognized the potential for the interactive, modular nature of new medi a to stimulate the development of new modes of critical awareness, and have used the terms of av ant garde critics in an effort to illuminate and 134

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exploit this potential. Gregory Ulmer stresses in Heuretics that hypermedia has replaced print as the technological aspect of an el ectronic, as opposed to literate, apparatus (17). Furthermore, Lev Manovitch notes that avant garde aesthetics ar e embedded in the interactive commands and interface metaphors of computer technology, such as cut/paste commands, the interplay of animation, live acti on and printed text, and all-inclus ive keyword searches instigated by individual users (The Language of New Media 12). Scholars are now examining the ways that th e already-present, avant garde aesthetics of the computer interface can move subjects into ne w methods of interacting with new forms and practices of information. In particular, many critics are applying Derri das vision of a more interactive, investigative reading and writing pr ocess that handles texts in a fluid, modular fashion. Ulmer argues that Derridas methods, however arcane their appearance, are in fact artificial intelligence machines as accessible as the computer games they sometimes mimic (Ray The Signature Experiment Finds Andy Hardy Brunette and Wills, eds. 284). In his preface to From Topic to Tale Eugene Vance points out that computer science offers editors the opportunity to place textual data on disks in such a way as to allow the critic [and, I would argue, the student as well] to interrogate and construe these data in multiple ways, according to the specific information that he or she seeks (xxvii). McGann argues that this lack of discrimination in computerized readi ng, a quality that the humanities have already encountered in the work of Derrida, Deleuze, Ulmer, et al, is exactly what we want to exploit because it offers scholars and students the chance to see what textual possibilities have been forbidden or made nugatory by the original act of textual encoding that is, by the decisive and particular text that stands before us. The random access procedures of digital technology can bring those possibilities to view (191). McGann presses this argument, stating it is important for the humanities to understand and apply the new interactive, modular habits of new media because critical reflection emerges in the mirroring event that develops at simulacr al interfaces, of which the book is the one we are most used to using. With the coming of dig ital instruments we encounter (and create) a new 135

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genre, so to speak, within our sciences of th e artificial a new kind of interface between the human and the machinic (214). In McGanns opinion, the computational simulating and interactive capacities of these new machines shou ld be taken up as mirrors of the same kind as our traditional texts and other semiotic manifolds (217). If the project McGann envisions is to be successfully carried out by humanities scholars and pedagogues, the interactive, modular nature of new media and the interactive, modular habits it generates in its users must be integrated into any new methods of information production, reception and analysis taught by the humanities. I have found with great measures of surprise and fascination the extent to which many of the avant garde aesthetics of critics like Derrida, as well as the features and hab its of new media, exhibit a complex and useful set of correspondences with the rhetoric al practices found in the art and scholarship of classical antiquity and the middle ages that I feel can contribute to this proj ect on the part of the humanities. Correspondence: The Powers of Memory In Dissemination Derrida openly acknowledges his philo sophical kinship with ancient Greek rhetorical precepts. For philosophers like Isocrates and Alcidamas, logos was also a living thing (zoon) whose vigor, rich ness, agility, and flexibility were limited and constrained by the cadaverous rigidity of the written sign. The type does not adap t to the changing givens of the present situation, to what is uni que and irreplaceable about it eac h time, with all the subtlety required (113). Derrida also no tes that through Plato, we learn th at Socrates urged students not to seek general truths, but ra ther to seek among yourselves by mutual questioning and selfexamination, to seek to know oneself through the detour of the language of the other ( Dissemination 121). Plato himself also writes that no intelligent man will ever be so bold as to put into language those things wh ich his reason has contemplated, es pecially not into a form that is unalterable which must be the case with what is expressed in written symbols (136). These misgivings, expressed repeatedly in Platos works, con cerning the ability of writing to keep pace with the mutable, pol yphonous nature of spoken language and to 136

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conceptualize, through written signs, the world at large persisted into Late Antiquity. However, instead of worrying about the polysemous dimens ions of language, St. Augustine, whose work would exert such an important influence on the ar t of poets like Dante, acknowledged letters to be poor representations of Gods truth, and em braced the principle of polyvalence found in the relations of things to signs. In De Doctrina Christiana in a passage which echoes Derridas sentiments in Of Grammatology Augustine writes, But since things are similar to other things in a great many ways, we must not think it to be prescribed that what a thing signifies by similitude in one place must always be signified by that thing.... In the same way other things si gnify not one thing but more, and not only two diverse things, but sometimes many different things in accordance with the meaning of passages in which they are found. (qtd in Copeland 157) Copeland notes that this awareness of th e ambiguous relationship between signs and things gives the reader the power of invention, and creates the id eal sort of interactive reader envisioned by Spivak, as mentioned above, in his preface to Of Grammatology Augustines program gives reading and inte rpretation the traditional prov ince of the grammarian a new status, as textual power shifts fr om authorial intention to affective stylistics, to what a reader can do with the text. In practi ce it transfers responsibility for making meaning from the writer to the reader (Copeland 158). The art and scholarship of the Middle Ages represent an importan t mid-point between the concerns of Greek philosophers over the rigid way in which the written sign expresses thought and post-modern imaginings of a new meta -discursive, meditative form of writing that liberates the sign from its cadaverous state. The Middle Ages and their appropriations and adaptations of classical rhetoric have come to se rve as the relay for my own efforts at developing a rhetorical method suited to the technologies and habits of the new electronic information environment our culture is immersed in becau se, throughout the period, rhetorical precepts interact with artistic practices and habits of composition (Eco, Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages 41). 137

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In Chaosmos Eco demonstrates how James Joyce, in his radical works, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake much like Derrida, merges art and th eory to produce dense, polyphonous texts which demonstrate not lack of structure, but superficial structure with a strong, underlying structure in a cunningly organized network of mutual relationships (67). In Joyces case, the mental habits of medieval mnemonics are the keys to navigating his work. Adapting this system from medieval rhetoric provided Joyce with a mechanism which permits epiphanies, where a thing becomes a living symbol of something else and creates a continuous web of references. Any character or event in Joyces works becomes a cypher which refers to another part of the book (9) and the power of thes e texts lies in their permane nt ambiguity and continuous resounding of numerous meanings which seem to permit selection but in fact, eliminate nothing (67). In Ulysses, the web of relations appears as a grid of allusions, and as a system of puns in Finnegans Wake Both these techiques of polyphonous interplay of relations between microcosmic character/event and macrocosmi c world/history find parallels in Dantes Commedia and Derridas criticism. Joyce, with a med ieval disposition like Dantes, examines the immense repertory of the universe reduced to language in order to catch glimpses of new and infinite possibilities of comb ination found in contemporary art and various techniques of assemblage, collage, pop clippings, and pastings from products of previous cultures (10). Both men are driven by the profound conviction that man, the image of the greater world, can grasp, hold, and understand the greater wo rld through the power of his imagination (Yates 230). Like the Commedia and Derridas deconstructive projects, fo r Eco, Joyces work is an undertaking to transform culture by a process of complete digestion, critical de struction, and radical reconstruction ... in/with/on language (34). In Travels in Hyperreality Eco constructs a historical analogy which compares our present, digital age, with the culture of the Mi ddle Ages. Eco notes several similarities between the two epochs, particularly in th e area of interactive and modular cultural habits. He points out that art, information and entertainment of both the present moment and the Middle Ages are not 138

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systematic, but additive and compositive ...: today as then the sophisticated elitist experiment coexists with the great enterprise of popularizat ion with interchanges and borrowings, reciprocal and continuous (83). In Ecos opinion, our own Middle Ages will be an age of permanent transition for which new methods of adjustmet will have to be employed. The problem will not so much be that of preserving the past scientifically as of developing hypot heses for the exploitatioin of disorder, entering into the logic of conflictuality (84). Unfortunately, despite the fact that there has been an extensive exchange between avant garde and pedagogical methods, Eco feels that, at best, this exchange has reached the level of experiment, proposing ne w exhibition techniques not yet fully investigated: the solution to this co ntradiction lies not in these avant-garde forms, valid in their own sphere, but in avant-garde didactics, in a developing pedagogy, a revolutionary way of teaching (304-305). My argument throughout this dissertation is th at the didactics of medieval rhetoric as evidenced in the artistic and scholar ly works of the period, particular ly with regard to the concept and function of memory, share much in common w ith the avant-garde didactics which Eco feels hold so much potential for the development of new pedagogical methods. Furthermore, fully understanding medieval memory and its rhetorical applic ations as a relay in these developments can contribute to productive and practical changes in the humanities curriculum. Gregory Ulmer has already persuasively argu ed that re-conceptua lizing memory in our new interactive and modular technological environm ents is crucial to th e project of re-making rhetorical concepts and curricula. In Teletheory Ulmer argues memory will be the point of inception of this change, as pe ople, interacting with electroni c technology, come to experience their conduct differently (133). Furthermore, no less a figure of the communicative powers in modern technology than the great Japanese f ilmmaker, Akira Kurosawa, states in the documentary A.K. shot during his own appropriation of Shakespeares King Lear in the masterful samurai epic, Ran, that all creativity stems from the powers of memory. 139

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Memorys importance to subjective and pedagogi cal transformations is due to a feature of memory common to medieval practitioners of mn emonic arts and one that disappeared from the rhetorical arts with that adve nt of print, namely, the notion that the two registers of public discourse and private interest are juxtaposed and manipulat ed in a technology freeing mnemotechnics from memorization and makes them av ailable as an alternative to calculation and conjecture (136). My goal for th e remainder of this ch apter will be to discu ss the interactive and modular qualities medieval memori a shared with the scholarship and art of the period and stress the usefulness of these qualitie s in the deployment of medieval mnemonics as a relay for the formulation of an electronic rhetoric. I have already discussed in chapter two how, in medieval mnemotechnics, things a student read and heard were tr ansferred to images impressed in ones brain by emotion and sense. In terms of how inte ractivity figured into this procedure, Mary Carruthers notes, memoria refers not to how something is communicated, but to what happens once one has received it, to the interactive process of fa miliarizing, or textualizing, which occurs between oneself and others words in memory ( Book of Memory 13). This interactive, modular proce ss revolved around the principle of domesticare, the idea that one makes texts, art objects and learned, ab stract concepts more familiar by making them part of his/her own experience. Integrating one s personal interests and circumstances into a useful store of appropriated images was considered the crucial step in the medieval learning process. Hugh of St. Victor, an important primary source for me dieval ideas about memory and its uses, stresses the need to impress the ci rcumstances during which something was memorized as part of the associational web needed to recall it: the sort of day it is, how one feels, the gestures and a ppearance of the teacher, the appearance of the manuscript (Carruthers 60). Such a process, which fosters creative in teraction between private and disciplinary discourses was present in all leve ls of intellectual and artisitic production in the Middle Ages. A spirit of aggressive rivalr y (Copeland 3) permeated Christian commentaries on classical 140

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sources and cultivated a heuristic privilege of invention, a di scovery of a translators or commentators own argument. Known as inventio in classical rhetorical terms, this aspect of medieval translation and/or explication of paga n classics assumed the character of application because it made the historical situation of the in terpreter/translator a co ndition rather than an accident of interpretation (Copeland 61). Rita Copeland notes that this heuristic quality, so prominently featured in medieval exegesis, or enarratio has disappeared from modern he rmeneutics. The exploration and interpretation of primary sour ces in a curriculum which revolve s around an interface with printed texts, has struggled with c onflicting claims of historical consciousness ... the ideal of reconstructing the past on its own terms, and the hi storicity of the interpreter. But, the medieval exegete registers nothing of such a conflict: fo r the project of translatio studii, his own historicity, bringing the text forwar d to his own historical situati on, is all that matters (61). Evidence of the pervasive presence and infl uence of this heuristic approach in the commentary and art of the Middle Ages can be observed in works ranging from commentaries like The Dream of Scipio, to the poetry of Dantes Commedia, in which the Florentine uses specifically medieval versions of mythography in a unified way no later poet would (Chance 19). My task in this portion of the chapter will be to detail the features of this interactive, modular, inventive interface with ar tistic and philosophical traditions of antiquity fostered in the Middle Ages on the part of scholars and poets, in particular those with direct relations to mnemonics, which can and should be extrapolated and utilized as relays for the development of a rhetorical method suited to the new textual and subjective envir onments of electronic culture. Relay: Rhetoric and Memory in the Middle Ages Rita Copeland has done an excelle nt job of tracing the rhetori cal strain consistent in the many interactive forms of commentary, tran slation and poetry found throughout the Middle Ages. Works from all three genres (genres w hose practices constantly overlapped) centered around the notion of a four-fold allegorical a pproach to representation and interpretion incorporating literal, moral, t ypological and anagogical layers of Christian exegesis into all 141

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modes of production and reception. This heavily allegorical mode of transmission and reception in all areas of medieval scholarly and arti stic discourse demanded producers and audiences interact with texts in a multi-dimensional fashion. Rhetoric al principles such as invention, disposition, style, addition/deletion, concentratio n, substitution, and transposition, principles I feel will gain ever more importance in image/object oriented virtual environments of the future, gave students, commentators, translators, poets and their audiences the ability to take possession of the text as a discursive totality in the way that the rhetor (or orator) can grasp the case as a circumstantial totality (the summation of attributes of the person and the act) (70), and successfully navigate the multi-layered premises of Christian allegory. Application of rhetorical me thods to acts of commentary, translation, poetry and memory allowed students of these arts th e opportunity to invent argument s about the text or action ... apporpriate to new conditions of interpretation or reception, just as the orator invents a speech that is suited to the particular conditions of time, place and au dience (70). Texts themselves were seen as modular subjects of continuous and changing interpretation according to the judgment of each generation of commentators, translators and poets. Th is principle rendered texts susceptible to circumstances of reception, just as rhetori cal arguments are tailored to particular circumstances of time, event, and audience. This principle leads to a second: the hermeneutical performance assumes a kind of inventional or he uristic force, and becomes an independent productive act. (70) The conflation of a commentators, translators or poets affective inte ntion with those of primary sources under analysis or used as insp iration and source material for artistic production positioned their actions securely within a rhetorical frame (Copeland 82). Copeland points out an important difference between applications of rhetoric in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. She notes that in the former period, rhetoric retained its importance as an academic discipline, but not its power as praxis, an application of practical wisdom in public affairs (153) I would argue that the teaching of rhetoric now faces the same 142

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dilemma in our current curriculum. Students en counter rhetoric as some amorphous term that seems to be limited to the writing of good essays. Learning about rhetoric in the ossified form it has taken on since the advent of textbooks with clearly defined rules for using good rhetoric in writing courses, has only served to distance stude nts from their objects of research and the rhetorical arts from any sense of connection to the everyday lives of teachers and learners. With the displacement of literate discourses by new habits of electronic culture, this problem is only being exacerbated as long as new methods of t eaching and applying the rh etorical arts are not sought after. Much like the aforementioned worldplay and experimentation of deconstructive and post modern criticism, which has pushed the limits of literary discourse and seen many of these new approaches to textuality transposed into elec tronic theory and pedagogy, medieval hermeneutics injected a new vitality and sense of praxis into the rhetorical arts commentators and translators had inherited from Antiquity. Copeland de scribes Christian commentary as a dynamic interaction with a classi cal source which introduces itself in to the text by breaking the text down into lemmata, which it surrounds and approp riates by quotation and restatement (83). In a fashion strikingly similar to Derridas method of engaging literary traditions with his inventive, exploratory deconstr uctive approach, medieval hermeneutics and by way of its influence medieval translation and poetry in Copelands opinion, does not simply address and describe the terms of discourse or argument: it masters and applies thes e terms, re-arguing the text by appropriating the prescripti ve strategies of rhet oric (83). Students were encouraged to consume, and envelop a text, and, in a series of increasingly challeng ing and creative steps, remake the primary source in stru cture with an assignment known as exercitatio in style by producing an assignment requiring mastery of the primary sources style, an exercise termed elocutio and in conceptual orientation, by demonstration of eloquentia the moment where the student developed a project along similar grounds to the primary source, but surpassing it in structure and style. Although designed to draw Christian significance from encounters with classical sources, the methods used by students of medieval hermeneutics, translation and art 143

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feature a strong playful and cr eative element which, like Derrid as aforementioned wordgames, enable the remake to loosen syntax, supply causal connections, fo rce hidden layers of significaiton to the surface ... in the play of an illuminated foreground (Copeland 83). This highly creative learning process, whic h fosters an interaction quite unlike the master-servant relationship between primary source and audience now present in modern hermeneutics, actually revels in contesting and displacing the source through linguistic difference and cultural appropriatio n (Copeland 92). Vernacular co mmentaries and translations of Latin texts substitute a potentially infi nite linguistic multiplicity for the monolingual continuity of the Latin tradition; and as essentially exegetical productions, these texts carry over the contestive motives that already operate in medieval exegetical practice, reflecting the rhetorical and even agonistic character of medieval hermeneutics (128). The inventive, rhetorically driven approach to interacting with classical and Christian sources assumed even greater importance during th e social transformations of the later Middle Ages. In Medieval Readers and Writers, 1350-1400 Janet Coleman notes, as educational opportunities opened to an in creasingly numerous middle class there was a meeting of personal interest with scholarly dispute. This is most evident in the Middle English literature that survives for the latt er half of the 14th Century, that period of Englands literarygolden age which boasts Chaucer, Langland, Gower and the Gawain poet. At this time we can distinguish a genr e of didactic literature whose aim seems to have been the education of its audience in matters of current theological, political and ethical interest.... Its means ... was to employ mixed and transitional styles; an older method, that of courtly literary conventions of 13th Century and early 14th century poetry, and a newer method, which extended En glish alliterative prose and poetry and explored possibilities of jour nalistic reportage in verse a nd prose. French and Latin literary conventions and subjects merged with regional interests and poetic traditions to serve as frames for poems whose messages de alt invariably with a Christian ethic as it was simultaneously defined and debated behind contemporary monastic and university doors. (15) This fusion of artistic practice, which utilized rhetorical tools of form and presentation, with the circulation of information and argument on various im portant social issues, represents one of this periods key correspondences with th e present day that I am explor ing in this dissertation our 144

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own cultures increasing tendency to circulate all types of information and argument through electronic media by way of those f eatures inherent to these new technologies that have already been exploited by art and entertainment. The creativity of medieval exegesis stemmed from its focus on allego rical interpretation. Because each new encounter with a primary, classical or Biblical source could produce a new interpretation, or argument, of the text, medie val exegesis replicates rhetorics productive application to discourse: as the orator fitted a speech to the particular circumstances of persuasion, so in a certain sense the medieval exegete remodels a text for the particular circumstances of interpretation (Copeland 63-64 ). Not only in exegesis, but translation and poetry as well, the merger of rh etoric and art was driven by the use in all three genres of the figurative, polysemous, non-realistic representational mode of allegory. The result was a dynamic, interactive learning process which utilized the interpretation and invention of allegory to rewrite primary sources acco rding to the significances that each new interpreter, translator or poet discovered in a text. The immanent poetics present in mediev al notions of the rewrite drew upon an earlier works potential for new expression and created a sphere of originality (Kelly xiii) quite unlike modern literar y notions of authorship. Medieval masterpieces in all three of the above-mentioned registers were inventive and sk illfully honed transformations of conventions (42) that funtioned as comedia, or bridgework s (113) between classical and Biblical sources, and their medieval re-writings. These bridgeworks, which find what many consider their ultimate representative in Dantes Commedia employed the principle of conspiratio, with breathing, an interaction with the many voices brought into an act of interpreta tion, translation or poetry, in which the medieval author negotiated among these vo ices to arrive at a new versio n. This art of allusion required medieval writers to demontrate how thei r re-writes quoted, commented upon, corrected, integrated and reread other texts (Kelly xi). 145

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Janet Coleman has used the musical analogy of modality which refers to the way scales of different tonalities can be play ed against, and thereby complement assonantly or dissonantly, a particular chord to describe the habits of medieval read ers and writers, who perceived inherited, written autority not in the form of whole works or st ructures, but in the form of sententiae or authorities taken out of their original setting a nd applied in a variety of new structures, often foreign to the orig inal intention of the authority ( Medieval Readers and Writers, 1350-1400 171). Just as deconstructive a nd post modern theorists have unlocked new modes of argument by capitalizing upon poetrys capacity to invigo rate spoken and written language with a flexibility and depth lacking in most conversation and prose, figures like Thomas Aquinas, Dante and Chaucer acknowledged poetry as an inventive logic (Cop eland 160) able to encompass all problems of ethics, politics and religion (181). Copeland also draws a striking and unknowing correspondence to the emerging habits of electronic culture when she notes that medieval poetry was successful as a vehicle for teaching and reform because poetry possesses the remarkable quality of fulfilling the rhetorical precepts of docere (to teach), delectare, and movere simultaneously and crucially through synaesthesia (181). Throughout his works, Dante capitalizes upon poetrys synaesthesiac capacity for appealing to intellect, emotion, memory and th e bodily senses in order to frame arguements addressing the question of how to define the stat us of the vernacular with respect to academic systems (Copeland 180). These arguments, dr iven by the inventive logic of poetry in Convivio and Commedia introduce the possibility of extending academic discourse beyond the protective enclosure of the academy and its Latinity and use rhetoric as a lever to challenge the traditional hegemony of academic discourse (182), which is a goal I feel the humanities must pursue and discover methods for if the discipline is to retain its relevanc e and importance in the digital age. Copeland discusses in detail how Dante, in a fashion similar to a director who provides audio commentary for a DVD edition of his own film, actually undertakes a hermeneutical 146

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reading of his own poetry in Convivio She notes, Convivio can accomplish its rhetorical aims only through the enabling structure of hermeneutics. This actual structure of priorities, in wh ich a vernacular hermeneutics is the true controlling force, upsets the very hierarchical relation s of text-commentary, master-servant, and Latin-vernacular that Dante claims to preserve. The Convivio demonstrates how the servant commentary has become the master discourse, the locus of meaning and the agent of rh etorical control. And as th e linguistic medium of an allpowerful exegesis, the vernacular is inscribed as the language of real cultural authority, for it is through a vernacular text an d its vernacular commentary that the Convivio carries out the highest of all ethical imperatives. (184) Dante, like Derrida, encourages his audience to take up his dynamic, empowering interaction with written materi al. Copeland continues her argument, pointing out that Dante takes the lessons he learned from Augustine in moments like the tolle lege sequence in Book VII of Confessions, and extends or transfers rhetoric al control to readers by locati ng the real power of ethical inquiry in the act of interpretation or reading and by offering his own exegetical performance as a kind of program for his readers. Moreover, the Convivio enjoins its audience to take on the responsibility of ex egetical control by calling attention to its status as a vernacular academic text which makes the tools of informed reading broadly accessible. (183) The nebulous relationship between ideas of rhetorica grammatica, litteratura as well as the lack of strict conceptual or methodological divisions between categories like enarratio (exegesis), translatio, and poetria meant that the creative, in teractive and modular learning principles of the period featured prominently in act s of not only exegesis, but translation as well. Central to the process of transl ating texts into and out of Latin throughout the Middle Ages, was the idea that a good translator can emulate, model, and absorb [the sources] qualities and in so doing actually improve his own language to the poin t where it rivals its predecessor (Morse 201). Rita Copeland and R.A. Shoaf have show n repeated fascination with Chaucers explorations and manipulations of the intimate interactions between tr anslation, rhetoric and poetry throughout the body of his work. In partic ular, Chaucers play within this fluid frame 147

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embraced the notions of difference and displa cement which have found such voice in the deconstructive work of Derrida. Copeland points out the way that a translator like Chaucer, in works like Boece takes the rhetorical motives of diffe rence and displacement beyond the goals of emulation, modelling and absorbption found in what she calls primary translation. She writes that Chaucers secondary translations i nsert themselves into academic discourse, not by proposing to serve the interests of continuity w ith the antiqui, but rather by calling attention to their own status as vern acular productions and thus underscoring the fact of historical difference that vernacularity exposes (179). The aggressive textual appr opriation in Chaucers works allowed him, like Dante, to discover new cultural powers embedded in ve rnacular poetry from within the academic disciplines of hermeneutics and translation. In Copelands word s, Chaucer shows us rhetoric rehabilitated as hermeneutical performance. Acts of interpretation and translation are transformed into an expression of rhetorical difference from the source hermeneutical performance becomes the point of departure for rhetor ical invention (184). In their takeovers of academic discourse, medieval writers like Dante and Chaucer demonstrate a marked tendency to foreground the problem of difference or rupture that vernacularity repres ents, thereby redefining academic discourse itself within a fr amework of disjunction (185). Chaucers appropriation of academic discour se involved extensive manipulation of the authorial functions of exegete, compiler, auct or, and translator within the comic, fictive framework of his poetry. Copeland notes th at in Chaucers prologues to his exegetical translations of Ovidian and othe r classical texts in works like The Legend of Good Women, despite the fact that he adopts the conventional exegetical stan ce that comes with the materials of the accessus ovidiani [i.e. the correction of an earlier impropriety] (190), the focus of the work is plainly directed to th e translator as auctor whose ow n personal experiences (the comic fiction of his love of daisies, his dream, the accusation of the moral tran sgression in his earlier literary career) is the direct cause of the present te xt (194). In Troilus and Criseyde Chaucers Narrator unsuccessfully adopts the position of a writer of fin amors romance, while in The Wife 148

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of Baths Prologue the wife herself employs sermoniacal and legal modes of argument to compile her views on marriage. Copeland interprets Chaucers pe rvasive play on authoritative postures as a sign of the contro l that Chaucer, as vernacular write r and translator, exerts over the academic tradition ... [allowing] free play of a self-reflexive comedy (186). In Chaucers Body, R.A. Shoaf draws upon the visceral, sometimes sensual, sometimes grotesque sets of metaphors that emerge from and describe the in teraction of the translator and the translated (roles that switch back and forth between texts and reader s) as Chaucer understood it, and applies them to an exploration of the poets work in a manner that echoes not only the sentiments of the Grant Translateur Chaucer but Derrida as well. Building upon Derridas notion of spoken and written language as pharmakon, a substance holding the potential to be poison as well as anti dote, Shoaf notes that as one who doe s not see himself as an originator, the translator creates fragmentar ily out of the archive of others originals that, like the story of Tereus, threaten to infect and envenom him unless he inoc ulates himself with his own versions of them (102). In the highly interactive conversation, and conversion, that takes place in medieval translations like Chaucers, the translator always does some viol ence to the body of the original betrays the body of the original by effacing it, substituting his own body for the originals (Shoaf 116). However, the invasive translator also allows the m ovement by the translated source into the body of the new text, and the medieval audience would have expected to see the conversation between the old version and the new take place before their eyes. Naturally, to undertake such an interactive, multi-dimensional and over the course of several versions, always shifting dialogue, a writer like Chaucer would have deployed th e devices and tropes of rhetoric and poetry so that his audience might appreciate the pro cess of comparison, contrast and revision at work, as well as the establishment of his own interests and arguments in the same text. Shoaf stresses the important pos ition of the reader, himself a translator, in this enterprise, noting that the assay of the ol d by the new (and of the new by the old, which is not, to repeat, 149

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voiceless) is free to all each reader can judge and compare old and new and decide what for him succeeds, what for him fails, what the value of the difference is (130). Janet Coleman warns modern readers who might dismiss Chaucers work as merely derivative that to recognize [Chaucers] sources is not to reduce the originality of his achievement but, in fact, to enhance it. It is the way Chaucer moves away from the strict tradition of composition that prevents us from reducing his work to a mosaic of his sources ( Medieval Readers and Writers 201). The intimate relations between the spheres of exegesis, translation and poetry all of them concerned with persuasive application of rh etorical tools like invent ion, arrangement, style, delivery and memory are borne out in the more overtly poetic gestures of innovators like Dante and Chaucer. The close kinship of translation and poetry as it was perceived by these men is even present in the terminology describing these genres that the me dieval artists inherited from antiquity. Shoaf examines the conceptual lineage linki ng translation and poetry in Chaucers work, stating, To raise this argument to the level of poetics, or metatranslation th eory, we can say now that every figure is fundamentally a comparison in which a word or a phrase, say, cut, resigns its place, its proper sense, gives it up, to an otherwise absent (and often ineffable) entity, which thereafter occupies that place together with th e original owner (/proper) if there is no joint occupancy, there is no figure, only a precis.... We know that in Latin translatio translates the Greek metaphora a metaphor speaks translatively. Translatio as the name of metaphor is already figurative, as is metaphora itself, in that the spatial image of bearing one thing across to anothe r is an effort to picture the construction of a metaphor as the transfer from one sphere of reference to another, different sphere. As such, metaphor is actually a metonym (metalepsis) of cause and effect: a deverbal noun, translation (action or cause) substitutes for the effect of imagining or envisioning a relationship between two discrete spheres of reference. The transfer is a material, tangible substitute for the intangible mental act that results in the figure. This transfer is thus a change of place (the rem oval of a saints relics is also a translatio for example). This change of place is very much a resignation and re-sign-ation. (Shoaf 129) The active appropriation of academic disciplines in poetic acts raised medieval poetry to the status of a disciplin e parallel to ethics, politics, rhetoric, economics (Curtius 146). Innovators like Dante, Langland and Chau cer utilized poetrys combination of praxis (action) 150

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and poeisis (making) to make the art the major vehicle for the i rruption of subjectively experienced history into the cultu re of the middle ages with its epic mythological, philosophical and rhetorical stamp (Curtius 369). Janet Cole man has also studied the transformative features and goals of medieval poetry a nd notes that the poetic reformul ation of contemporary social and religious concerns of authors and audiences alike in this period produced a literature that did not merely passively reflect its time and context but was written as an engouragment to critique and change ( Medieval Readers and Writers, 1350-1400 ). Furthermore, regarding structure, Shoaf a nd Copeland have repeatedly traced Chaucers modular tendencies throughout his wo rk. Never regargding his work as finished, fixed texts, he returned again and again to his works and undertook massive reorganizations of them in the form of deletions, additions, restatements and reor ganizations that, in many cases, completely redefined the themes at the core of these te xts. This modular tendency might explain why Chaucers masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, were discoverd in a fragmented and unfinished scatterting of manuscript. Modular behavior is also evident in the ever-fascinating multiple versions of William Langlands Piers Plowman a combination of social satire and inward exploration (Coleman, Medieval Readers and Writers 170), whose different versions scholars constantly juxtapose in order to observe how Langlands arguments against the Church shifted in form and emphasis over the poets lifetime. In addition, Mary Carruthers, in The Book of Memory notes that Hugh of St. Victors memorial ark, his machina universitatis is a mode l, the details of which are often incoherent, impossible to graph completely because they shif t and change indeed, this picture only works as a mental encyclopedia whose lineaments can me rge and separate and shuffle about in the way that mental images do, but two-dimensional ones fixed on a page cannot (232), and adds that Hugh allows his ark-diagram to complicate almost endlessly [using every definition of the Latin term arce in a fashion similar to Derridas use of pharmakon], as it develops in his recollective meditation (238). 151

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In From Topic to Tale Eugene Vance characterizes th e poetic gestures of the later Middle Ages as part of an important interd iscursive process whic h both liberated poetic narrative from obsolete epistemologi cal constraints of epic (e.g. The Song of Roland ) and opened vernacular poetic narrative up to the possiblity of far more ambitious in tellectual constructions, as embodied for example in the Roman de la Rose and the Divine Comedy (27). Poets like Chaucer and Dante used the fixed ideals, fictiona l types, satire, horoscopes, style, form and commonplaces they had inherited from the antiqui and medieval forebears as the raw material for their work and then infused this material with their own contemporary content and concerns (Coleman 47). Most striking to me about the poetic pract ices and goals of these writers, and a correspondence I find potentially very useful to th e interactive, fluid envi ronment of new media, is the way that their notions of re-making and re-using inherite d material for their own uses draws very close comparisons to the deconstruc tive movements of Derrida which do not destroy structures from the outside, nor can they take aim except by inhabiting them in a certain way ( Of Grammatology 24). Time and again, medieval scholars have acknowledged Dantes Commedia as the most thorough and unsurpassed example of a medieval poets attempt at enclosing and incorporating other kinds of fictions in orde r to turn them to his own ends (MacDonald 71). Mary Carruthers notes that, for artists like Da nte, the foundation of histo rical knowledge is the ground: it authorizes in the medieval sense, by initiati ng and originating further construction [whereas] the modern period sees a work as an end, a sup erstucture to be contem plated in isolation ( Craft of Thought 20). Dantes habitation within and re-mak ing of the poetic tradition, with the goal of creating a new man and a new la nguage (Curtius 360), is marked by a characteristic ingeniousness in the cons truction of episodes, whatever their literary provenance, that are arres tingly singular in their liter al actions and intriguingly complex in their implications. Repetition and continuity, thus, involve the making of something new. The choice of Casella and the consequent exchange between the dead and living pilgrims [in Canto II of Purgatorio ] reminds us that the pilgrim-hero of the 152

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poem is also a poet. While this identity has been worrisome to some critics ... here it is irresistably drawn to our attention that the poet Dante, who uses the classical tradition in his poem, also appears in that poem, discusses that tr adition with its chief practitioners in a conversation we are exp ected to imagine and participates in the enactment of a motif borrowed from that tradition [i.e. the encounter between the classical heroes Aeneas and Odysseus with parental figures in the Underworld during their respective journeys] in an episode that dramatizes the meaning of his poetic career in a way that is finally and surp risingly affirmative. (Economou 181) Dantes appropriation of and habitati on within the poetic tradition makes the Commedia open to ancients and moderns alike and they are often made to consort in arresting combinations (MacDonald 12). Shoaf notes that in this interaction between the voices of the ancient poets and the modern one, the property of the old and the property of the new jointly occupy the place of the former, and this is a new space as of many dimensions co-inhering together reciprocally (s o supremely with Dantes Commedia and Vergils Aeneid ). The new version, because the old is also there, is a comparison that we can understa nd its very structure promotes understanding ( Chaucers Body 130). Over and over throughout this epic work, MacDonald notes that Dante resubmits the frozen images to the heat of history, melting them down and re-circula ting them, testing them against the strain that histor y has put upon them (Shoaf 72). Interwoven into Dantes poetic doctrine is an intense interaction between the p ilgrim/poet and all aspects of medieval culture, from medicine to cosmology, from psychology to rhetoric and soteriology ... harmoniously blending together (Agamben 90). However, his re-membering, re-making, of the poetic tradition is not a passive, com pulsive repetition (Shoaf 9). In his excellent Theologia Ludens essay, Mazzotta reminds us that Dantes delicate weaving together of multiple textual strains is, like Chaucers aggressive textual appropriations, a mark of Dantes syncretism, of the prodigi ous, multiple vibrations in his magisterial voice. Much is at stake in this style of fabulation. In a prim ary way, it is as if he peeks into the stubborn contradictions housed by divisive philosophies and juggles them into his own master version of the angelic myt h. But the harmonization Dante produces is not the mechanical and finally reductive comp endium of heterogenous fragments; rather he inserts within his borrowing from dispar ate philosphical specula tions that which his sources bypass or never acknowledg e: the fact that their syst ematic, mutually exclusive 153

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philosophical broodings are not and cannot be construed as th e truth. They are polemical, partial glimmers. (226) This manipulation by the Florentine of vari ous texts and philosophies also drew upon the techniques of Biblical typol ogy and exegesis prominent in monastic mnemonic meditation, whereby, every event in one part of the poe m should [like the Bible and its commentaries] figure forth and be fulfilled by another event in the poem (Nolan 175). In The Craft of Thought Mary Carruthers elaborates on this idea, noting in the minds of monastic writers, every verse of the Bible thus becomes a gathering place for other te xts, into which even the most remote (in our judgements) and unlikely matters were collected as the associational memory of a particular author drew them in (19). Images and episodes throughout the entirety of the Commedia are given a meta-narrative depth via th eir abilities to assonantly or dissonantly echo sections within the canticles in which they are encountered (e.g. the relations between Dantes various encounters in Inferno ) as well as episodes found in th e other major sections of the Commedia (e.g. the associations that can be drawn between sections of Inferno Purgatorio and Paradiso together). Dantes appropriation of Biblical typology and exegesis brings us full circle, back to the point I made earlier in this ch apter before embarking on my disc ussion of medieval educational and textual practices I feel to be useful relays for pedagogy and research in electronic environments: all these techniques and their overl apping uses formed a complex interaction with the modular memory techniques of the Middle Ages The interconnected practices of exegesis, translation and poetry formed a two-way relay w ith memory wherein the techniques present in interative, modular acts of enarratio translatio and poetria were used as sources and tools for building up ones memoria, which, itself, was one of the major rhetorical resources that artists and students drew upon to produce these same acts of interpretation, translation and art, whether poetic, visual or architectural. Jody Enders notes, the essence of memoria was to reimagine, replicate, reenact and remember (The Medieval Theatre of Cruelty 107). A student re-hear d, re-saw, and re-felt sources 154

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in a shattering, deconstructi ng fashion (Carruthers, Book of Memory 169). Mary Carruthers adds that, for medieval scholars and artists, there was much me rit in liberating the mind from the rules and commentaries learned in successive layers of schooling .... [enabling] the creative mental play, the recombinatory en gineering of meditative memoria ( Craft of Thought 29) and producing an edifice of ones own life ... created fr om stories available to all citizens, [but] also a fully personal creation, an expression (a nd creation) of ones character (21). These habits, fully embraced by the liberal ar ts of the Middle Ages, noted not only in mnemonics, but interpretation, tran slation and art of the period, allowed for a tampering with texts that a modern scholar woul d (and does) find quite intolerable, for it violates most of our notions concerning accuracy, objective scholar ship, and the integrity of the text (Carruthers Book of Memory 164) and produced a hermeneutical dialogue between two memories, not a hermeneutical circle of mere so lipsism (169). The habits of interactivity and modularity, so troubling to modernity, but so ap pealing to postmodern and medium theorists alike, are the corresponden ces between the medieval ars memoria and new media we should aspire to see inhabi t our classrooms and our students lives. 155

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CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION This dissertation represents the culminati on of a process that began when I was an undergraduate in R.A. Shoafs Early Modern Lite rature courses as an undergraduate at the University of Florida. Not only did Professor Shoafs passion for teaching authors like Chaucer and Dante pique my interest in pursuing English as a career, his abilities as a teacher laid bare the awesome genius of these poets and enabled me to embrace these works and find ways of using them to engage and overcome emotional and so cial questions in my ow n life. Little did I know that the benefits I reaped for myself having read these wo rks and learned about them from Professor Shoaf would become the guiding force in the pedagoies I am attempting to design for my own students. My sincerest wish is that any pedagogy I design based on these texts and these experiences will lead my own students to the same large and small scale epiphanies I encountered as an undergraduate. During work on my Masters Degree, I deve loped and admiration for and friendship with Dr. James Paxson, whose brilliant scholarship and boundless enthusiam was infectious for me. Dr. Paxsons graduate courses focused on the rhet oric and design of those most compelling of medieval virtual spaces the mystery and moralit y plays. Dr. Paxson was particularly open to my comparison of image-text techniques that dominated medieval discourse to the moving pictures of cinema, and how both are able to incorporate layer upon layer of discourse that audiences are able to assimilate with but a glance. Dr. Paxson also guided my Masters Thesis, which focused on the hypermedialike qualities embedded in Dantes Commedia Having completed my Masters Degree, I was finally ready to place myself under the tutelage of Dr. Gregory L. Ulmer, whose scholar ship and instruction will continue to shape and re-shape my professional endeavors for the rest of my career. Dr. Ulmers own research has shown me ways that the ancient can find use in th e present. His studies into applications of classical rhetoric suited to hypermedia environments and the reading material he assigned and recommended gave me the grounding in rhetorical studies that I require d to begin usefully 156

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connecting medieval rhetorical practices to my own needs as a teacher and scholar of the Humanities. In addition, Dr. Ulmers seminars were thrilling juxtapos itions of theory and creativity in UFs Networked Writing Environmen t which constantly called upon students to make imaginative, insightful connections betwee n reading materials and class projects. These seminars also helped me realize the potential of hypermedia for humanities pedagogy and were the place where the seeds of this dissertations argument were sown. For the guidance I have received from these three men, I shall be eternally grateful. My argument, stated throughout this disserta tion, is that the em powering practices of medieval textual and memorial production, observed in works like Dante Alighieris Commedia, share close relations to, and potential solutions for, the concerns of post-modern scholars, medium theorists and pedagogues who are particul arly concerned with how subjects circulate within interactive, modular electronic informa tion environments and how we will incorporate these new technologies and the subjectivities they circulate into the un iversity curriculum. Reading and writing with and through images, i mmersing oneself into virtual spaces charged with bodily and emotional sensations, and inte rfacing with discourse as an interactive and modular experience are the dominant features of the emerging electrate environment. These features also dominate the functions of the machina memorialis the machine of memory, found in the rhetorical practices of the Middle Ages In particular, these features of new media correlate to the construction of students memory palaces, which themselves satisfy and render the rhetorical demands of invention, arra ngement, style, delivery, and memory. It is my opinion that a re-investment of th ese techniques into the Humanities Disciplines will re-enforce and increase their relevance to edu cation at all levels. We are now working with a student body that spends almost all of its time outside the classroom immersed in virtual spaces dominated by the new media features listed above If we are to do the necessary work of preparing our students to compete for the reso urces of the communities they will enter after graduation then the university cu rriculum must appropriate tec hnologies and methods able to successfully prepare students for achievement in th e world at large. Hence, this dissertation has 157

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examined the correspondences between the mn emonic practices of the Middle Ages and the subjectivities taking shape around media like cine ma, the internet, multi-user domains, and video games that must be addressed by scholars and pedagogues seeking to maintain and enhance the importance and relevance of an education that in cludes studies in the humanities disciplines. In the short term, I plan to extrapolate th e information contained in these chapters and produce journal articles that deal with each of th e features essential to new media the image, virtual space, and interactivity and modularity. Ultimately, however, I do plan to turn this project into a book-length publication. Furtherm ore, I have received a permanent position as a faculty member in the English Department at the University of North Florida and will be heavily involved in future discussion on th e applications of digital media across the curriculum. As my career as a scholar and teacher c ontinues to develop, I will continually search for ways to use medieval memoria in all its forms and applications as a relay for shaping my students sense of their own subjectivities in the classroom, and the expression of their subjectivities in the world at large. 158

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WORKS CITED Agamben, Giorgio. Stanzas: Word and Phantasm in Western Culture. Minnesota: U of Minnesota P, 1993. Alighieri, Dante. Inferno. Robert Durling, ed. New York: Oxford UP, 1997. Bakutman, Scott. Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subjec t in Postmodern Science Fiction. Durham: Duke UP, 1993. Barilli, Renato. Rhetoric. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1989. Boorstin, Daniel J. The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America. New York: Harper and Row, 1964. Brunette, Peter and David Wills, eds. Deconstruction and the Visual Arts: Art, Media, Architecture. New York: Cambridge U P, 1994. Camille, Michael The Gothic Idol: Ideology and Image-Making in Medieval Art. New York: Cambridge UP, 1989. Carruthers, Mary. The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in Medieval Culture. New York: Cambridge UP, 1990. -----The Craft of Thought: Me ditation, Rhetoric and th e Making of Images. New York: Cambridge UP, 1998. Chance, Jane. Medieval Mythography: From Roman North Africa to the School of Chartres, A.D. 433-1177. Gainesville: U of Florida P, 1994. Clanchy, M.T. From Memory to Written Record. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1979. Coleman, Janet. Ancient and Medieval Memories: Studies in the Reconstruction of the Past. New York: Cambridge UP, 1992. ----Medieval Readers and Writers 1350 1400. New York: Columbia UP, 1981. Copeland, Rita. Rhetoric, Hermeneutics, and the Transla tion in the Middle Ages: Academic Traditions and Vernacular Texts. New York: Cambridge UP, 1991. Curtius, Ernst Robert. European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 1973. Cutting Edge Womens Research Group, eds. Digital Desires: Language, Identity and New Technologies. New York: St. Martins Press, 2000. 159

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Debord, Guy. Society of the Spectacle. Detroit: Black and Red, 1970. Deibert, Ronald. Parchment, Printing and Hypermedia : Communication in World Order Transformation. New York: Columbia UP, 1997. Derrida, Jacques. Of Grammatology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1976. -----Dissemination. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1981. Deleuze, Gilles, and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1987. Dyas, Dee. Pilgrimage in Medieval English Literature. New York: D.S. Brewer, 2001. Eco, Umberto. The Aesthetics of Chaosmos: The Middle Ages of James Joyce. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1989, c1982. ---Art and Beauty in th e Middle Ages. London: Yale UP, 1986. ---Travels in Hyperreality. London: Minerva, 1995. Economou, George D. The goddess Natura in Medieval Literature. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1972. Enders, Jody. The Medieval Theater of Cruelty: Rhetoric, Memory, Violence. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1999. ---Rhetoric and the Origins of Medieval Drama. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1992. Evans, G.R. Getting it Wrong: The Medieval Epistemology of Error. Leiden, Boston: Brill, 1998. Frese, Dolores W., and Katherine OBrien OKeeffe, eds. The Book and the Body. Notre Dame, Ind.: U of Notre Dame P, 1997. Foley, John Miles. Homers Traditional Art. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 1999. Goody, Jack. The Domestication of the Savage Mind. New York: Cambridge UP, 1977. Hardison, O.B. Disappearing Through the Skylight. New York: Viking, 1989. ------Entering the Maze. New York: Oxford UP, 1981. Hall, Stuart, and Paul du Gay eds. Questions of Cultural Identity. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage, 1996. 160

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Haraway, Donna. Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. London: Free Association, 1991. Havelock, Eric Alfred. Preface to Plato Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard UP, 1963. Hollander, Robert. Allegory in Dantes Commedia. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 1969. Huizinga, Johan. The Waning of the Middle Ages, A Study of the Forms of Life, Thought and Art in France and the Netherlands in the xivth and xvth Centuries. London: E. Arnold and Company, 1924. Kelly, Douglas. The Conspiracy of Allusion: Descri ption, Rewriting and Authorship from Macrobius to Medieval Romance. Boston: Brill, 1999. Kittler, Friedrich A. Discourse Networks. Stanford, California: Standford UP, 1990. Lanham, Richard. A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms. Berkeley: U of California P, 1991. MacDonald, Ronald R. The Burial-Places of Memory: Epic Underworlds in Vergil, Dante, and Milton. Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1987. Manovich, Lev. The Language of the New Media. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT P, 2000 Mazzotta, Giuseppe. The World at Play in Boccaccios Decameron. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 1986. McGann, Jerome. Radiant Textuality: Literature after the World Wide Web. New York: Palgrave, 2001. McLuhan, Marshall. The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1962. Mitchell, W.J.T. Picture Theory: Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1994. Morse, Ruth. Truth and Convention in the Middle Ages: Rh etoric, Representation and Reality. New York: Cambridge UP, 1991. Moser, Mary Ann, and Douglas MacLeod, eds. Immersed in Technology: Art and Virtual Environments. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT P, 1996. Nolan, Edward P. Now Through a Glass Darkly: Specular Images of Being and Knowing from Virgil to Chaucer. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1990. 161

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ODonnell, James J. Avatars of the Word: From Papyrus to Cyberspace Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1998. Ong, Walter J. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the World. New York: Methuen, 1982. ----Ramus: Method and the Decay of Di alogue; from the Art of Discussion to the Art of Reason. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1958. Ormiston, Gayle., and Alan D. Schrift, eds. Transforming the Hermeneutic Context: From Nietzsche to Nancy. New York: State U of New York P, 1990. Payne, Robert O. Geoffrey Chaucer, 2nd Edition. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1986. Rhodes, Neil and Jonathan Sawday, eds. The Renaissance Computer: Knowledge Technology in the First Age of Print. New York: Routledge, 2000. Shlain, Leonard. Art and Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time and Light. New York: Morrow, c1991. Shoaf, R.A. Chaucers Body: The Anxiety of Circ ulation in the Canterbury Tales. Gainesville: UP of Florida, 2001. Ulmer, Gregory. Heuretics: The Logic of Invention. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1994. -----Teletheory: Grammatol ogy in the Age of Video. New York: Routledge, 1989. ---Applied Grammatology: Post-Pedagogy from Jacques Derrida to Joseph Beuys. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1985. ---Internet Invention: From Literacy to Electracy. New York: Longman, 2003. Vance, Eugene. From Topic to Tale: Logic and Narrativity in the Middle Ages. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1987. Vattimo, Gianni. Beyond Interpretation: The Meaning of Hermeneutics for Philosophy. Stanford, California: Stanford UP, 1997. Vidler, Anthony. Warped Space: Art, Architecture, and Anxiety in Modern Culture. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT P, 2000. Wertheim, Margaret. The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet. New York: W.W.Norton, 1999. 162

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Welch, Kathleen. Electric Rhetoric: Classical Rhetor ic, Oralism, and a New Literacy. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT P, 1999. Yates, Frances A. The Art of Memory. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1966. 163

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164 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH John Matthew Chapman was born on May 22, 1971, in Gainesville, Florida. Growing up in North Central Florida, he was a big fan of the Florida Gators and always dreamed of coming to school at the University of Florida. After graduating from Bu chholz High School in 1989, John made those dreams a reality and pursued a dual major in English and history at UF. Upon graduation with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, John worked as an office assistant in Atlanta, GA for a year while he decided on his next course of action. Unable to shake the inspirational experiences he enjoyed as an unde rgraduate English student, John endeavored to pursue an advanced degree in E nglish. After completing his Mast er of Arts under the direction of Dr. James Paxson, John decided to continue work ing toward a doctorate in English. With the guidance of Dr. Gregory L. Ulmer, he ha s come to the completion of his Ph.D. During his graduate studies, John was afford ed the opportunity to teach as a graduate assistant in UFs English Department. At the same time, John began performing as a jazz musician on the local music scene in Gainesville. After the completion of his assistantship, John moved to Jacksonville, FL, in 2004 and took a po sition as a writing instructor in the English Department at the University of North Florida. At the same time, he also auditioned for the Music Department at UNF and enrolled in their prestigious Jazz Studies Program where he spent three years studying with internationally recognized recording artists. At this time, John has brought his love of literature and music together in a course on Jazz Literature he hopes is as interesting and challenging as th e courses he took at UF. Upon completion of his Ph.D., John intends to continue pursuing his love of the arts and academia as a teacher, a scholar and musician.