it certainly has a form, and

I The Chain:In Mervelous
of course, began as close
The rhetoric of medieval left unsaid by the symbol.
Christ was the Word
each being forming a
Dante to write his

Ah quanto a dir qual
spra e forte [C]
o piu morte; [C]

ma per trattar del
example, a prayer for
is taught by a crucifixion
own life in order to be
of a fruit-bearing text
I can know a frog. And
purposes, which by the
can be seen as an
. This is the first Modern
differences by cause
example, as distinct
text from world, as
I increasing (imagine!)
consciousness. Kant is
for Foucault and others,
includes the gaze of the
articulations that assume
whether or not anyone
our present day.
being said either
at revealing God's
is hidden, that
The anthropologist's
pervasive achievement
method of literary
the great modern myth,
for example, where all
its form, not its content.
with a new plot-they
book much like the
of novel evolved-with
these tools of analysis-a
before Lacan by the
in fact be of nothing
re-presents riding
popular entertainment,
image/language effects,
our stories about and
-and becomes even more

Mayan pyramids that are at once, altar, shelter, calendar, astronomical instrument and encyclopedia.

The Rifle Man of Miami — the first pocket book printed on cheap paper and designed for mass consumption.

Origen's Hexapla, a 7,000 page Bible that gave six versions side by side, spread open on an altar for all to worship.

Cave paintings in the darkest, least accessible recesses.

Hypertexts of photon letters held in magnetic memory.


The book is a perfect icon for the inextricable relationship between knowledge and writing for every book is both progenitor and child. Shifts in epistemology have always precipitated changes in writing but what is sometimes overlooked is the way this is reflected in the book itself, a transmittal device and container for the materials of lit, i.e., words.

That is, literature too, has a material history which, to follow one of its many plot lines, is to read a story of reproducibility and portability.... Consider its end points: the cave painting, a one-of-a-kind, permanently bound to the most inaccessible parts of the earth. A secret. Probably used for sacramental purposes akin to the sculptures of saints placed on roofs where no one but God can see them. Contrast this to the book on the Notre Dame Cathedral of Amiens or the Perseus Project of Tufts University. Perseus is a "book" of classical texts in both Greek and English in which lexicons, grammar and conjugation databases and criticism can be made present; some two thousand art works, maps, and floor plans are linked to the text so that readers can, for example, call up the Acropolis referred to by Aristotle in his Rhetoric.

And remember, this can be done from anywhere in the world by anyone with a modem. Something any poet or academic press with runs of 1,000 should ponder.

Now consider the history between these end points and how intertwined book engineering is with ways of seeing: one manuscript of the Pentateuch was written on 57 skins sewn together to form a piece 36 meters long and was read by rolling from one scroll to another — a serial retrieval system which you emulate every time you click on the scroll bar to read this text. Then came the codex, the book in the shape of a box (which the Romans invented for ease of use in the field). With the parallel retrieval system of the codex, it's as easy to flip to page 200 and back as it is to use a hotlink; it is easy to begin to think "hypertextually." Is it any coincidence that the codex had become the most common form of book by the time Augustine abandoned the Aristotelian notion of time as arrow in flight for a conception of time as the "always ever present"? — The present containing the past as surely as it holds the future?...


take a course in the novel.
take a course in film.
the comic book. Today
able to. DigiPen, an
creating video-games.

The push of how we
of writing technology
is probably its crudest
game skills students
Acropolis, either the
Pompeii that have been

feasibility to incorporate an
reaction to that which
revolution in writing
in Vienna? The terminally
some sci-fi illustrator?
of Virtual Reality sounds
work against, while the
enduring, if low tech,

Which is to say, what
these two languages
the fact that thinkers
the Big Questions. Still
the eternal snows, the
a space which exists

Accordingly, each has
E.M. Forster, a plo
Do I withhold the endingthemselves
according to an arbitrary
narrative, similar
But even if the content

I can use the

Still, in terms of a lite
that moves through
form, even the form of
The problem is compounded
Of course, imagery can
looking is not as
dynamic in terms of
that is the narratives
difference similar to that

unless we realize that
When we understand
of sex, mortality and
passage of time as well
it, or more generally,
the opera about murder
charged with racial issues
as much importance
and place of its own
of the medieval viewer
off a diet of
a jerky movie of a
of life was what caused
reality of the kinescope
shapeless alwayseverpresent

being seeing saying knowing writing writing being