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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The transformation of the circle : an exploration of the post-encyclopaedic text Wilkins, Peter Duncan 1986

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THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE CIRCLE AN EXPLORATION OF THE POST-ENCYCLOPAEDIC TEXT By PETER DUNCAN WILKINS B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1984 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department,of English) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the reguired standard The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia August, 1986 (C?) Peter Duncan W i l k i n s , 1986 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date U^Cg,m\agTN 8 Abstract Any text which c r i t i c i z e s , undermines and/or transforms the encyclopaedic i d e a l of ordering and t e x t u a l i z i n g the world i n a closed, l i n e a r fashion can be defined as a post-encyclopaedic text. This thesis explores both t h e o r e t i c a l and a r t i s t i c texts which inhabit the realm of post-encyclopaedism. In the past, c r i t i c a l speculation on encyclopaedism i n l i t e r a t u r e has been concerned with the ways i n which a r t i s t i c texts attempt to l i v e up to the encyclopaedic i d e a l . In some cases, t h i s e f f o r t to e s t a b l i s h an i d e n t i t y between the a r t i s t i c text and the encyclopaedia has l e d to an ignorance of the disruptive or even deconstructive e f f e c t s of so-called f i c t i o n a l encyclopaedias. Once we recognize the existence of such e f f e c t s , we must begin to examine the techniques and p o s s i b i l i t i e s of post-encyclopaedism. Hence we can see post-encyclopaedic q u a l i t i e s i n the condensed meta-encyclopaedism of Jorge Luis Borges' "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis T e r t i u s " , the disrupted quests f o r encyclopaedic r e v e l a t i o n i n Herman M e l v i l l e ' s Moby Dick and Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, and the p r i n c i p l e of textualized world as fugue i n Louis Zukofsky's " A " - 1 2 . In addition, we can create a t h e o r e t i c a l space f o r the post-encyclopaedic text by weaving together Mikhail Bakhtin's ideas on the novel as opposed to the epic, Michel Foucault's notion of restructuring the closed c i r c l e of the text through mirrored writing, J u r i j Lotman's theory of i n t e r n a l and external recoding i n texts,••-and Umberto Eco's concept of the open text. By combining an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of t h e o r e t i c a l and a r t i s t i c texts which lend themselves to post-encyclopaedism, we can create a generic d i s t i n c t i o n between texts which attempt to be encyclopaedic i n themselves: and texts which disrupt and/or transform the encyclopaedic i d e a l i i i Table of Contents A b s t r a c t p . i i P r e f a c e p . l 1. B a k h t i n : N o v e l i z i n g the World p.4 2. M i s t a k e n I d e n t i t y p.14 3. P e r f e c t C i r c l e s / Transformed Networks p.22 i . Borges: The E n c y c l o p a e d i a i n t h e p.28 M i r r o r 4. A J u s t i f i c a t i o n o f the v a s t Work p.36 i . Moby D i c k : Whales, Books, p.37 Comprehensiveness, T e l e o l o g y i i . G r a v i t y " s Rainbow: p.48 E n c y c l o p a e d i c P a r a n o i a 5. A l l e g o r y and the Open Text: A Reading p.60 S t r a t e g y f o r the P o s t - E n c y c l o p a e d i c Work 6. Working Toward the L i t e r a r y Fugue p.68 i . "A"-12:. The C o u n t l e s s E f f e c t s o f p.74 the I n f i n i t e Not I n f i n i t e Works C i t e d p.85 P r e f a c e The aim of t h i s t h e s i s i s t o e x p l o r e the t h e o r e t i c a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r a p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t , which d i s r u p t s the e n c y c l o p a e d i c i d e a l of a complete c i r c l e of knowledge. Such a t e x t would not be i n complete o p p o s i t i o n t o the concept o f the e n c y c l o p a e d i a , but r a t h e r would i n h a b i t and t r a n s f o r m the s t r u c t u r e of t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a so t h a t i t would no l o n g e r be c l o s e d and c i r c u l a r , but open, i n d e t e r m i n a t e and m u l t i p l a n a r . The t h e s i s i n v o l v e s an a n a l y s i s o f v a r i o u s t h e o r i e s which propose an a l t e r n a t i v e t o the c o n v e n t i o n a l n o t i o n o f t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a and l i t e r a r y t e x t s which comment upon and t r a n s f o r m the e n c y c l o p a e d i c i d e a l . I t i s more of an e x p l o r a t o r y work than one which p r o g r e s s e s towards a d e f i n i t e c o n c l u s i o n ; hence i t s development i s more p a r a d i g m a t i c than s y n t a g m a t i c i n n a t u r e . I d e a l l y , the segments which comprise the t h e s i s c o u l d be read i n any o r d e r , a l t h o u g h I have attempted t o make some l o g i c a l c o n n e c t i o n s between them. For the most p a r t I have s i m p l y j u x t a p o s e d segments which seem c o m p a t i b l e i n some way. Thus an a n a l y s i s of a t h e o r y may be f o l l o w e d by an a n a l y s i s o f a l i t e r a r y t e x t , though the l a t t e r may n e i t h e r c o n f i r m , nor d e v e l o p the former. Throughout the t h e s i s I have t r i e d t o t r e a t l i t e r a r y t e x t s as t h e o r i e s , which I b e l i e v e they a r e , and not n e c e s s a r i l y as works which must s u p p o r t , o r be s u p p o r t e d by, t h e o r i e s e x t e r n a l t o them. 1 To keep t h e c o m p l e x i t y o f . t h e t h e s i s at a r e a s o n a b l e l e v e l , I am u s i n g a v e r y b a s i c d e f i n i t i o n of the e n c y c l o p a e d i a . For t h e most p a r t i t d e r i v e s from the d e f i n i t i o n s l i s t e d i n the O x f o r d  E n g l i s h D i c t i o n a r y : 1. The c i r c l e of l e a r n i n g ; a g e n e r a l c o u r s e o f i n s t r u c t i o n 2. A l i t e r a r y work c o n t a i n i n g e x t e n s i v e i n f o r m a t i o n on a l l branches o f knowledge, u s u a l l y a r r a n g e d i n a l p h a b e t i c a l o r d e r . 3. An e l a b o r a t e and e x h a u s t i v e r e p e r t o r y o f i n f o r m a t i o n on a l l the branches o f some p a r t i c u l a r a r t or department o f knowledge; esp. one arr a n g e d i n a l p h a b e t i c a l o r d e r . We can say t h a t some e n c y c l o p a e d i a s attempt t o account f o r t h e sum of human knowledge, w h i l e o t h e r s d e a l w i t h s p e c i f i c areas w i t h i n t h a t sum. The r e l a t i v i t y of the term i s i n e v i d e n c e from the s t a r t . An e n c y c l o p a e d i a may be about one t h i n g , or a l l t h i n g s depending upon where i t s c o m p i l e r s d e c i d e t o draw b o u n d a r i e s . What l i n k s a l l e n c y c l o p a e d i a s , however, i s t h e n o t i o n of t o t a l i t y . Whether i t s domain i s a l l s u b j e c t s or one s u b j e c t , t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a t h e o r e t i c a l l y a c c o u n t s f o r " a l l branches" o f t h a t domain. The u l t i m a t e aim of the e n c y c l o p a e d i a i s t o be p e r f e c t l y c o - e x t e n s i v e w i t h i t s s u b j e c t ; t o exhaust the s u b j e c t so t h a t i t may be s a i d t o be complete. Of c o u r s e , any s u g g e s t i o n t h a t a book can c o n t a i n a t o t a l i t y 2 i s i l l u s o r y , s i n c e no book c o u l d ever say a l l t h a t c o u l d be s a i d about any s u b j e c t , never mind a l l s u b j e c t s . However i n c l u s i v e the c o m p i l e r s o f t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a seek t o be, t h e i r p r o j e c t must always g i v e way t o n e c e s s a r y l i m i t a t i o n s i n o r d e r t h a t the work be p u b l i s h e d . For any s u b j e c t , or a s p e c t of a s u b j e c t h o l d s the p o t e n t i a l f o r i n f i n i t e w r i t i n g . The i n h e r e n t paradox of be i n g l i m i t e d i n o r d e r t o p r e s e n t a t o t a l i t y thus makes any e n c y c l o p a e d i a a p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y p r o b l e m a t i c t e x t . To be an e n c y c l o p a e d i s t i s t o be an i l l u s i o n i s t , s i n c e e n c y c l o p a e d i z i n g i s a p r o c e s s of p a c k a g i n g i n f o r m a t i o n i n a d i s t r i b u t e d o r d e r t h a t appears t o be complete even though i t can never be so. In t h i s r e s p e c t , how an e n c y c l o p a e d i a i n c l u d e s i t s i n f o r m a t i o n i s j u s t as i m p o r t a n t as i t s c o n t e n t s . The form of the e n c y c l o p a e d i a must r u l e i t s c o n t e n t so t h a t the i l l u s i o n o f a f i n i t e t o t a l i t y i s p r e s e r v e d . The predominant method o f f o r m a l i z i n g an e n c y c l o p a e d i a i s a l p h a b e t i z i n g . The a l p h a b e t i s a f i n i t e system; n o t h i n g comes b e f o r e A, nor a f t e r Z. S i n c e the name of any s u b j e c t must be s p e l l e d , a l l s u b j e c t s must f i t i n t o the p r e d e t e r m i n e d system o f the a l p h a b e t . The a l p h a b e t i c system i s c o m p l e t e l y a r b i t r a r y , f o r t h e r e i s no r a t i o n a l e , o t h e r than o r t h o g r a p h y , t o j u s t i f y the j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f s u b j e c t s . Thus the a l p h a b e t i z e d e n c y c l o p a e d i a f o r f e i t s a l o g i c a l l i n e a r i t y f o r a p e r f e c t d i s t r i b u t i o n of i n f o r m a t i o n . To proceed through the l e t t e r s from A t o Z i s t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e i l l u s i o n o f b e g i n n i n g at an o r i g i n and endi n g at a p o i n t where no f u r t h e r e x p r e s s i o n i s p o s s i b l e . Even though 3 what l i e s between the o r i g i n and the end i s p o t e n t i a l l y i n f i n i t e , t he a l p h a b e t i c a l l y determined p r o x i m i t y of j u x t a p o s e d s u b j e c t s h e l p s make th e e n c y c l o p a e d i a appear t o be a s e a l e d work. A l t h o u g h a l p h a b e t i z i n g i s t h e most e f f i c i e n t and p o p u l a r method o f f o r m a l i z i n g the e n c y c l o p a e d i a , i t i s c e r t a i n l y not the o n l y way o f d o i n g so. s u b j e c t s can be p l a c e d i n any number of c a t e g o r i e s and h i e r a r c h i e s , but a l l e n c y c l o p a e d i c s t r u c t u r e s work towards the same end of r e f l e c t i n g -the w o r l d as a f i n i t e t o t a l i t y which can be comprehended i n a t e x t u a l s t r u c t u r e . What f o l l o w s i n t h i s t h e s i s i s an e x a m i n a t i o n o f d i f f e r e n t ways of d i s r u p t i n g t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i c i l l u s i o n of t o t a l i t y , i n o r d e r t o c r i t i q u e i t s c o n c e p t u a l f l a w s and t o e x p l o r e a l t e r n a t e methods o f r e l a t i n g t e x t s t o what i s knowable and unknowable about the w o r l d . 1. B a k h t i n : N o v e l i z i n g t h e World In The D i a l o g i c I m a g i n a t i o n , M.M. B a k h t i n d e f i n e s the n o v e l i n o p p o s i t i o n t o the e p i c , which has c e r t a i n a f f i n i t i e s w i t h t h e b a s i c concept of t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the way B a k h t i n sees i t s c o n c e p t u a l use of t h e p a s t : the e p i c p a s t i s a b s o l u t e and complete. I t i s c l o s e d as a c i r c l e ; i n s i d e i t e v e r y t h i n g i s f i n i s h e d . There 4 i s no p l a c e i n t h e e p i c w o r l d f o r any openendedness, i n d e c i s i o n , i n d e t e r m i n a c y . . . . A b s o l u t e c l o s e d n e s s i s the f e a t u r e of t h e t e m p o r a l l y v a l o r i z e d p a s t . ( B a k h t i n 16) T h i s c l o s u r e and c i r c u l a r i t y i s not l i m i t e d t o t h e e p i c ' s t r e a t m e n t of t h e p a s t ; i t extends t o the form of language t h a t the e p i c employs. A c c o r d i n g t o B a k h t i n , e p i c language has a s i n g l e v o i c e o f a u t h o r i t y which pervades the work, d i s a l l o w i n g the i n t r u s i o n of o t h e r v o i c e s which might t h r e a t e n i t s p o s i t i o n or d i s r u p t i t s i l l u s i o n o f p e r f e c t i o n . In a l l i t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , t h e e p i c d i s p l a y s a c l o s e d a t t i t u d e towards th e w o r l d . I t c r e a t e s f o r i t s e l f a v a l o r i z e d p a s t which i s s e v e r e d from th e i n c o n c l u s i v e n e s s and change of the p r e s e n t , and i n s c r i b e s t h i s p a s t i n t h e language of t h e e p i t a p h . We can view B a k h t i n ' s c o n c e p t i o n of the e p i c as an enactment of the e n c y c l o p a e d i c i d e a l : i t i s an a b s o l u t e , c i r c u l a r work, d e l i v e r e d i n an a u t h o r i t a t i v e v o i c e . In c o n t r a s t t o the e p i c , B a k h t i n s u g g e s t s t h a t the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and t e n d e n c i e s o f the n o v e l r e f l e c t "a new w o r l d i n t h e making" ( B a k h t i n 1 6 ) , as the n o v e l d i s r u p t s and t r a n s f o r m s the e p i c ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e w o r l d and language. He a s c r i b e s t o the n o v e l the f o l l o w i n g t h r e e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which d e f i n e i t , not so much as a s p e c i f i c a l l y d e l i n e a t e d genre, but as a s t y l i s t i c a t t i t u d e : (1) i t s s t y l i s t i c t h r e e d i m e n s i o n a l i t y , which i s l i n k e d w i t h the m u l t i - l a n g u a g e d c o n s c i o u s n e s s r e a l i z e d i n t h e n o v e l ; 5 (2) the r a d i c a l change i t e f f e c t s i n t h e te m p o r a l co-o r d i n a t e s o f t h e l i t e r a r y image; ( 3 ) the new zone opened by t h e n o v e l f o r s t r u c t u r i n g l i t e r a r y images, namely the zone of maximal c o n t a c t w i t h the p r e s e n t ( w i t h contemporary r e a l i t y ) i n a l l i t s openendedness. ( B a k h t i n 11) A g a i n s t the s i n g l e v o i c e o f the e p i c , the n o v e l opposes a " m u l t i -languaged c o n s c i o u s n e s s " ; a g a i n s t t e m p o r a l c l o s u r e , an openendedness; and a g a i n s t s t a t i c form, a r a d i c a l "new zone." Thus t h e n o v e l i s the a n t i t h e s i s o f the e n c y c l o p a e d i c i d e a l r e p r e s e n t e d by t h e e p i c . A l t h o u g h B a k h t i n comes t o d e s c r i b e the n o v e l as a k i n d of e n c y c l o p a e d i a , i t i s so opposed t o any form of c l o s u r e t h a t p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i a would seem t o be a more a p p r o p r i a t e term. A c c o r d i n g t o B a k h t i n , t h e r a d i c a l n a t u r e of t h e n o v e l i s such t h a t i t has a p a r t i c u l a r l y e l a s t i c p o s i t i o n i n r e l a t i o n t o ot h e r l i t e r a r y g e n r e s . O p e r a t i n g from t h i s p o s i t i o n , t h e n o v e l demands a r e v a l u a t i o n o f t r a d i t i o n a l genre t h e o r y as d e f i n e d by the p o e t i c s o f t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , which B a k h t i n says a r e : e c l e c t i c , [and] d e s c r i p t i v e ; t h e i r aim i s not a l i v i n g and o r g a n i c f u l n e s s , but r a t h e r an a b s t r a c t and e n c y c l o p a e d i c comprehensiveness.... Of cour s e t h e s e p o e t i c s can no l o n g e r i g n o r e the n o v e l - - t h e y s i m p l y add i t t o a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g genres (and thus i t e n t e r s 6 the r o s t e r as merely one genre among many....) ( B a k h t i n 5) B a k h t i n r e f u s e s t o accept t h a t the n o v e l i s one genre added t o the r e s t . As a form, t h e n o v e l i s t o o f l e x i b l e t o be s l o t t e d i n t o an e n c y c l o p a e d i c s t r u c t u r e ; i t i s t o o s l i p p e r y t o be so d e t e r m i n a t e l y c a t e g o r i z e d . In B a k h t i n ' s system, the n o v e l o c c u p i e s no p o s i t i o n i n one sense, and a l l p o s i t i o n s i n a n o t h e r . I t runs a l o n g s i d e the o t h e r genres and i s c a p a b l e of i n t e r s e c t i n g any or a l l o f them i n a d i s r u p t i v e way: i t exposes t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y of [ o t h e r genres'] forms and language; i t squeezes out some genres and i n c o r p o r a t e s o t h e r s i n t o i t s own p e c u l i a r s t r u c t u r e , r e f o r m u l a t i n g them and r e a c c e n t u a t i n g them. ( B a k h t i n 5) The n o v e l c i r c u l a t e s and a c t s upon the e n c y c l o p a e d i a o f genres by v i r t u e of i t s f o r m a l e l a s t i c i t y . In t h i s s ense, the n o v e l i s t h o r o u g h l y p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c . From the p e r s p e c t i v e of t h e u n n o v e l i z e d system of d i s t i n c t genres and p r i v i l e g e d l i t e r a r y language, the n o v e l i s a m a r g i n a l form: " a s s o c i a t e d w i t h . . . u n o f f i c i a l language and u n o f f i c i a l t h o u g h t . . . " ( B a k h t i n 20). Yet by v i r t u e of i t s " u n o f f i c i a l n e s s " the n o v e l i s a b l e , somewhat p a r a d o x i c a l l y , t o work i t s way i n t o the h e a r t of l i t e r a r y endeavor, because i t s u n r e s t r i c t e d n e s s a l l o w s i t t o i n s i n u a t e i t s e l f i n t o o t h e r g e n r e s , which c o n s e q u e n t l y become n o v e l i z e d : " [ i t ] s p a r k s the r e n o v a t i o n of a l l the o t h e r g e n r e s , i t i n f e c t s them w i t h i t s s p i r i t of p r o c e s s and i n c o n c l u s i v e n e s s " ( B a k h t i n 7). The r e s u l t o f t h i s p r o c e s s , which 7 has come t o i t s f r u i t i o n i n the p a s t few c e n t u r i e s , i s an e r a o f the n o v e l t h a t d i s s o l v e s g e n e r i c b o u n d a r i e s and t r a n s f o r m s t h e s t r u c t u r e of t h e c l o s e d c i r c l e which l i t e r a t u r e once used t o recode t h e w o r l d . B a k h t i n d e s c r i b e s the a t t i t u d e of t h e n o v e l as p a r o d i c and t r a v e s t y i n g , y e t at the same time i n t e n s e l y a n a l y t i c a l . I t a n a l y z e s t h i n g s by l a u g h i n g at them: Laughter has the remarkable power of making an o b j e c t come up c l o s e . . . where one can f i n g e r i t f a m i l i a r l y on a l l s i d e s , t u r n i t u p s i d e down, i n s i d e o u t . . . t a k e i t a p a r t , dismember i t . . . e x a m i n e i t f r e e l y and experiment w i t h i t . ( B a k h t i n 23) In t h e b r o a d e s t terms, t h e " o b j e c t " which the n o v e l a n a l y z e s i s the l i t e r a r y c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the w o r l d , or the w o r l d as a t e x t c o n c e i v e d by man. The l a u g h t e r of the n o v e l i s a N i e t s z c h e a n form of l a u g h t e r , which "demolishes f e a r and p i e t y b e f o r e an o b j e c t , b e f o r e a w o r l d . . . " ( B a k h t i n 2 3 ) ; a k i n d of D e r r i d e a n p l a y . In f a c t , B a k h t i n ' s c o n c e p t i o n o f how the n o v e l f u n c t i o n s i s a k i n t o a brand of d e c o n s t r u c t i o n . The parody of t h e n o v e l i s not d e s t r u c t i v e or f l i p p a n t . R a t h e r , i t i n h a b i t s o l d s t r u c t u r e s and recodes them i n new ways th r o u g h an a n a l y t i c s o f l a u g h t e r . The n o v e l a l s o i n v o l v e s a c e r t a i n r e l a t i o n s h i p between language and the w o r l d . I t m a n i f e s t s what B a k h t i n c a l l s h e t e r o g l o s s i a and p o l y g l o s s i a , r e f l e c t i n g the language of the w o r l d i n which i t e x i s t s . H e t e r o g l o s s i a r e f e r s t o the n o v e l ' s if 8 r e c o g n i t i o n and i n c o r p o r a t i o n of v a r i o u s " o t h e r " languages o p e r a t i n g w i t h i n a n a t i o n a l language system b e s i d e s the p r i v i l e g e d l i t e r a r y v o i c e . The i n c o r p o r a t i o n of h e t e r o g l o s s i a b r i n g s about a " v e r b a l and semantic d e c e n t e r i n g of t h e i d e o l o g i c a l w o r l d " ( B a k h t i n 367) o f any g i v e n n a t i o n a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s . U l t i m a t e l y , i t " d e n i e s the a b s o l u t i s m o f a s i n g l e and u n i t a r y language" ( B a k h t i n 366). The t r u e n o v e l i s t i n the B a k h t i n i a n sense u n d e r s t a n d s th e m u l t i p l i c i t y t h a t e x i s t s w i t h i n h i s / h e r own n a t i o n a l language and proceeds t o p l a y upon i t as though i t were a m u s i c a l s c a l e . The i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f h e t e r o g l o s s i a r e f l e c t s t h e i n t e r n a l opening up of a language. I t d i s r u p t s the e n c y c l o p a e d i c / e p i c i d e a l from w i t h i n , s i n c e t h e " o t h e r " languages w i t h i n a n a t i o n a l system must not o n l y be t aken i n t o a c c o u n t , but a c t u a l l y d e p l o y e d . T h i s deployment cannot occur w i t h i n the " c l o s e d c i r c l e " framework, because t h i s s t r u c t u r e r e q u i r e s a p r i v e l e g e d language t o c o n t a i n i t . H e t e r o g l o s s i a f a c e t s the language of a n a t i o n a l c u l t u r e , d i s r u p t i n g any " o f f i c i a l " v o i c e t h a t might presume t o be an e n c y c l o p a e d i c v o i c e . J u s t as h e t e r o g l o s s i a r e p r e s e n t s the i n t e r n a l opening of a n a t i o n a l c u l t u r e ' s language, p o l y g l o s s i a r e p r e s e n t s an outward opening up of language beyond the b o u n d a r i e s of e t h n o c e n t r i s m . W h i l e the n o v e l r e c o g n i z e s the m u l t i p l i c i t y w i t h i n any g i v e n language, i t a l s o r e c o g n i z e s o t h e r n a t i o n a l languages b e s i d e s i t s own. In a p o l y g l o t system, one's own language i s no l o n g e r e n v i s i o n e d as the c e n t e r around which the s p e a k i n g w o r l d 9 r a d i a t e s . R a t h e r , i t i s s i m p l y one among o t h e r s . B a k h t i n says t h a t the n o v e l r e f l e c t s : a v e r y s p e c i f i c r u p t u r e i n t h e h i s t o r y o f European c i v i l i z a t i o n : i t s emergence from a s o c i a l l y i s o l a t e d and c u l t u r a l l y deaf s e m i p a t r i a r c h a l s o c i e t y , and i t s e n t r a n c e i n t o i n t e r n a t i o n a l and i n t e r l i n g u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . ( B a k h t i n 11) Once t h e s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s a r e e s t a b l i s h e d , d i f f e r e n t languages b e g i n t o " i n t e r i l l u m i n a t e " each o t h e r . The n o v e l i s t p a r t i c i p a t e s f u l l y i n t h i s i n t e r i l l u m i n a t i o n . T h i s does not mean t h a t a l l n o v e l s a r e Finnegans Wakes, but t h a t t h e n o v e l i s t as B a k h t i n e n v i s i o n s him/her i s at l e a s t c o n s c i o u s of t h e i n t e r a c t i o n between h i s / h e r own language and o t h e r s , and thus i s aware of the d e s t a b i l i z e d and d e c e n t r a l i z e d p o s i t i o n from which s/he w r i t e s . The p o l y g l o t c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f the B a k h t i n i a n n o v e l i s a c e l e b r a t i o n o f t h e p o s t - B a b e l s t a t e , as i t e x p l o r e s the bonds and d i s j u n c t i o n s between s e p a r a t e languages. I t does not p r e t e n d t h a t i t s language i s pure and u n t o u c h a b l e . The n o v e l i s t ' s mother tongue does not o p e r a t e i m p e r i a l i s t i c a l l y , as though i t c o u l d comprehend th e t o t a l i t y of t h e w o r l d from i t s p e r s p e c t i v e , and hence cannot p o s i t i t s e l f as a p r o p e r e n c y c l o p a e d i c v o i c e . A l t h o u g h h e t e r o g l o s s i a and p o l y g l o s s i a are of s t r u c t u r a l i m p o r t , they do not c o n s t i t u t e s t r u c t u r e s i n t h e m s e l v e s . They are r a t h e r t h e c o n d i t i o n s f o r the e x i s t e n c e of d i a l o g i s m , B a k h t i n ' s most i m p o r t a n t s t r u c t u r a l p r i n c i p l e . D i a l o g i s m d e r i v e s from t h e i d e a of t h e d i a l o g u e , i n which two p e o p l e exchange 10 i d e a s , b e l i e f systems and o p i n i o n s i n c o n v e r s a t i o n . B a k h t i n adapts t h i s p r i n c i p l e of exchange t o the i n t e r a c t i o n o f d i f f e r e n t systems w i t h i n a g i v e n work. The d i a l o g i c work has a d o u b l e , or s p l i t , v o i c e , one s i d e a c t i n g as a f o i l t o the o t h e r . A l t h o u g h the concept seems s t r i c t l y b i n a r y , B a k h t i n w r i t e s t h a t i t s m a n i f e s t a t i o n i s complex, and,, t h a t the two v o i c e s of t h e work cannot be d i s t i n g u i s h e d w i t h a b s o l u t e c e r t a i n t y : i n t e r n a l d i a l o g i s m . . . w h i c h grows o r g a n i c a l l y out of a s t r a t i f i e d and h e t e r o g l o t language, cannot f u n d a m e n t a l l y be d r a m a t i z e d or d r a m a t i c a l l y r e s o l v e d (brought t o an a u t h e n t i c end); i t cannot be f i t t e d i n t o the frame of any m a n i f e s t d i a l o g u e , i n t o the frame of mere c o n v e r s a t i o n ; i t i s not u l t i m a t e l y d i v i s i b l e i n t o v e r b a l exchanges p o s s e s s i n g p r e c i s e l y marked b o u n d a r i e s . ( B a k h t i n 326) The d i a l o g i c system r e s i s t s c l o s u r e . I f the v o i c e s w i t h i n i t c o u l d be c o m p l e t e l y d i s t i n g u i s h e d , or the s t r u g g l e between them r e s o l v e d , the system would l o s e i t s dynamics. D i a l o g i s m i s l i k e a p o s i t i v e s c h i z o p h r e n i a which t h r i v e s on i t s own c o m p l i c a t i o n and d i s r u p t i o n . The most i m p o r t a n t i m p l i c a t i o n o f d i a l o g i s m c o n c e r n i n g e n c y c l o p a e d i c s t r u c t u r e s i s t h a t i t makes e x p r e s s i o n s w i t h i n t h e t e x t i n d e t e r m i n a t e . No statement can be taken at f a c e v a l u e , f o r i t must be c o n s i d e r e d i n t h e l i g h t of the " o t h e r " which shadows i t and i s e s s e n t i a l l y i n e x t r i c a b l e from i t . We can p e r c e i v e d i a l o g i s m as a p e r v a s i v e i r o n y which p o t e n t i a l l y a f f e c t s e v e r y 11 word, i t i s not a c o n v e n t i o n a l i r o n y , whereby one says something t o mean something o p p o s i t e t o i t , but r a t h e r a k i n d o f i r o n y which a c t i v a t e s both p o s s i b i l i t i e s at once, w i t h o u t any form of c a n c e l l a t i o n . Thus d i a l o g i s m i s the b a s i s f o r polysemy. In B a k h t i n ' s d i a l o g i c s t r u c t u r e , c o n f l i c t and s t r u g g l e t a k e p l a c e w i t h i n language i t s e l f ; t h e y a r e no l o n g e r t h i n g s which language o b j e c t i f i e s from an untouched p e r s p e c t i v e . D i a l o g i c language i s not a medium f o r t h e a u t h o r i t a t i v e d i s t r i b u t i o n and c a t e g o r i z a t i o n o f knowledge. I t does not a l l o w f o r t h e d iscernment of p e r f e c t d i v i s i o n s and paradigms. T h i s i s not t o say t h a t d i a l o g i c language l a c k s r i g o u r or c o n s t i t u t e s a c o n f u s e d mass of i n f o r m a t i o n . R a t h e r , i t i s a s t r u c t u r e d h e t e r o g e n e i t y , a r i g o u r o u s c o m p l i c a t i o n which t e s t s each word. As B a k h t i n w r i t e s , the word e n t e r s "a complex p l a y of l i g h t and shadow" ( B a k h t i n 277). M e t a p h o r i c a l l y , B a k h t i n l i k e n s words i n a d i a l o g i c system t o r a y s o f l i g h t : [ t h e ] p l a y o f c o l o r s and l i g h t on the f a c e t s of the image t h a t [ t h e word] c o n s t r u c t s can be e x p l a i n e d as the s p e c t r a l d i s p e r s i o n o f t h e ray-word, not w i t h i n the o b j e c t i t s e l f . . . b u t r a t h e r as i t s s p e c t r a l d i s p e r s i o n i n an atmosphere f i l l e d w i t h a l i e n words, v a l u e judgements and a c c e n t s t h r o u g h which the r a y passes on i t s way toward the o b j e c t . . . . ( B a k h t i n 277) In t h i s p l a y , any e q u i v a l e n c e between words and o b j e c t s i s secondary t o t h e " s p e c t r a l d i s p e r s i o n " of the word. 12 C o n s e q u e n t l y , the d i a l o g i c n o v e l , which e n t e r s i n t o t h e c o m p l e x i t i e s of h e t e r o g l o s s i a and p o l y g l o s s i a , i n a u g u r a t e s t h e language o r i e n t e d work: the c e n t r a l problem f o r a s t y l i s t i c s o f the n o v e l may be f o r m u l a t e d as t h e problem of. a r t i s t i c a l l y  r e p r e s e n t i n g language, th e problem of r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e  image of a language.. ( B a k h t i n 336) A l t h o u g h t h e n o v e l may o p e r a t e w i t h t r a d i t i o n a l s t r u c t u r a l e l e m e n t s , such as p l o t and c h a r a c t e r , t h e s e are secondary t o the dynamic f a c e t i n g and i n t e r a c t i o n o f languages t h a t d i s r u p t s "a m y t h i c h and m a g i c a l a t t i t u d e t o language and t h e w o r l d " ( B a k h t i n .369). B a k h t i n s u g g e s t s t h a t the language of the n o v e l i s aware of the d i s s o c i a t i o n between language and i n t e n t i o n , thought and e x p r e s s i o n . I t becomes f u l l y s e l f - r e f l e x i v e . The image of language t h a t the n o v e l c r e a t e s i s t h a t o f language l i s t e n i n g t o i t s e l f as i t r e f l e c t s a h e t e r o g l o t and p o l y g l o t w o r l d . The D i a l o g i c I m a g i n a t i o n opens a d i a l o g u e i n i t s e l f between the s t r u c t u r e of t h e a l r e a d y f i n i s h e d c l o s e d c i r c l e , which I am i d e n t i f y i n g w i t h t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a , and an a l t e r n a t i v e s t r u c t u r e , which t r a n s f o r m s - the image of the c l o s e d c i r c l e i n t o something e l s e , and d i s r u p t s t h e n o t i o n o f language as a c o n t a i n e r t h a t can e f f e c t a c l o s u r e . There i s no doubt t h a t B a k h t i n i d e a l i z e s the q u a l i t i e s of t h e n o v e l , and t h a t i t would be d i f f i c u l t t o f i n d a t e x t which does a l l the t h i n g s B a k h t i n s u g g e s t s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , B a k h t i n ' s d e f i n i t i o n - o f the n o v e l i s f l e x i b l e enough t h a t we can -u n d e r s t a n d i t as a mode, or s t y l i s t i c d i r e c t i o n , and not as a 13 s p e c i f i c genre. Thus some works which have c o n v e n t i o n a l l y been c a l l e d " n o v e l s " l o s e t h e i r n o v e l n e s s i n B a k h t i n ' s scheme, w h i l e o t h e r works which have been a t t r i b u t e d t o o t h e r genres can e a s i l y become n o v e l s i n a B a k h t i n i a n sense. Over th e c o u r s e of the t h e s i s , I w i s h t o show t h a t t e x t s l i k e Moby D i c k , G r a v i t y ' s  Rainbow and "A" a r e more o n t o l o g i c a l l y a l i g n e d w i t h B a k h t i n ' s concept o f t h e n o v e l than w i t h t h e c o n v e n t i o n s o f the e p i c or the e n c y c l o p a e d i a . 2 . M i s t a k e n Ident i t y In t h e i r e f f o r t s t o d i s c e r n an i d e n t i t y between c e r t a i n l i t e r a r y works and t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a , Ronald Swigger i n " F i c t i o n a l E n c y c l o p e d i s m and t h e C o g n i t i v e V a l u e of L i t e r a t u r e " and Edward Mendelson i n " G r a v i t y ' s E n c y c l o p e d i a " do not c o n s i d e r how t h e s e works might d i s r u p t e n c y c l o p a e d i c c l o s u r e . They t a k e the c o n v e n t i o n a l e n c y c l o p a e d i a f o r g r a n t e d , assuming t h a t i t i s an i d e a l t e x t , which f i c t i o n a l t e x t s can o n l y a s p i r e t o e q u a l i n terms o f range and i n c l u s i v e n e s s . Both Swigger and Mendelson f a i l t o a ddress the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t the t e x t s they d i s c u s s may be d o i n g something d i f f e r e n t from s i m p l y a t t e m p t i n g t o l i v e up t o the e n c y c l o p a e d i c i d e a l . I f we are t o c o n c e i v e of a p o s t -e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t , we must q u e s t i o n . t h e p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s of t h e s e c r i t i c s . 14 As the t i t l e of Swigger's a r t i c l e s u g g e s t s , he i s concerned w i t h t h e " v a l u e " o f l i t e r a t u r e . He proposes t h a t e n c y c l o p a e d i c f i c t i o n b e s t i l l u s t r a t e s the worth o f l i t e r a t u r e as a medium f o r e x p r e s s i n g knowledge and p u t t i n g i t i n p e r s p e c t i v e : [ t h i s p a p e r ' s ] aim i s t o propose t o c r i t i c s t h a t l i t e r a t u r e be s t u d i e d i n terms o f i t s use of and a s p i r a t i o n s towards knowledge, and t o propose t h a t one way of o r i e n t i n g o n e s e l f t o th e s e problems i s t o c o n s i d e r the ways i n which e n c y c l o p e d i s m c o n t i n u e s t o be t h e a m b i t i o n o f l i t e r a t u r e . (Swigger 351) Swigger contends t h a t a l t h o u g h t h e t e x t s he chooses t o e x e m p l i f y h i s p o s i t i o n parody the t o t a l i z i n g e f f o r t s of e n c y c l o p a e d i s t s , the a t t i t u d e s t hey d i s p l a y towards t h e "gusto o f l e a r n i n g and e x p e r t e l a b o r a t i o n " (Swigger 353) s t i l l have a p o s i t i v e v a l u e . Swigger's concept o f e n c y c l o p a e d i s m comes from N o r t h r o p F r y e , p a r t i c u l a r l y from "Frye's s u g g e s t i o n t h a t e n c y c l o p e d i s m i s a symptom of l i t e r a t u r e ' s i n v e t e r a t e attempt t o e s t a b l i s h i t s e l f as a t o t a l o r d e r o f words" (Swigger 355). Swigger sees the supposed e n c y c l o p a e d i c g e s t u r e o f l i t e r a t u r e as one which b r i n g s the d i v e r s i t y of human knowledge and c u l t u r e i n t o one f i e l d . Such a f i e l d would make us see the connectedness of knowledge, r e v e a l i n g and opening e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r the reader who wishes t o apprehend t h e v a s t s t r u c t u r e o f l e a r n i n g . The problem w i t h Swigger's concept of a h o l i s t i c v i s i o n i s t h a t the works o f Borges, F l a u b e r t and Queneau t h a t he uses t o 15 support h i s v i s i o n a c t u a l l y d e c o n s t r u c t i t . T h i s much i s e v i d e n t from h i s own a d m i s s i o n o f t h e i r p a r o d i c n a t u r e , which he t r i e s t o r e v i s e i n o r d e r t o f i t h i s scheme. For i n s t a n c e , he w r i t e s : Bouvard et Pecuchet s h o u l d not be taken as a c y n i c a l d i s m i s s a l of t h e mind's e n t e r p r i s e s . E n c y c l o p e d i s m i s s a t i r i z e d , d e m o n s t r a t i n g t h a t the o r g a n i z a t i o n o f knowledge i s i n e v i t a b l y a r b i t r a r y and c o n v e n t i o n a l . . . . But the b e l i e f t h a t the i n t e l l e c t can be sharpened and r e f i n e d , and t h a t the mind can f r e e i t s e l f of e r r o r , i s d e f i n i t e l y not abandoned by F l a u b e r t . (Swigger 358) Sharpening and r e f i n i n g the i n t e l l e c t , however, are f a r from any u n i f i e d v i s i o n embraced by a t o t a l o r d e r of words. N e v e r t h e l e s s , Swigger m a i n t a i n s t h a t t h e ways i n which t h e t e x t s he uses d i s r u p t the n o t i o n of the e n y c l o p a e d i a a r e o n l y secondary: f o r a l l the s t r e s s on parody and s a t i r e , F l a u b e r t , Borges and Queneau and many modern w r i t e r s whose work can be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h e n c y c l o p e d i s m , a l l show, by t h e i r i n t e l l e c t u a l c a p a c i t i e s and t h e i r i m a g i n a t i v e v e r s a t i l i t y , t h a t l i t e r a t u r e s t i l l does c l a i m a p l a c e at the c e n t e r of man's s y m b o l i c e f f o r t s . (Swigger 363) In Swigger's scheme, parody and s a t i r e t h r e a t e n the " v a l u e " o f an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n between l i t e r a t u r e and the e n c y c l o p a e d i a . Thus he must de-emphasize t h e e x i s t e n c e o f the s e i s s u e s , and v i r t u a l l y i g n o r e t h e i r f u n c t i o n i n o r d e r t o m a i n t a i n h i s t h e o r e t i c a l p o s i t i o n . From a p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c p e r s p e c t i v e , however, we cannot push a s i d e parody and s a t i r e as Swigger does. As B a k h t i n 16 i n f o r m s us, they a r e two of the means by which t e x t s may a c t upon the e n c y c l o p a e d i a i n o r d e r t o d i s r u p t and t r a n s f o r m i t s s t r u c t u r e . Swigger a l s o s k i r t s the problem of a c t u a l l y d e f i n i n g the f o r m a l e n c y c l o p a e d i s m of f i c t i o n a l t e x t s by d e a l i n g o n l y w i t h works t h a t a r e more o v e r t l y about the p r o c e s s of e n c y c l o p a e d i z i n g than t h e y a r e e n c y c l o p a e d i c i n t h e m s e l v e s . They thus p r o v i d e a mediated view of e n c y c l o p a e d i s m . Yet Swigger does not c o n s i d e r t h i s m e d i a t i o n as a f a c t o r i n h i s t h e o r y . W h i l e he w r i t e s about the p o s s i b i l i t y of l i t e r a t u r e e s t a b l i s h i n g a t o t a l o r d e r o f words, he does not d i s t i n g u i s h between the e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t , which a t t e m p t s t o enact t h a t o r d e r , and the m e t a - e n e y c l o p a e d i c t e x t , which i s f u n d a m e n t a l l y d i f f e r e n t from t h a t o r d e r i n i t s o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of e n c y c l o p a e d i c p r o c e s s e s . T h u s Swigger f a i l s t o u n d e r s t a n d B o r g e s ' p o i n t i n h i s p r o l o g u e t o the f i r s t h a l f of F i c c i o n e s : The c o m p o s i t i o n of v a s t books i s a l a b o r i o u s and i m p o v e r i s h i n g extravagance....A b e t t e r c o u r s e o f p r o c e d u r e i s t o p r e t e n d t h a t t h e s e books a l r e a d y e x i s t , and then t o o f f e r a resume, a commentary. (Borges 15) Borges' use of t h e mise en abyme ofThe F i r s t E n c y c l o p a e d i a of  T l d n i n the s t o r y " T l b n , Uqbar, O r b i s T e r t i u s " d i s t i n g u i s h e s him from t h e a u t h o r who pursues the " l a b o r i o u s and i m p o v e r i s h i n g " t a s k of w r i t i n g v a s t books. Once we r e c o g n i z e the d i f f e r e n c e between the meta-e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t , which i s e s s e n t i a l l y p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c , and the c o n v e n t i o n a l l y e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t , e s t a b l i s h i n g an i d e n t i t y between the t e x t s Swigger uses and t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a becomes tenuous. I n t r y i n g t o c r e a t e a s i m p l e correspondence between a d u b i o u s l y d e f i n e d type of a r t i s t i c t e x t and the e n c y c l o p a e d i a , Swigger f a i l s t o a ddress the most fundamental issue' of " f i c t i o n a l e n c y c l o p a e d i s m " : the e f f e c t t h a t a g i v e n t e x t may have on the concept of t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a . In " G r a v i t y ' s E n c y c l o p e d i a " , Edward Mendelson e s t a b l i s h e s c e r t a i n g r o u n d r u l e s f o r what he c a l l s "the e n c y c l o p e d i c n a r r a t i v e " i n o r d e r t o g i v e Thomas Pynchon's G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow a g e n e r i c c o n t e x t : i t s companions i n t h i s most e x c l u s i v e of l i t e r a r y c a t e g o r i e s a r e Dante's Commedia, R a b e l a i s ' s f i v e books of Gargantua and p a n t a g r u e l , C e r v a n t e s ' s Don Q u i x o t e , Goethe's F a u s t , M e l v i l l e ' s Moby D i c k , and J o y c e ' s U l y s s e s (Mendelson 161) The p r i m a r y c r i t e r i o n f o r membership i n t h i s " e x c l u s i v e " c a t e g o r y i s c u l t u r a l pre-eminence: Each major Western n a t i o n a l c u l t u r e , as i t becomes f u l l y c o n s c i o u s of i t s e l f as a u n i t y , produces an e n c y c l o p e d i c a u t h o r . . . . (Mendelson 161) In Mendelson's terms, an e n c y c l o p a e d i c n a r r a t i v e not o n l y has t o be somehow f o r m a l l y e n c y c l o p a e d i c , but a l s o must occupy a s i n g u l a r l y i m p o r t a n t p o s i t i o n i n i t s a u t h o r ' s n a t i o n a l c u l t u r e . 18 L i k e Swigger's use o f t e x t s which have f i c t i o n a l e n c y c l o p a e d i a s w r i t t e n i n t o them, t h i s c r i t e r i o n seems t o be a method o f c r e a t i n g c e r t a i n b o u n d a r i e s f o r the genre, i n compensation f o r t h e p o t e n t i a l amorphousness of the term e n c y c l o p a e d i a . I t g i v e s Mendelson something t o f a l l back upon when the f o r m a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f e n c y c l o p a e d i c n a r r a t i v e s becomes d i f f i c u l t . I t a l s o seems unduly r e s t r i c t i v e and e n t i r e l y s u b j e c t i v e . For example, c u l t u r a l p o s i t i o n may sometimes o v e r -r u l e form c o m p l e t e l y , as when Mendelson c l a i m s t h a t England has no s i n g l e e n c y c l o p a e d i c n a r r a t i v e , but d i v i d e s the e n c y c l o p a e d i c r o l e between th e t a l e s of Chaucer and the p l a y s of Shakespeare. He w r i t e s : "the o n l y u n i f i e d e n c y c l o p e d i c n a r r a t i v e s i n England thus a r r i v e t o o l a t e t o f u l f i l l a c e n t r a l c u l t u r a l r o l e . . . " (Mendelson 161). But why s h o u l d we s t o p at the c a n o n i c a l f i g u r e s o f Chaucer and Shakespeare? I f t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i c r o l e of a c u l t u r e can s p i l l out of t h e b o u n d a r i e s of one book i n t o o t h e r s , then s u r e l y we can say i t i s s p r e a d throughout a l l the l i t e r a t u r e o f t h a t c u l t u r e . I f a c u l t u r e can become c o n s c i o u s of i t s e l f as a u n i t y , a q u e s t i o n a b l e a s s e r t i o n i n i t s e l f , then a l l i t s books must c o n s t i t u t e i t s l i t e r a r y e n c y c l o p a e d i a . Mendelson has read B a k h t i n , and uses some.of h i s i d e a s i n e s t a b l i s h i n g a p o s i t i o n f o r the e n c y c l o p a e d i c n a r r a t i v e . There i s an u n r e s o l v e d c o n t r a d i c t i o n , however, i n Mendelson's i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f B a k h t i n ' s c o n c e p t s of d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n and d e s t a b i l i z a t i o n and h i s own i d e a s of c u l t u r a l u n i t y and c e n t r a l i t y . Having a l r e a d y e s t a b l i s h e d t h a t the e n c y c l o p a e d i c 19 n a r r a t i v e must be a c a n o n i c a l t e x t w i t h i n a s p e c i f i c a l l y d e l i m i t e d n a t i o n a l c u l t u r e , Mendelson uses B a k h t i n ' s t h e o r y t o suggest t h a t t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i c n a r r a t i v e o c c u p i e s an " i l l e g a l " p o s i t i o n , "at the edge of a c u l t u r e " (Mendelson 178). But he f o r g e t s t h a t e n c y c l o p a e d i a s are u s u a l l y v e r y l e g a l t e x t s , o f t e n s t a t e - s a n c t i o n e d and s t a t e - c o n t r o l l e d . He makes no attempt t o d e f i n e the e n c y c l o p a e d i c n a r r a t i v e i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e s e c o n v e n t i o n a l , l e g a l e n c y c l o p a e d i a s , beyond e s t a b l i s h i n g an i d e n t i t y t h r o u g h names. Thus he does not c o n s i d e r the e f f e c t of the i l l e g a l i t y o f the e n c y c l o p a e d i c n a r r a t i v e on t h e l e g a l i t y of i t s n o n - f i c t i o n a l c o u n t e r p a r t . I do not want t o go i n t o Mendelson's i d e a s on G r a v i t y ' s  Rainbow, which tend t o s t r a y from the t h e o r e t i c a l i s s u e of e n c y c l o p a e d i s m , but a few comments on h i s p e r c e p t i o n o f G r a v i t y ' s  Rainbow's p o s i t i o n i n h i s scheme of e n c y c l o p a e d i c n a r r a t i v e s h e l p s i l l u m i n a t e the a r b i t r a r i n e s s o f h i s t h e o r y . F i r s t , he admits t h a t the s t a t u s of Pynchon's n o v e l as an e n c y c l o p a e d i c n a r r a t i v e i s o n l y a matter o f p r e d i c t i o n . I t i s t o o e a r l y t o see whether i t can j o i n the " e x c l u s i v e " genre. Second, he proposes t h a t G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow i s not a n a t i o n a l e n c y c l o p a e d i c n a r r a t i v e but an i n t e r n a t i o n a l one: Because e n c y c l o p e d i c n a r r a t i v e s appear near the b e g i n n i n g of a c u l t u r e ' s or n a t i o n ' s sense of i t s s e p a r a t e e x i s t e n c e , and because M e l v i l l e has a l r e a d y f u l f i l l e d the e n c y c l o p e d i c r o l e i n N o r t h A m e r i c a , 20 Pynchon's i n t e r n a t i o n a l scope i m p l i e s t h e e x i s t e n c e of a new i n t e r n a t i o n a l c u l t u r e . . . . (Mendelson 165) Thus G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow r e q u i r e s a s p e c i a l s t a t u s which seems t o d e f y a l l t h e g e n e r i c r u l e s which Mendelson has s e t up. Making t h i s t e x t the l i t e r a r y e n c y c l o p a e d i a o f a "new i n t e r n a t i o n a l c u l t u r e " g i v e s i t a p o s i t i o n which i t cannot p o s s i b l y f i l l . A l t h o u g h G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow i s open t o p o l y g l o s s i a i n the B a k h t i n i a n s e n s e , i t does not have t h e l i n g u i s t i c c a p a c i t y t o e n c y c l o p a e d i z e an i n t e r n a t i o n a l c u l t u r e . The book i s no Finnegans Wake (a t e x t t h a t Mendelson appears t o have c o n v e n i e n t l y f o r g o t t e n ) . A t r u l y i n t e r n a t i o n a l e n c y c l o p a e d i c n a r r a t i v e would have t o i n c o r p o r a t e the languages of the w o r l d i n a way t h a t no s i n g l e p e r s o n c o u l d manage. T h e r e f o r e , i t seems t h a t Mendelson i s s i m p l y making space f o r G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow, w i t h o u t c o n s i d e r i n g the i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h a t space. To a degree, my t h e s i s i s a r e a c t i o n t o the views of Swigger and Mendelson which i g n o r e the p o t e n t i a l d i s r u p t i o n o f e n c y c l o p a e d i c forms i n l i t e r a r y t e x t s . By e s t a b l i s h i n g a s i m p l e i d e n t i t y between c e r t a i n t e x t s and the e n c y c l o p a e d i a , Mendelson and Swigger p r i v i l e g e the e n c y c l o p a e d i a as an u n t o u c h a b l e form; t h e y do not a l l o w f o r the p o t e n t i a l a l t e r n a t i v e s t o a' c o n v e n t i o n a l l y e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t u a l i z a t i o n o f t h e w o r l d . 21 3. P e r f e c t C i r c l e s / T r a n s f o r m e d Networks In h i s essay "Language t o I n f i n i t y " M i c h e l F o u c a u l t c o n c e i v e s o f a k i n d of w r i t i n g which i s e r e c t e d a g a i n s t death;, "which b o r d e r s d e a t h , but i s a l s o p o i s e d a g a i n s t i t " ( F o u c a u l t 54). One of t h e o l d e s t t a s k s of w r i t i n g , he s u g g e s t s , i s t o w r i t e so as not t o d i e , t o a c h i e v e a v i r t u a l i m m o r t a l i t y w i t h i n the depths o f a m i r r o r e d and m i r r o r i n g w r i t i n g . T h i s k i n d of w r i t i n g has a c r u c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the e n c y c l o p a e d i a , w hich, i n i t s c l o s u r e , i s an i n s c r i b e d d e a t h . F o u c a u l t w r i t e s t h a t p r i o r t o the end of the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y , "a work whose o n l y meaning r e s i d e s i n i t s b e i n g a s e l f -e n c l o s e d e x p r e s s i o n o f i t s g l o r y " ( F o u c a u l t 60) was the p r i m a r y method o f f e n d i n g o f f death through w r i t i n g . I t e x i s t e d as a p e r f e c t form h e l d a g a i n s t death: the work p l a c e d t h e i n f i n i t e o u t s i d e i t s e l f - - a r e a l and m a j e s t i c i n f i n i t y i n which i t became a v i r t u a l and c i r c u l a r m i r r o r , completed i n a b e a u t i f u l l y c l o s e d form. ( F o u c a u l t 60) We can p e r c e i v e t h i s k i n d o f work as another v e r s i o n of B a k h t i n ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e e p i c , or as the epitome of the c i r c u l a r e n c y c l o p a e d i c form. No work can p l a c e the i n f i n i t e o u t s i d e i t s e l f so e f f e c t i v e l y as t h e c l o s e d A-Z format of the e n c y c l o p a e d i a . But the e n c y c l o p a e d i a has a problem i n t h i s r e s p e c t , i n 22 t h a t i t s c o m p l e t i o n s i g n i f i e s not o n l y p e r f e c t i o n , but a l s o d e a t h . I t cannot escape th e f a c t t h a t i t a s p i r e s t o be the l a s t book, beyond which n o t h i n g e l s e happens; an e p i t a p h t o knowledge and the w o r l d . The o n l y way t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a can c o u n t e r a c t i t s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h death i s t o add supplements, which d i m i n i s h i t s p e r f e c t i o n . The supplement i s the most p a r a d o x i c a l f e a t u r e o f t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a , as V i n c e n t Descombes w r i t e s i n h i s a r t i c l e " V a r i a t i o n s on the S u b j e c t of the E n c y c l o p a e d i c Book": On t h e one hand, th e name of the E n c y c l o p a e d i a e x c l u d e s t h e supplement, f o r t h i s t i t l e announces t h a t the book i s meant t o have a comprehensive coverage of i t s s u b j e c t from A-Z. On the o t h e r hand, i n o r d e r t o be what i t c l a i m s and means t o be, t h e E n c y c l o p a e d i a must a l l o w f o r t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f a supplement... i f the book l a c k s a supplement... i t w i l l be unworthy of i t s name. (Descombes 56) In e f f e c t , the supplement i s t h e p r i c e t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a must pay f o r i t s c l o s e d d e s i g n . I t i s perhaps a l s o a s i g n t h a t t h e s e l f -e n c l o s e d g l o r y o f the e n c y c l o p a e d i c d e s i g n i s no l o n g e r v i a b l e i n w r i t i n g ' s s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t d e a t h . We must a l s o remember t h a t a r t i s t i c t e x t s r a r e l y have supplements, which means i f we are t o i d e n t i f y them w i t h e n c y c l o p a e d i a s , they have o n l y t h e i r s e l f -e n c l o s e d p e r f e c t i o n t o s t a v e o f f d e a t h . T h i s p e r f e c t i o n i s i n e f f e c t i v e , however, as i t s i g n i f i e s the death t h a t i t a t t e m p t s t o fend o f f . In o p p o s i t i o n t o the s e l f - e n c l o s e d work, F o u c a u l t d e s c r i b e s 23 an a l t e r n a t e method of w r i t i n g so as not t o d i e . He s u g g e s t s . t h a t a f t e r t h e e p i s t e m i c s h i f t at the end o f t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y , " w r i t i n g . . . h a s moved i n f i n i t e l y c l o s e r t o i t s s o u r c e " ( F o u c a u l t 60). T h i s movement has i n a u g u r a t e d a new k i n d of work: the d e s i g n , i n a s y s t e m a t i c a l l y t r a n s f o r m e d network, of a l l the b r a n c h i n g s , i n s e r t i o n s and o v e r l a p p i n g s which a re deduced from t h e human c r y s t a l i n o r d e r t o g i v e b i r t h t o g r e a t , s p a r k l i n g , m o b i l e , and i n f i n i t e l y e x t e n d a b l e c o n f i g u r a t i o n s . ( F o u c a u l t 61) I b e l i e v e t h a t what F o u c a u l t d e s c r i b e s here i s a more e f f e c t i v e o n t o l o g i c a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n f o r works l i k e Moby Dick and G r a v i t y ' s . Rainbow which h e r e t o f o r e have been i d e n t i f i e d w i t h e n c y c l o p a e d i a s . F o u c a u l t ' s " t r a n s f o r m e d network" r e p l a c e s the n o t i o n o f the work as a c l o s e d m i r r o r w i t h t h a t of a v i r t u a l l y i n f i n i t e " e x t e n d a b l e " m i r r o r of many f a c e t s . I n s t e a d of c l o s i n g i n on i t s e l f , t he work seeks "the l i m i t s of t h e p o s s i b l e " ( F o u c a u l t 61) i n i t s m i r r o r i n g c a p a c i t y . The i n i t i a l move i n t h i s m i r r o r i n g p r o c e s s i n v o l v e s a r e c o g n i t i o n o f the i n h e r e n t r e d u p l i c a t i o n i n p h o n e t i c w r i t i n g : w r i t i n g . . . a u t o m a t i c a l l y d i c t a t e s t h a t we p l a c e o u r s e l v e s i n t h e v i r t u a l space of s e l f - r e p r e s e n t a t i o n and r e d u p l i c a t i o n ; s i n c e w r i t i n g r e f e r s not t o a t h i n g but t o speech, a work o f l a n g u a g e . . c a l l s f o r t h t h e double o f t h i s a l r e a d y doubled w r i t i n g . . . . ( F o u c a u l t 56) In i t s r e f e r e n c e t o speech r a t h e r than t h i n g s , p h o n e t i c w r i t i n g 24 i s c a p a b l e of an i n f i n i t e l y e x t e n d a b l e s e l f - r e f e r e n c e . There are two fundamental ways i n which a t e x t can r e l a t e t o t h i s d o u b l i n g w i t h i n language. On t h e one hand, a g i v e n work can a c t a g a i n s t i t , e f f e c t i v e l y p r e t e n d i n g t h a t words do i n f a c t r e f e r t o t h i n g s , so t h a t language can f i x the w o r l d i n t o p l a c e e n c y c l o p a e d i c a l l y . On the o t h e r hand, a t e x t can e x p l o i t t h i s r e d u p l i c a t i o n . I n s t e a d of d e s p a i r i n g of t h e s l i p p a g e between l e t t e r s , sounds and t h i n g s , such a t e x t can f i n d an i n f i n i t e p l a y i n t h e spaces t h a t the s l i p p a g e s engender. T h i s i s one o f the fundamental d i f f e r e n c e s between the e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t and t h e p o s t -e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t . The former makes a f u t i l e attempt t o f i x language, w h i l e the l a t t e r e x p l o r e s the p o t e n t i a l i n f i n i t y which the absence o f f i x i t y a l l o w s . Beyond t h i s language c o n s c i o u s n e s s , F o u c a u l t s u g g e s t s t h a t a t e x t may show i t s e n t r a n c e i n t o the space of m i r r o r s by c e r t a i n s t r u c t u r a l s i g n s , which may be i m p e r c e p t i b l e or u n i n t e n t i o n a l . These s i g n s "manage t o p r e s e n t themselves as f a u l t s at the s u r f a c e o f a work" ( F o u c a u l t 57). We might t a k e t h e word " f a u l t " here t o mean a k i n d of g e o g r a p h i c a l f a u l t , a space i n t o which the t e x t might f a l l , by a c c i d e n t or on purpose. I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t a " s l i g h t i m p e r f e c t i o n " may expand t o consume the work and r e g e n e r a t e i t . As an example, F o u c a u l t c i t e s The A r a b i a n N i g h t s whch i n c l u d e s one n i g h t where Scheherazade t e l l s the s t o r y o f her s t o r y : And i n t h i s p r i v i l e g e d n i g h t . . . a space i s opened which seems t o be t h a t i n which i t merely forms an 25 i n s i g n i f i c a n t a b e r r a t i o n , and i t r e v e a l s the same s t a r s i n the.same sky. ( F o u c a u l t 58) As F o u c a u l t s a y s , "the work h o l d s out a m i r r o r . w h e r e i t appears l i k e a m i n i a t u r e of i t s e l f and p r e c e d i n g i t s e l f . . . " ( F o u c a u l t 58) . A g a i n , we can r e l a t e the e n c y c l o p a e d i c supplement to' F o u c a u l t ' s argument. J u s t as the m i r r o r n i g h t i n The A r a b i a n  N i g h t s i s one n i g h t t o o many, the supplement of the e n c y c l o p a e d i a i s one volume t o o many. S i n c e the b i n d i n g of t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a does not a l l o w f o r the i n s e r t i o n o f new i n f o r m a t i o n , t h e supplement must become a m i n i a t u r e m i r r o r o f the e n c y c l o p a e d i a , p r o c e e d i n g from A through Z a l l over a g a i n . As V i n c e n t Descombes w r i t e s : What, f i n a l l y , does the e n c y c l o p a e d i c book l a c k ? The a r t i c l e s p u b l i s h e d i n the supplement a r e not m i s s i n g , s i n c e they a r e , p r e c i s e l y , p u b l i s h e d . What i s m i s s i n g i s m a n i f e s t l y the space which would p e r m i t t h e i r i n s e r t i o n i n t h e i r p l a c e . Complementary a r t i c l e s a re added i n a p l a c e which i s supplementary a c c o r d i n g t o the o r d e r . (Descombes 57) " . Thus the e n c y c l o p a e d i a i s bound t o go on m i r r o r i n g i t s e l f . A l t h o u g h t h e c o n t e n t s o f the supplement may be d i f f e r e n t from the o r i g i n a l e n c y c l o p a e d i a , t h e i r o r d e r m a n i f e s t s a p e r f e c t m i r r o r o f the o r i g i n a l . But the m i r r o r image of t h e supplement i s a s t o p -26 gap, o p e r a t i n g a n t i t h e t i c a l l y t o the p o s s i b l e i n f i n i t y o f a d i s p l a c i n g m i r r o r of language. The o p e r a t i o n o f m i r r o r s t r u c t u r e s i n t e x t s does not have t o be c o n f i n e d t o t h i s e n d l e s s p r o d u c t i o n o f " c l o s e d m i n i a t u r e s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i c supplement, or the Moebius S t r i p f u n c t i o n o f the i n t e r n a l m i r r o r i n g of The A r a b i a n N i g h t s . The m i r r o r can a l s o d i s r u p t c l o s u r e by p r o v i d i n g d i s t o r t e d r e f l e c t i o n s o f i t s o b j e c t . The best way t o c o n c e i v e of t h i s k i n d o f m i r r o r i n g i s i n the- terms Douglas R. H o f s t a d t e r uses' i n Go'del,  E s c h e r , Bach, where he d e s c r i b e s r e c u r s i v e s t r u c t u r e s as n e s t i n g and v a r i a t i o n s on n e s t i n g . The concept i s v e r y g e n e r a l . ( S t o r i e s i n s i d e s t o r i e s , movies i n s i d e movies, p a i n t i n g s i n s i d e p a i n t i n g s , R u s s i a n d o l l s i n s i d e R u s s i a n d o l l s (even p a r e n t h e t i c a l comments i n s i d e p a r e n t h e t i c a l comments!)--these a r e just., a few o f t h e charms of r e c u r s i o n . ) ( H o f s t a d t e r 127) H o f s t a d t e r uses the t e r m i n o l o g y of A r t i f i c i a l I n t e l l i g e n c e t o d e s c r i b e t h e p r o c e s s e s of r e c u r s i o n . To "push" i s t o e n t e r i n t o a new s t r u c t u r e , w h i l e suspending o p e r a t i o n s on the o r i g i n a l s t r u c t u r e which c o n t a i n s the new one. P u shing can go on i n d e f i n i t e l y as one can push from the new s t r u c t u r e i n t o an even newer one ( c f . the R u s s i a n d o l l a n a l o g y ) . To '•'pop" i s t o r e v e r s e the p r o c e s s of p u s h i n g . The a c c u m u l a t i o n of i n t e r n a l i z e d s t r u c t u r e s c r e a t e s a " s t a c k . " The s t a c k s engendered by r e c u r s i v e p r o c e s s e s can be d i s o r i e n t i n g i n n a t u r e , and can be so complex t h a t we might f o r g e t our p o i n t of d e p a r t u r e . To e x e m p l i f y the 27 p o t e n t i a l c o m p l e x i t y o f s t a c k s , H o f s t a d t e r r e f e r s t o Bach's L i t t l e Harmonic L a b y r i n t h i n which he t r i e s t o l o s e you i n a l a b y r i n t h of q u i c k key changes. p r e t t y soon you are so d i s o r i e n t e d t h a t you- don't have any sense of d i r e c t i o n l e f t - - you don't know where the t r u e t o n i c i s , u n l e s s you have p e r f e c t p i t c h , or l i k e Theseus, have a f r i e n d l i k e A r i a d n e who • a l l o w s you t o r e t r a c e your s t e p s . ( H o f s t a d t e r 130) We can d e s c r i b e the m i r r o r i n g e f f e c t o f c e r t a i n t e x t s i n t h e same way. They t a k e you i n t o a funhouse of m i r r o r s t h a t becomes a p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c l a b y r i n t h . We w i l l e x p l o r e t h i s k i n d of s t r u c t u r e i n an a n a l y s i s o f B orges' s t o r y "Tl'dn, Uqbar, O r b i s T e r t i u s . " i . B orges: The E n c y c l o p a e d i a i n the M i r r o r I owe the d i s c o v e r y of Uqbar t o the c o n j u n c t i o n o f a m i r r o r and an e n c y c l o p a e d i a . (Borges 17) Thus b e g i n s the n a r r a t o r of B orges' s t o r y " T l o n , Uqbar, O r b i s T e r t i u s " , a s t o r y which u s e f u l l y u n i t e s the F o u c a u l d i a n concept of m i r r o r p l a y and a c r i t i q u e of e n c y c l o p a e d i s m . The s t o r y i s a s e r i e s of t e x t u a l a b e r r a t i o n s and anomalies which open 28 an e v e r - e x p a n d i n g m i r r o r space between t e x t s which happen t o be e n c y c l o p a e d i a s . The f i r s t a b e r r a t i o n i s a s l i g h t one c r e a t e d by the r e f l e c t i o n o f one e n c y c l o p a e d i a i n a n o t h e r : the m i s l e a d i n g e n c y c l o p a e d i a goes by the name of The  Anglo-American C y c l o p a e d i a (New York, 1917) and i s a l i t e r a l i f inadequate r e p r i n t of the 1902 E n c y c l o p a e d i a B r i t a n n i c a . (Borges 17) The p a r a d o x i c a l phrase " l i t e r a l i f i n a d e q u a t e " s u g g e s t s t h a t the AAC i s a m a r g i n a l l y d i s t o r t e d r e f l e c t i o n o f the B r i t a n n i c a ; i t i s the same but d i f f e r e n t , f o r reasons t h a t the n a r r a t o r does not d i v u l g e . The d i s t o r t i o n i s c r u c i a l , however, because i t i s the f i r s t . o p e n i n g i n t o the a l t e r n a t e w o r l d of T l o n . We must remember t h i s i n i t i a l s l i p p a g e , f o r i t has i m p o r t a n t i m p l i c a t i o n s when the s t o r y reaches i t s c o n c l u s i o n . The second a b e r r a t i o n compounds the f i r s t . At the b e g i n n i n g of t h e s t o r y , the n a r r a t o r and h i s d i n n e r g u e s t , . B i o y C e s a r e s , are d i s c u s s i n g m i r r o r s . Cesares r e c a l l s an a r t i c l e he has read i n t h e AAC which mentions a statement of one of the h e r e s i a r c h s of Uqbar, c o n c e r n i n g the s u b j e c t . They check C e s a r e s ' r e f e r e n c e i n a copy of the e n c y c l o p a e d i a they have on hand, o n l y t o f i n d t h a t the supposed a r t i c l e on Uqbar i s m i s s i n g : In the f i n a l pages of Volume XLVI, we ran a c r o s s an a r t i c l e on U p s a l a ; i n the b e g i n n i n g of Volume X L V I I , 29 we found one on U r a l - A l t a i c languages; but not one word on Uqbar. (Borges 17) I t t u r n s out t h a t o n l y C e s a r e s ' copy of the e n c y c l o p a e d i a c o n t a i n s the'problema'tic" a r t i c l e . I n the o r d i n a r y scheme of the e n c y c l o p a e d i a , Uqbar i s not o n l y m i s s i n g , but i t i s l o s t i n the space between one volume and a n o t h e r ; a c o n s p i c u o u s non-place which the e n c y c l o p a e d i a i s supposed t o have s e a l e d o f f . In t h i s s t o r y , the space between volumes i s l i k e a vacuum, w h i c h , once p i e r c e d by t h e m y s t e r i o u s a r t i c l e , must f i l l up. C l e a r l y , Borges p e r c e i v e s the space between volumes of an e n c y c l o p a e d i a t o be s u s c e p t i b l e t o i n t r u s i o n . The i n t r u s i o n of Uqbar i s made more m y s t e r i o u s by the f a c t t h a t C e s a r e s ' index does not i n c l u d e i t . In c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h the b a r e l y p e r c e p t i b l e s l i p p a g e between the AAC and the B r i t a n n i c a , the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f e n c y c l o p a e d i c non-space i n t o a p l a c e o f f i c t i o n a l e x p l o r a t i o n s l o w l y opens a v i s t a on an a l t e r n a t e e n c y c l o p a e d i c realm. In the anomalous a r t i c l e , t h e n a r r a t o r and Cesares f i n d a r e f e r e n c e t o T l b n : the l i t e r a t u r e of Uqbar was f a n t a s t i c i n c h a r a c t e r ... i t s e p i c s never r e f e r r e d t o r e a l i t y , but t o the two i m a g i n a r y r e g i o n s of M l e j n a s and T l b n . . . . (Borges 19) A l t h o u g h i t i s merely mentioned i n the a r t i c l e , T l b n becomes the f o c u s o f t h e s t o r y when the n a r r a t o r comes a c r o s s volume XI of The F i r s t E n c y c l o p a e d i a of Tl'bn by a c c i d e n t . T h i s d i s c o v e r y 30 takes us i n t o the i l l u s o r y depths of the mirror space between Volume XLVI and Volume XLVII of the AAC. Although t h i s volume i s w r i t t e n i n E n g l i s h , and i s arranged a l p h a b e t i c a l l y , l i k e a' 'conventional encyclopaedia, i t s contents suggest that i t i s not of t h i s world: I had i n my hands a s u b s t a n t i a l fragment of the complete h i s t o r y of an unknown pl a n e t . . . a l l c l e a r l y s t a t e d , coherent, without any apparent dogmatic i n t e n t i o n or parodic undertone. (Borges 22) In keeping with i t s o t h e r w o r l d l i n e s s , the e n t r i e s i n the volume are s u f f i c i e n t l y f a n t a s t i c as to defy the conceptions of the. universe one might f i n d i n c o n v e n t i o n a l , e a r t h l y encyclopaedias. For the i n h a b i t a n t s of Tl'dn, "the world i s not a concurrence of objects i n space, but a heterogeneous s e r i e s of independent a c t s " (Borges 23). There are no causal relationship's i n Tl'dn, only the " a s s o c i a t i o n of ideas"(Borges 23). S c i e n t i f i c enquiry' i s not considered v a l i d , and metaphysics i s c l a s s e d as a "branch of f a n t a s t i c l i t e r a t u r e " i n search of "a kind of amazement" (Borges 25). Although t h i s encyclopaedia has no parodic undertone i n i t s e l f , i t does seem to be undermining encyclopaedias l i k e the one from whose gaps i t a r i s e s . I t s otherness has an e f f e c t on the way we perceive encyclopaedias of t h i s world.' I t s a l t e r n a t i v e universe d i s r u p t s the c l o s u r e of those encyclopaedias, even though that universe may be f a n t a s t i c . 31 In f a c t , the t h e o r i e s of T l b n seem t o deny the p o s s i b i l i t y o f t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a i n s p i t e of t h e f a c t t h a t they e x i s t i n one: They know t h a t a system i s n o t h i n g more than the s u b o r d i n a t i o n o f a l l the a s p e c t s o f the u n i v e r s e i n t o some one of them. Even t h e ' p h r a s e " a l l the a s p e c t s " can be r e j e c t e d , s i n c e i t presupposes the i m p o s s i b l e i n c l u s i o n o f the p r e s e n t moment, and of p a s t moments. (Borges 25) Even t h e a p p a r e n t l y i n n o c e n t system of a l p h a b e t i z a t i o n i s a case of t h e i m p o s s i b l e s u b o r d i n a t i o n of t h e u n i v e r s e . Thus Tl'bn emphasizes i t s i l l u s o r i n e s s as an e n c y c l o p a e d i a . U l t i m a t e l y , t h i s i l l u s o r i n e s s t r a n s f e r s t o the " r e a l " e n c y c l o p a e d i c system of the AAC and c o n s e q u e n t l y t o the B r i t a n n i c a . E v e n t u a l l y , the mystery o f t h i s f a n t a s t i c e n c y c l o p a e d i a ' s e x i s t e n c e i s r e s o l v e d , but the e f f e c t o f i t s i n t r u s i o n on the r e a l w o r l d i s i r r e v e r s i b l e . We f i n d t h a t T l b n i s the work of a s e c r e t s o c i e t y , under the guidance o f "the m i l l i o n a i r e a s c e t i c , E z r a B u c k l e y " ( B o r g e s 31). In p a r t , i t i s a r e a c t i o n t o the B r i t a n n i c a : " ' ' -The twenty volumes of the E n c y c l o p a e d i a B r i t a n n i c a were then i n c i r c u l a t i o n ; B u c k l e y suggested a s y s t e m a t i c e n c y c l o p a e d i a o f the i m a g i n a r y p l a n e t . . . B u c k l e y d i d not b e l i e v e i n God, but n e v e r t h e l e s s wished t o demonstrate t o the n o n e x i s t e n t God t h a t m o r t a l men were c a p a b l e o f c o n c e i v i n g a w o r l d . (Borges 31) Thus Tl'bn i s a human c o n s t r u c t l i k e any o t h e r e n c y c l o p a e d i a , w i t h 32 the e x e p t i o n t h a t i t i s not an attempt t o r e f l e c t God's grand d e s i g n o f the w o r l d , but r a t h e r the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a w o r l d a n t i t h e t i c a l t o d i v i n e d e s i g n ; hence th e s t r a n g e n e s s of T l b n i s t t h e o r i e s . T l b n i s merely a p r e l u d e t o a g r e a t e r work which would be even more removed from c o n v e n t i o n a l e n c y c l o p a e d i a s : " t h i s t i m e w r i t t e n , not i n E n g l i s h , but i n some one of t h e languages of Tl'dn" (Borges 32). T h i s work would bear t h e t i t l e O r b i s T e r t i u s and would r e p r e s e n t the complete d i s s o c i a t i o n o f t h i s s e c u l a r e n c y c l o p a e d i a from the s u p p o s e d l y d i v i n e o r d e r of o t h e r e n c y c l o p a e d i a s . P r i o r t o the d i s c o v e r y o f t h e o t h e r volumes of T l b n , c e r t a i n elements from the i m a g i n a r y w o r l d i t d e p i c t s i n t r u d e upon the r e a l w o r l d . A compass from T l b n i s d i s c o v e r e d i n a c r a t e "stamped a l l over w i t h i n t e r n a t i o n a l markings". (Borges 32). The n a r r a t o r f i n d s a s h i n i n g metal cone b e s i d e a dead boy: Those s m a l l and e x t r e m e l y heavy cones, made of a metal which does not e x i s t i n t h i s w o r l d , are images of d i v i n i t y i n c e r t a i n r e l i g i o n s of T l b n . (Borges 33) These minor i n t r u s i o n s , a r e but. p r e m o n i t i o n s of t h e thorough s u b v e r s i o n o f the w o r l d which o c c u r s when the f u l l e n c y c l o p a e d i a t u r n s up i n a Memphis- l i b r a r y . The t h i n k e r s of t h e w o r l d grow obsessed w i t h the e n c y c l o p a e d i a ; the more they s t u d y i t , the g r e a t e r i t s e f f e c t on r e a l i t y grows: Manuals, a n t h o l o g i e s , summaries, l i t e r a l v e r s i o n s , 33 a u t h o r i z e d r e p r i n t s and p i r a t e d e d i t i o n s o f the Master Work o f Man poured and c o n t i n u e t o pour out i n t o t h e w o r l d . Almost i m m e d i a t e l y , . r e a l i t y gave ground on more than one p o i n t . (Borges 34) The r e a l w o r l d t h a t the s t o r y p o s i t s d i s i n t e g r a t e s ' t o the p o i n t where the n a r r a t o r p r e d i c t s t h a t w i t h t h e a r r i v a l of The Second  E n c y c l o p a e d i a of T l b n , "The w o r l d w i l l be T l b n " (Borges 3 5 ) . We can o n l y r e a l i z e the f u l l i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s t a k e o v e r o f t h e r e a l w o r l d by an i m a g i n a r y e n c y c l o p a e d i a i f we r e v e r s e the m i r r o r i n g p r o c e s s which produced i t . We must r e t r a c e the t r a n s f o r m a t i v e s t e p s , which the s t o r y t a k e s , back t o the B r i t a n n i c a whose p r e s e n c e , from i t s i n i t i a l r e f l e c t i o n i n the AAC, hovers over the e n t i r e t y o f the s t o r y . The n e c e s s i t y o f t h i s r e t r a c i n g i s suggested by the n a r r a t o r ' s f i n a l s t a t e m e n t s , o n the nature-of- T l b n : T l b n may be a l a b y r i n t h , but i t i s a l a b y r i n t h p l o t t e d by men, a l a b y r i n t h d e s t i n e d t o be d e c i p h e r e d by men. (Borges 34) At t h e same t i m e , the n a r r a t o r a s s e r t s t h a t the t r u e o r d e r o f the u n i v e r s e i s beyond t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i c s t r u c t u r e s of man. That o r d e r , i f indeed i t i s an o r d e r , i s governed by "inhuman l a w s — which we w i l l never c o m p l e t e l y p e r c e i v e " (Borges 3 4 ) . The d e s i g n which the e n c y c l o p a e d i a o r c h e s t r a t e s " i s the d i s c i p l i n e of c h e s s p l a y e r s not o f a n g e l s " (Borges 3 4 ) . These s t a t e m e n t s a p p l y not o n l y t o Tl'bn but t o the Br i t a n n i c a as w e l l . The o r d e r of the w o r l d which one f i n d s i n t h e B r i t a n n i c a i s j u s t as i l l u s o r y and 34 man-made as the the f a n t a s t i c o r d e r o f T l b n . I t i s a supplementary a r t i f i c e which s t a n d s i n s t e a d o f " t r u t h " t h a t i s beyond t h e comprehension of man. I f we b e l i e v e i n e n c y c l o p a e d i a s , we a r e seduced by symmetries of our own d e s i g n : 'Ten y e a r s ago, any s y m m e t r i c a l system whatsoever which gave t h e appearance o f o r d e r . . . was enough t o f a s c i n a t e men. Why not f a l l under the s p e l l of T l b n and submit t o the v a s t e v i d e n c e of an o r d e r e d p l a n e t ? (Borges 34) I f we t r a c e the m i r r o r i n g of Bor g e s ' s t o r y , i t becomes e v i d e n t t h a t t h e w o r l d i s a k i n d of Tl'dn, i n s o f a r as we submit t o e n c y c l o p a e d i c o r d e r s . In " T l b n , Uqbar, O r b i s T e r t i u s " , Borges p l a c e s The' E n c y c l o p a e d i a B r i t a n n i c a i n f r o n t of a t r a n s f o r m i n g m i r r o r , i n o r d e r t o both c r i t i q u e i t s p r o j e c t and t o e x p l o r e the p o s s i b i l i t i e s t h a t the m i r r o r i n g p r o c e s s might engender. We s h o u l d not m i s t a k e The F i r s t E n c y c l o p a e d i a o f Tl'dn and i t s f a n t a s t i c t h o r i e s f o r an end r e s u l t , or the f u l f i l l m e n t of t h e m i r r o r i n g p r o c e s s . I t i s but one of many c o n c e i v a b l e r e f l e c t i o n s t h a t a r e p o s s i b l e , once we r e a l i z e t h a t e n c y c l o p a e d i z i n g i s a chessgame t h a t can be m u l t i p l i e d by t a k i n g advantage of the space between volumes of e n c y c l o p a e d i a s . 35 4. A J u s t i f i c a t i o n o f the Vast Work In c o n t r a s t t o Borges' condensed form of meta-e n c y c l o p a e d i s m , some w r i t e r s t r a n s f o r m the concept o f the e n c y c l o p a e d i a by c o n s t r u c t i n g v a s t t e x t u a l systems which -i n t e r s e c t w i t h e n c y c l o p a e d i s m i n a more developed manner and i n h a b i t e n c y c l o p a e d i c forms more f u l l y . To the s e w r i t e r s , t h e c o m p o s i t i o n o f v a s t works i s not something t o be a v o i d e d , but something n e c e s s a r y t o the d i s r u p t i o n o f e n c y c l o p a e d i c c l o s u r e . Two such w r i t e r s a re Herman M e l v i l l e and Thomas Pynchon, whose t e x t s , Moby Dick and G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow, we w i l l l ook at i n t h i s s e c t i o n . Both Moby Dick and G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow have been i d e n t i f i e d as e n c y c l o p a e d i c n a r r a t i v e s by Edward Mendelson and o t h e r s . We can unde r s t a n d such an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i n the sense t h a t both books bear many of t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of e n c y c l o p a e d i c forms. They c o n t a i n v a s t amounts o f _ i n f o r m a t i o n on t h e s u b j e c t s they c o v e r , and the n o t i o n o f e x h a u s t i n g t h e s e s u b j e c t s i n an e n c y c l o p a e d i c manner i s c e r t a i n l y a concern f o r them. T h i s apparent e x h a u s t i v e n e s s i s p a r a d o x i c a l , however, f o r the f u r t h e r one proceeds t h r o u g h them, t h e more t h e i r e x h a u s t i v e n e s s i s . i l l u s o r y . These books may r e f l e c t e n c y c l o p a e d i a s i n a sense, but they t u r n the comprehensive, c i r c u l a r • s c h e m e o f the e n c y c l o p a e d i a i n s i d e o u t , i n t h a t they draw more a t t e n t i o n t o the gaps i n t h e i r systems than t o the i n f o r m a t i o n they p r e s e n t . . T h e y tend t o be more l i k e n e g a t i v e images of t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a , as they i n s c r i b e the concept o f t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a i n a more u n c e r t a i n and 36 i n d e t e r m i n a t e o n t o l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e . I n d o i n g s o , they make us c o n s i d e r our p e r c e p t i o n s of the t e x t u a l i z e d w o r l d . i . "Moby D i c k " : Whales, Books, Comprehensivenes and T e l e o l o g y In the " C e t o l o g y " c h a p t e r of Moby D i c k , Ishmael o f f e r s a r a t i o n a l e n c y c l o p a e d i c s t r u c t u r e t h a t s u p p o s e d l y "comprehends" the t o t a l i t y of whales. I t i n c o r p o r a t e d s i n f o r m a t i o n under l o g i c a l l y o r d e r e d h e a d i n g s , f o r m i n g a t o t a l i z i n g system. Ishmael's e n c y c l o p a e d i a uses two o r d e r i n g p r i n c i p l e s . F i r s t , he o r d e r s the whales i n terms o f s i z e , p r o c e e d i n g from l a r g e s t t o s m a l l e s t . Second, i n o r d e r t o c r e a t e an a p p r o p r i a t e s t r u c t u r e of headings t h a t w i l l d i v i d e the system i n t o c l a s s i f y i n g s e c t i o n s , he maps the whales onto a s t r u c t u r e of books: A c c o r d i n g t o magnitude I d i v i d e the whales i n t o t h r e e p r i m a r y BOOKS ( s u b d i v i s i b l e i n t o CHAPTERS) and t h e s e s h a l l comprehend them a l l , both s m a l l and l a r g e . ( M e l v i l l e 130) The n a t u r e o f t h i s system i n i t s e l f , and i n the way i t r e l a t e s t o the t e x t as a whole i l l u s t r a t e s the p r i m a r y way i n which Moby  Dick p l a y s w i t h the concept o f the e n c y c l o p a e d i a . The f i r s t t h i n g t o c o n s i d e r i s Ishmael's a s s e r t i o n o f t h e comprehensiveness of t h e system i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h h i s a d m i s s i o n of i t s i n c o m p l e t e n e s s . He sa y s : My o b j e c t here i s s i m p l y t o p r o j e c t the draught of a 37 s y s t e m a t i z a t i o n o f c e t o l o g y . s l am the a r c h i t e c t , not the b u i l d e r . ( M e l v i l l e 129) Ishmael's system i s t h u s a b l u e p r i n t which a n t i c i p a t e s an * u l t i m a t e c e ' t b l b g i c a l encyclopaedia'. . In f a c t , the c o m p l e t i o n o f the system might be c o n s i d e r e d a s i g n o f i t s f a i l u r e , a s i g n t h a t i t i s not e q u a l t o i t s a m b i t i o n s : But I now l e a v e my c e t o l o g i c a l System s t a n d i n g thus u n f i n i s h e d , even as the g r e a t C a t h e d r a l of Cologne was l e f t . . . . For s m a l l e r e c t i o n s may be f i n i s h e d by t h e i r f i r s t a r c h i t e c t s ; grand ones, t r u e ones, ever l e a v e the copestone t o p o s t e r i t y . ( M e l v i l l e 139) A "grand" " t r u e " system must be o n g o i n g , c o n t i n u a l l y augmented, as though i t s c o m p l e t i o n were t o s i g n i f y d e a t h . At the same t i m e , however, the system i s c o m p l e t e l y comprehensive, from Ishmael's p o i n t of view, as he says of h i s c a t e g o r i e s , "these s h a l l comprehend them a l l . " The d i s c r e p a n c y between t h e . c o m p l e t e system and the comprehensive system i s c r u c i a l t o any n o t i o n o f e n c y c l o p a e d i s m . A comprehensive, system i s one i n t o which a l l a p p r o p r i a t e t h i n g s w i l l f i t , even though > the t o t a l i t y o f t h o s e t h i n g s may not be known at the time the system i s drawn up. Thus Ishmael s a y s : I f any o f the f o l l o w i n g whales, s h a l l h e r e a f t e r be caught and marked, then he can r e a d i l y be i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o t h e system.... ( M e l v i l l e 138) 38 . I t i s the n a t u r e of such e n c y c l o p a e d i c e f f o r t s t o presume t h a t the unknown can be comprehended by a p r e - e x i s t i n g system at the p o i n t of i t s d i s c o v e r y . In such a" system, t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h e word "comprehend" are i m p o r t a n t . For the a c t of comprehension i m p l i e s both containment and u n d e r s t a n d i n g . The i n h e r e n t l i n k between the two i d e a s s u g gested by t h i s a c t a d e q u a t e l y sums up t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i c p r o j e c t . To comprehend i s t o c i r c u m s c r i b e knowledge w i t h i n a system i n o r d e r t o und e r s t a n d i t . The comprehension o f a t h i n g i s not so much an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the p r o p e r t i e s i t p o s s e s s e s unto i t s e l f as a knowledge o f how i t r e l a t e s t o o t h e r e n t r i e s i n the system. In a sen s e , i t i s t h e system i t s e l f which "understands" t h a t which i t c i r c u m s c r i b e s . S i n c e i t c i r c u m s c r i b e s a l l t h a t i s a p p r o p r i a t e t o i t , known or unknown, Ishmael's "comprehensive c l a s s i f i c a t i o n " i s a c l o s e d one even though i t i s not complete. The comprehensiveness o f Ishmael's c e t o l o g i c a l system i s p l a y e d a g a i n s t t h e f i g u r e o f Moby D i c k . For the w h i t e whale r e s i s t s i n c o r p o r a t i o n i n t o t h e scheme; he i s e s s e n t i a l l y i n c o m p r e h e n s i b l e . Moby Dick i s s e t a p a r t from o t h e r whales by h i s w h i t e n e s s and h i s v i r t u a l l y s u p e r n a t u r a l s t a t u s among w h a l e r s . H i s i d e n t i t y i s e s t a b l i s h e d by the f e a t u r e s which make him d i f f e r e n t from the g e n e r a l c l a s s o f sperm whales: i t was not so much h i s uncommon b u l k t h a t so d i s t i n g u i s h e d him from o t h e r sperm whales, b u t , a 39 p e c u l i a r snow-white w r i n k l e d f o r e h e a d , and a h i g h p y r a m i d i c a l hump. ( M e l v i l l e : 1 7 4 ) But i t i s not the f a c t t h a t Moby Dick i s p h y s i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t from o t h e r sperm whales t h a t p l a c e s him o u t s i d e the e n c y c l o p a e d i a . For p e c u l i a r i t i e s such as the w h i t e f o r e h e a d and the p y r a m i d i c a l hump make him s i m p l y a b l i p i n the system, a s l i g h t l y anomalous sperm whale. These f e a t u r e s are merely symptomatic of a more pr o f o u n d d i f f e r e n c e which d e f i e s the-r a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e of the e n c y c l o p a e d i a . A l t h o u g h Ishmael c o n t i n u a l l y reminds us of the i n h e r e n t d i f f i c u l t i e s o f c e t o l o g i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n , i t i s p o s s i b l e t o d e f i n e and c l a s s i f y whales a c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r p h y s i c a l n a t u r e s , as " C e t o l o g y " shows. The q u e s t i o n "what i s a sperm whale?" i s e a s i l y answered. The q u e s t i o n "what i s Moby.Dick?", however, cannot be answered by the mere dis c e r n m e n t of h i s f e a t u r e s . The c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f o t h e r whales i s d e t e r m i n a t e , whereas Moby Dick i s i n d e t e r m i n a c y i t s e l f . He i s a d i f f e r e n t e n t i t y t o d i f f e r e n t p e o p l e . The most s a l i e n t of t h e d i f f e r e n t p e r c e p t i o n s of Moby Dick b e l o n g s t o Ahab: The White Whale swam b e f o r e him as t h e monomaniac i n c a r n a t i o n o f a l l t h o s e m a l i c i o u s f e e l i n g s which some deep men f e e l e a t i n g i n them... He p i l e d upon the whale's w h i t e hump the sum o f a l l the g e n e r a l rage and hate f e l t by h i s whole rac e from Adam down.... ( M e l v i l l e 175) 40 As John T. I r w i n w r i t e s i n American H i e r o g l y p h i c s , "The q u a l i t i e s a t t r i b u t e d t o Moby D i c k . . . a r e s i m p l y the p r o j e c t e d a t t i t u d e s o f h i s p u r s u e r s . . . " ( I r w i n 287). T h i s form of p r o j e c t i o n , which makes Moby Dick a s h i f t i n g : s i g n i f i e r , p l a c e s him o u t s i d e the comprehensive scheme o f the c e t o l o g i c a l e n c y c l o p a e d i a as t h e r e i s no d i s t i n c t p o s i t i o n t h a t he might f i l l . T h e r e f o r e i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t Moby D i c k ' s w h i t e n e s s i s the a t t r i b u t e which . p r i m a r i l y d i s t i n g u i s h e s him from the r e s t o f the whales. T h i s w h i t e n e s s i s t h e w h i t e n e s s of the movie s c r e e n , upon which d i f f e r e n t f i l m s might be p r o j e c t e d , or the w h i t e n e s s of t h e bl a n k page which a c c e p t s w r i t i n g y et r e s i s t s i t at the same t i m e . When Ishmael attempts t o g r a s p the n a t u r e of t h i s w h i t e n e s s i n o r d e r t o b e t t e r u n d e r s t a n d Moby D i c k , he i s f r u s t r a t e d . To Ishmael the w h i t e n e s s . c o n v e y s a "vague nameless h o r r o r " t h a t i s " m y s t i c a l and w e l l n i g h i n e f f a b l e " ( M e l v i l l e 178). A l t h o u g h p e o p l e l i k e Ahab may p r o j e c t i d e a s onto Moby D i c k ' s w h i t e n e s s , the essence of the w h i t e n e s s i t s e l f i s v i r t u a l l y u n i n s c r i p t a b l e ; no p a r t i c u l a r w r i t i n g or c o d i n g w i l l s t i c k t o i t . Ishmael's d i s c o u r s e s t r a y s from the whale's w h i t e n e s s i n p a r t i c u l a r , t o a p h i l o s o p h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f w h i t e n e s s i n g e n e r a l . He d i s c u s s e s w h i t e n e s s as p o t e n t i a l l y s i g n i f y i n g t h a t which i s most p o s i t i v e : "the innocence o f b r i d e s , the b e n i g n i t y o f o l d . age" ( M e l v i l l e 179) and t h a t which i s most negative:- " t h e r e y e t l u r k s an e l u s i v e something i n the innermost i d e a o f t h i s hue, which s t r i k e s . , p a n i c t o the s o u l " ( M e l v i l l e 41 179). Whiteness can be a shroud which v e i l s t h e t r u t h of the w o r l d l y i n g beneath i t , or t h e u n d e r l y i n g essence o f "a c o l o r l e s s , a l l c o l o r a t h e i s m from which we a l l s h r i n k " ( M e l v i l l e 186). What b e g i n s as a d i s c u s s i o n o f a p a r t i c u l a r f e a t u r e of Moby Dick e v o l v e s i n t o a p o n d e r i n g o f u l t i m a t e m e t a p h y s i c a l problems, as w h i t e n e s s becomes e v e r y t h i n g and n o t h i n g . With the d i s c u s s i o n o f w h i t e n e s s , Ishmael's d i s c o u r s e becomes s p e c u l a t i v e and p a r a d o x i c a l , i n c o n t r a d i s t i n c t i o n t o the more s t r i c t l y i n f o r m a t i o n a l segments of the book. , I t opens i n t e r p r e t i v e p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n s t i g a t e d by Moby D i c k , y e t not c o n f i n e d t o him. In c o n t r a s t t o the o t h e r whales t h a t f i l l p a r t i c u l a r spaces w i t h i n the c e t o l o g i c a l scheme, Moby Dick opens a d i f f e r e n t , i n t e r p r e t i v e space, which o v e r r i d e s any p o s i t i o n he may have i n the e n c y c l o p a e d i a . When we c o n s i d e r t h a t Ishmael has d i v i d e d the whales up i n t o books, we might say t h a t Moby Dick c o n s t i t u e s a d i f f e r e n t 7 s o r t o f t e x t from t h e o t h e r books/whales t h a t make up t h e c e t o l o g i c a l e n c y c l o p a e d i a . The b i b l i o g r a p h i c s t r u c t u r e which Ishmael uses t o c l a s s i f y t he whales g i v e s r i s e t o f u r t h e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n s o f Moby D i c k ' s o t h e r n e s s . F i r s t , however, we must t h i n k about the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h i s t e x t u a l i z a t i o n o f whales i n and of i t s e l f . For i n t h i s s t r u c t u r e , t h e books and c h a p t e r s which comprehend the whales are i n t e n d e d t o become c o e x t e n s i v e w i t h the whales they c o n t a i n . I n , s h o r t , Ishmael p e r c e i v e s whales as t e x t s . Reading i s the most i m p o r t a n t a c t i v i t y i n Moby D i c k . Moby 42 D i c k ' s w h i t e n e s s , Quequeg's t a t t o o e d body, the h i e r o g l y p h s on the sperm whale's s k i n and many o t h e r elements w i t h n t h e t e x t a re p r e s e n t e d as t e x t s i n t h e i r own r i g h t . By thus t e x t u a l i z i n g t h i n g s , Ishmael tends t o f o l l o w the M e d i e v a l t r a d i t i o n o f p e r c e i v i n g the w o r l d as a book, e s p e c i a l l y t h e P a r a c e l s i a n view as d e s c r i b e d i n E r n s t . C u r t i u s ' book, European L i t e r a t u r e and the  L a t i n M i d d l e Ages: " F i n a l l y , t he whole e a r t h i s a book or a l i b r a r y . . . which must be used ' p i l g r i m l y ' " ( C u r t i u s 322). I n ' Ishmael's s y s t e m a t i z a t i o n , whales form t h e i r own l i b r a r y or b i b l i o g r a p h y w i t h i n the grand l i b r a r y of the w o r l d . The whales are t e x t s i n and of t h e m s e l v e s , e n t e r i n g the re a l m of the w r i t t e n p r i o r t o Ishmael's w r i t i n g about them. To know them i s t o read them. A c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r s i z e s , t h e d i f f e r e n t k i n d s of whales f i t i n t o t h r e e t e x t u a l f o r m a t s : . F o l i o , Octavo, and Duodecimo. An e q u i v a l e n c e i s e s t a b l i s h e d between whale s i z e and page s i z e , e m p h a s i z i n g the c o e x t e n s i v e n e s s between whales and books. . - . The most i m p o r t a n t i m p l i c a t i o n o f t h i s e q u i v a l e n c e of whales and books i s t h a t Moby Dick i s a l s o both whale and book. As a prope r name, Moby Dick s i g n i f i e s both the w h i t e whale and the n o v e l i t s e l f . I f he were s i m p l y one sperm whale among o t h e r s , Moby Dick c o u l d be a s s i m i l a t e d i n t o Book I , Chapter I of t h e c e t o l o g i c a l e n c y c l o p a e d i a . G i v e n h i s u n u s u a l n e s s , however, Moby Dick forms a book of h i s own. T h i s book escapes the b i b l i o g r a p h y of w h a l e s , w h i l e at the same time i n c o r p o r a t i n g t h a t e n c y c l o p a e d i c s t r u c t u r e i n a c h a p t e r . T h i s s i t u a t i o n s u b j e c t s the c e t o l o g i c a l e n c y c l o p a e d i a s t o a h a l l of m i r r o r s k i n d of 43 d i s t o r t i o n , as that .which ought to be comprehended escapes the comprehensive system, only to incorporate that system. Given that Moby Dick's whiteness makes him an indeterminate, incomprehensible t e x t , the i n t e r i o r i z i n g of the comprehensive, comprehensible encyclopaedia w i t h i n such an indeterminate s t r u c t u r e amounts to a displacement of the t o t a l i z i n g scheme and i t s claims to comprehensiveness. Moby Dick's d i f f e r e n c e from other whales i s symptomatic of the dual s t r u c t u r e of M e l v i l l e ' s novel. The s t r u c t u r e which the c e t o l o g i c a l encyclopaedia c h a r a c t e r i z e s i s determinate comprehending and comprehensible. I t i s the t e x t ' s s t r u c t u r e of general l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n , presenting knowledge of the kind that i s f i x e d i n an encyclopaedia. The s t r u c t u r e that Moby Dick c h a r a c t e r i z e s i s indeterminate and p a r a d o x i c a l . I t i s the s t r u c t u r e of the post-encyclopaedia, of a l l the things that the encyclopaedia cannot comprehend. Moby Dick's whiteness, that' e n d l e s s l y i n t e r p r e t a b l e , yet u l t i m a t e l y i n c o n c l u s i v e whiteness, epitomizes the s t r u c t u r e . To use M.M. Bakhtin's terms, the comprehensive and incomprehensible s t r u c t u r e s i n t e r a c t d i a l o g i c a l l y . They are wound around each other i n e x t r i c a b l y . As I have s a i d , the comprehensive s t r u c t u r e has the aura of a conventional encyclopaedia. I t i s a s e r i e s of essays on various aspects of whales and whaling, each of which could e a s i l y be an entry i n an encyclopaedia. I t i s f u l l of l i s t s and minutiae. In p a r t , t h i s information i s t r i v i a l , and i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g that d i g e s t s and c h i l d r e n ' s versions of the novel 44 e x c i s e much o f i t i n t h e i r e f f o r t s t o c o n v e r t Moby Dick i n t o a p l o t - o r i e n t e d a dventure s t o r y . At t i m e s t h e i n f o r m a t i o n i t c o n t a i n s i s r e m i n i s c e n t of t h e two s e c t i o n s which p r e f a c e the n o v e l , "Etymology" and " E x t r a c t s " p r o v i d e d by the " t h r e a d b a r e i n c o a t , body and b r a i n " usher and" the "poor d e v i l " o f a Sub-Sub L i b r a r i a n , . which a r e c o m p i l a t i o n s of dead i n f o r m a t i o n . I f we look at the comprehensive s t r u c t u r a l elements w i t h o u t c a r e , they seem p e d a n t i c and d u l l , a p o t e n t i a l nightmare of b o r i n g s c h o l a r s h i p . In the l i g h t o f the c o u n t e r - s t r u c t u r e of t h e n o v e l , however, t h e p a r t s o f the t e x t i n which g e n e r a l l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n dominates assume an i n d i s p e n s a b l e s t r u c t u r a l i m p o r t a n c e , e s p e c i a l l y i n p l a c e s where t h e i n c o m p r e h e n s i b l e s t r u c t u r e i n f i l t r a t e s them. Throughout the comprehending s e c t i o n s of Moby D i c k , Ishmael t e l l s us o f the d i f f i c u l t i e s of a t t a i n i n g a b s o l u t e t r u t h c o n c e r n i n g whales. He even doubts t h e v a l i d i t y of h i s own p r o j e c t , s i n c e he c o n s i d e r s l e a r n i n g about whales i n books, or through any mediated form o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , i n a d e q u a t e . He t e l l s us t h a t the o n l y way we can get "even a t o l e r a b l e i d e a " ( M e l v i l l e 251) o f the whale i s t o go w h a l i n g o u r s e l v e s . Thus Ishmael's " r e a d i n g " o f whales i s always under e r a s u r e because of i t s u l t i m a t e i n d e t e r m i n a c y : "how may u n l e t t e r e d Ishmael hope t o read the A w f u l Chaldee o f t h e Sperm Whale's brow?" ( M e l v i l l e 323). In t h i s s ense, the u n r e a d a b i l i t y of Moby D i c k ' s w h i t e n e s s pervades the whole work, so t h a t even the most s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d o f Ishmael's d i s s e r t a t i o n s i s s u b j e c t t o openness and doubt. For ever y r e a d a b l e t e x t i n Ishmael's system t h e r e i s an u n r e a d a b l e 45 one, t h r e a t e n i n g t o undermine h i s e n c y c l o p a e d i c g e s t u r e . The l a r g e r h i s c o l l e c t i o n o f knowledge grows, the more apparent i t becomes t h a t something c r u c i a l i s m i s s i n g from i t . S i n c e Moby Dick i s the epitome of i n d e t e r m i n a c y and u n r e a d a b i l i t y , he becomes the f o c u s of the doubt t h a t runs through the book. C o n s e q u e n t l y , Ahab's quest f o r the w h i t e whale becomes a l l the more i m p o r t a n t f o r Ishmael's system. When Ishmael t e l l s us, "Ahab's q u e n c h l e s s feud seemed mine" ( M e l v i l l e 169), i t i s because Ahab's d e s i r e t o break t h r o u g h the w h i t e n e s s of t h e whale i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of an attempt t o see beyond an u l t i m a t e i n d e t e r m i n a c y t o a r e v e l a t i o n o f the w o r l d : " A l l v i s i b l e o b j e c t s , man, a r e but as p a s t e b o a r d masks.... I f man w i l l s t r i k e , s t r i k e t h r ough the mask! How can the p r i s o n e r reach o u t s i d e except by t h r u s t i n g t h r ough the w a l l ? To me, the White Whale i s t h a t w a l l , shoved-near t o me. Sometimes I t h i n k t h e r e ' s nought beyond. But t i s enough." ( M e l v i l l e 157) Ahab's t e l e o l o g i c a l q u e s t , i n c o n t r a s t t o Ishmael's d i s c u r s i v e c o l l e c t i o n , g e t s s t r a i g h t t o the h e a r t of the m a t t e r : The p a t h t o my f i x e d purpose i s grooved t o run. Over unsounded g o r g e s t h r o u g h r i f l e d h e a r t s of mountains, under t o r r e n t s ' beds u n e r r i n g l y I r u s h ! Naught's an-o b s t a c l e , naught's an a n g l e t o the i r o n way! ( M e l v i l l e 161) Thus, i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h the d u a l s t r u c t u r e of comprehensiveness and i n c o m p r e h e n s i b i l i t y , another d u a l s t r u c t u r e which i n v o l v e s 46 Ishmael's d i s c u r s i v e , perhaps p e r i p h r a s t i c , w o r k i ng around problems and Ahab's monomaniacal quest f o r t h e u l t i m a t e s o l u t i o n t o the u l t i m a t e problem of u n d e r s t a n d i n g what l i e s b ehind the p a s t e b o a r d masks t h a t c o n s t i t u t e the v i s i b l e w o r l d , . a l s o runs through the tex-t. Ishmael i s so t i e d w i t h Ahab's quest because i t s c o m p l e t i o n would v a l i d a t e h i s c o l l e c t i o n o f i n f o r m a t i o n . H i s assemblage of knowledge would then have some r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the r e v e l a t i o n of u l t i m a t e meaning, making i t more than j u s t empty t r i v i a . From another p e r s p e c t i v e , however, the r e v e l a t i o n o f what l i e s beyond Moby Dick might make Ishmael's work u n n e c e s s a r y . That work would s i m p l y be a s c a f f o l d i n g which c o u l d be thrown away, r e p l a c e d by a s h i n i n g r e v e l a t i o n and a t r u e sense of c o m p l e t i o n w i t h o u t indeterminacy." Yet a g a i n , s i n c e c o m p l e t i o n e q u a l s d e a t h , t h e w o r l d might s i m p l y come to. an end w i t h Ahab's s u c c e s s . S i n c e Ahab's que s t f a i l s , and Moby Dick escapes capture," t h e i m p e r f e c t e d i f i c e which Ishmael c o n s t r u c t s , i s s i m p l y a supplement f o r what might have been; a s t r u c t u r e b u i l t around a n o n - e x i s t e n t r e v e l a t i o n which might have made the s t r u c t u r e t r u l y e n c y c l o p a e d i c . At the end of the n o v e l , when Ahab and the r e s t of the crew have drowned i n the c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h Moby D i c k , Ishmael remains " f l o a t i n g on t h e margin of t h e e n s u i n g scene" ( M e l v i l l e 521). H i s p o s i t i o n sums up t h a t of h i m s e l f and h i s p r o j e c t throughout the n o v e l . A l l t h a t he w r i t e s i s m a r g i n a l t o the i m p o s s i b l e e n c y c l o p a e d i a , r a t h e r than e n c y c l o p a e d i c i n i t s e l f . L i k e B orges' 47 n a r r a t o r , Ishmael s i m p l y p o i n t s out t h a t t h e t r u e e n c y c l o p a e d i a i s beyond human comprehension. As r e a d e r s of the w o r l d we a r e i n a p o s i t i o n not much b e t t e r than t h a t of Quequeg and h i s t a t t o o e d body: '' And t h i s t a t t o o i n g , had been the work o f a d e p a r t e d prophet and seer of h i s i s l a n d , who, by those h i e r o g l y p h i c marks, had w r i t t e n out on h i s body a, complete t h e o r y o f t h e heavens and t h e e a r t h , and a m y s t i c a l t r e a t i s e on t h e a r t of a t t a i n i n g t r u t h ; so t h a t Quequeg i n h i s own prop e r person was a r i d d l e t o u n f o l d ; A wondrous work in'one volume; but whose m y s t e r i e s not even h i m s e l f c o u l d r e a d / though h i s own h e a r t beat a g a i n s t them. ( M e l v i l l e 441) i i . " G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow": E n c y c l o p a e d i c P a r a n o i a As a p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t , Thomas pynchon's G r a v i t y ' s  Rainbow i s markedly s i m i l a r t o Moby Dick i n t h a t i t a l s o d i a l o g i c a l l y i n t e r r e l a t e s a s t r u c t u r e of g e n e r a l i n f o r m a t i o n and a t e l e o l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e . The analogous "Moby D i c k " of Pynchon's book i s the A4 00000 Ro c k e t , which s e r v e s as the o b j e c t of many q u e s t s f o r r e v e l a t i o n . The n a r r a t i v e of t h i s n o v e l i s not as 48 f o c u s s e d on p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r s as Moby D i c k . I t i s an e x t e n s i v e l y recoded work, jumping from p e r s p e c t i v e t o p e r s p e c t i v e i n o r d e r t o r e f r a c t the o n t o l o g i c a l and t e l e o l o g i c a l problems t h a t i t a d d r e s s e s . The quest f o r what l i e s b e h i n d the Rocket i s d i s t r i b u t e d among s e v e r a l f i g u r e s and groups who have d i f f e r e n t p o s i t i o n s i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e Rocket and the system which forms around i t . G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow i s a l s o f u n d a m e n t a l l y d i f f e r e n t from Moby Dick i n t h a t the q u e s t s f o r the Rocket do not ta k e p l a c e on t h e "profound unbounded s e a " , but t h o r o u g h l y w i t h i n t h e ' c o n t e x t of human systems, p o l i t i c a l and otherwise-. The problem the n o v e l p r e s e n t s i s not so much t h e c r e a t i o n of a system as ' d e a l i n g w i t h a l r e a d y c o n s t r u c t e d systems i n which one l i v e s and t r y i n g t o d i s c o v e r the n a t u r e o f them. The problem i s l i v i n g i n s i d e what appears t o be an e n c y c l o p a e d i c system which r e f u s e s t o r e v e a l i t s e l f i n any h o l i s t i c manner. For purposes of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , I w i l l c a l l t he system which surrounds the Rocket t h e war system. The "war" i n G r a v i t y ' s  Rainbow extends beyond t h e t e m p o r a l b o u n d a r i e s o f World War I I i n which the n o v e l i s s e t ; "war" s i m p l y d e f i n e s the s t a t e of modern humankind. The way the war system f u n c t i o n s forms the crux o f the e n c y c l o p a e d i c problem of the n o v e l : The war needs t o d i v i d e . . . a n d t o s u b d i v i d e , though i t s propaganda w i l l always s t r e s s u n i t y , a l l i a n c e , p u l l i n g t o g e t h e r . The war does not appear t o want a f o l k -c o n s c i o u s n e s s , not even the s o r t t h e Germans have 49 e n g i n e e r e d , e i n V o l k e i n Fuhrer — i t wants a machine of many p a r t s , not a oneness but a c o m p l e x i t y . . . . (Pynchon 131) We can p e r c e i v e the war system as a p e r v e r s e e n c y c l o p a e d i a . I t d i s g u i s e s i t s e l f as a u n i t y , yet, i t i s a c t u a l l y opposed t o u n i f i c a t i o n . I t i s a k i n d of t o t a l i z i n g s t r u c t u r e , as a "machine of many p a r t s , " but i t t o t a l i z e s p a r a d o x i c a l l y by b e i n g d i s p e r s i v e and d i s j u n c t i v e . In a sense the e n c y c l o p a e d i a i n G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow i s a l r e a d y d i s r u p t e d ; y e t we must contend w i t h the i l l u s i o n o f u n i t y . The war system i s a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f t h e v i s i o n of e n c y c l o p a e d i c u n i t y . The t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o c c u r s w i t h t h e t e c h n o l o g i c a l and p o l i t i c a l movements o f " a humanity bent on i n c r e a s e and, u l t i m a t e l y , s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n : K e k u l e dreams the Great Serpent h o l d i n g i t s own t a i l i n i t s mouth, the dreaming Serpent which s u r r o u n d s t h e world....The Serpent t h a t announces "The w o r l d i s a c l o s e d t h i n g , c y c l i c a l , r e s o n a n t , e t e r n a l l y r e t u r n i n g , " i s t o be d e l i v e r e d i n t o a system whose o n l y aim i s t o v i o l a t e t h e C y c l e . (Pynchon 412) The system demands t h a t " ' p r o d u c t i v i t y ' and ' e a r n i n g s ' keep on i n c r e a s i n g w i t h t i m e " (Pynchon 412), at the expense of the. w o r l d ' s n a t u r a l b a l a n c e : " L i v i n g i n s i d e the System i s . l i k e r i d i n g a c r o s s t h e c o u n t r y i n a bus d r i v e n by a maniac bent .on'.' s u i c i d e . . . " (Pynchon 412). The system must d i e by i t s own hand. 50 On i t s way towards r u i n , i t e s t a b l i s h e s a l a b y r i n t h which r e f l e c t s i t s v i o l a t i o n o f the c y c l e . The Rocket i s t h e p r i m a r y m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f the war's "machine". The " A " ~ i n i t s s e r i a l "number st a n d s f o r "aggregate" — a sum t o t a l , an assemblage o f many p a r t s . The Rocket i s a grand d e s i g n of such c o m p l e x i t y t h a t no one knows how the whole t h i n g works, not even the t e c h n i c i a n s who d e v i s e and c o n s t r u c t i t , as each o n l y knows h i s s p e c i f i c p a r t . Knowledge o f t h e Rocket i s comprised of s e p a r a t e synecdoches f o r an unknown and unknowable whole. The many q u e s t s f o r the.Rocket work i n t h e hope t h a t i t s d i s c o v e r y w i l l somehow r e v e a l the system by c o n t a i n i n g i t m e t o n y m i c a l l y . The wholeness and symmetries of the Rocket would l o c a l i z e t h e system as an a n a l y z a b l e t o t a l i t y . F i n d i n g the Rocke t , however, proves t o be a h o p e l e s s t a s k , f o r t h e . p r o c e s s of i t s d i s c o v e r y i n v o l v e s p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the d i s p e r s i v e l a b y r i n t h of t h e war system. As a p r o d u c t o f t e c h n o l o g y , the Rocket i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f the p r o g r e s s of mankind: Beyond s i m p l e s t e e l e r e c t i o n , the Rocket was an e n t i r e system won, away from the f e m i n i n e d a r k n e s s , h e l d a g a i n s t the e n t r o p i e s of l o v e a b l e but s c a t t e r b r a i n e d Mother Nature (Pynchon 324) I t i s not o n l y t e c h n o l o g i c a l , but p h a l l o l o g i c a l ; manmade i n every sense o f t h e word. T h i s f a c t t e l l s us something about the n a t u r e of i t s system. I n a l l r e s p e c t s the Rocket and t h e war system are 51 u n n a t u r a l . The problem of r e a d i n g the w o r l d mutates i n G r a v i t y ' s  Rainbow. We a r e no l o n g e r concerned w i t h the n a t u r a l w o r l d as a t e x t , but w i t h t h e t e x t t h a t man has superimposed on n a t u r e , or "won away" from n a t u r e by m a n i p u l a t i n g n a t u r e ' s c h e m i s t r y t o produce i t h i n g s l i k e r o c k e t s . Thus t h e r e i s always t h e sense t h a t those who seek th e Rocket i n o r d e r t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e w o r l d a r e p u r s u i n g t h e wrong t e x t , as E n z i a n , one of t h e Rocket s e e k e r s , s u g g e s t s : -" w e l l we a s s u m e d - - n a t u r l i c h — t h a t the h o l y Text had t o be the R o c k e t . . . i t s " s y m m e t r i e s , i t s l a t e n c i e s , the c u t e n e s s o f i t enchanted and seduced us w h i l e the r e a l Text p e r s i s t e d somewhere e l s e , i n i t s d a r k n e s s , our d a r k n e s s . . . . " (Pynchon 520) The p r o j e c t i o n o f the w o r l d onto the Rocket d i r e c t s a t t e n t i o n from t h e "somewhere e l s e " of t h e " r e a l T ext" t h a t i s t h e same as the somewhere e l s e i n "Tl'dn, Uqbar, O r b i s T e r t i u s " and Moby p i c k . The Rocket e n c y c l o p a e d i a , l i k e t h e whale e n c y c l o p a e d i a , and the e n c y c l o p a e d i a of Tl'dn, i s a d i v e r s i o n from something o t h e r , a supplement. The t e c h n o l o g y v e r s u s n a t u r e o p p o s i t i o n i s one of s e v e r a l o p p o s i t i o n s which work i n a s i m i l a r manner throughout the book. One of t h e most u s e f u l of t h e s e i n d e f i n i n g the s t r u c t u r e o f G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow appears i n a d i a l o g u e between Tyrone S l o t h r o p , the q u a s i - h e r o o f the n o v e l , and the A r g e n t i n e a n a r c h i s t S q u a l i d o z z i . T h i s d i a l o g u e opposes an a n a r c h i c openness t o l a b y r i n t h i n e c o m p l e x i t y i n terms of l a n d use. S q u a l i d o z z i s a y s : 52 " I t i s our n a t i o n a l t r a g e d y . We a r e obsessed w i t h b u i l d i n g l a b y r i n t h s , where b e f o r e t h e r e was open p l a i n and s k y . To draw ever more complex p a t t e r n s on the blank s h e e t . We cannot a b i d e t h a t openness: i t i s t e r r o r t o us. Look at Borges. Look at the suburbs o f Buenos A i r e s . " (Pynchon 264) The c o m p l e x i t y o f the A r g e n t i n e l a b y r i n t h s i s f u n d a m e n t a l l y analogous t o the c o m p l e x i t y of the war system. Both r e f l e c t a d r i v e which S l o t h r o p c a l l s p r o g r e s s : "you, you ca n ' t have open range f o r e v e r , you ca n ' t j u s t s t a n d i n t h e way of p r o g r e s s " (Pynchon 264). T h i s p r o g r e s s , however, i s not s t e p by s t e p or l i n e a r i n any way. I t i s more l i k e what the b e g i n n i n g of the n o v e l d e s c r i b e s as "a p r o g r e s s i v e k n o t t i n g i n t o " (pynchon 3 ) . I t i s a movement towards o v e r c o d i n g , towards " s t a c k e d d e n s i t y " (Pynchon 264). In an i m p o r t a n t metaphor, S q u a l i d o z z i t e x t u a l i z e s t h e A r g e n t i n i a n dilemma: " ' i n t h e days of the gauchos my c o u n t r y was a blank p i e c e of paper'" (Pynchon 264). For S q u a l i d o z z i , the blank p i e c e o f paper i s an i d e a l s t a t e . He a l s o s u g g e s t s t h a t , i n s p i t e of t h e c o m p l e x i t y t h a t they impose on the l a n d , the c o n s t r u c t o r s of the l a b y r i n t h s a l s o d e s i r e the bl a n k page: "'the A r g e n t i n i a n h e a r t , i n i t s p e r v e r s i t y and g u i l t , l o n g s f o r a r e t u r n t o t h a t f i r s t u n s c r i b b l e d s e r e n i t y . . . ' " (Pynchon 264). In f a c t , the s p e c t r e o f t h i s b l a n k n e s s haunts the A r g e n t i n i a n s , r e m i n d i n g them o f t h e i r once u n w r i t t e n c o u n t r y : --but even i n t o t h e smoki e s t l a b y r i n t h s , t h e f u r t h e s t 53 s t a c k e d d e n s i t y o f midday b a l c o n y or c o u r t y a r d and  g a t e , the l a n d has never l e t • us f o r g e t . . . . (Pynchon 264) In e f f e c t , t h e b l a n k n e s s s t i l l e x i s t s , but i t has been d i s t r i b u t e d t h r o u g h o u t t h e i n s c r i b e d c o m p l e x i t y . I t i s i n h e r e n t t o t he c o m p l e x i t y , s i n c e i t cannot be e r a d i c a t e d , or c o m p l e t e l y w r i t t e n o v e r . The war system i s a l s o a m e t a p h o r i c a l l y i n s c r i b e d l a b y r i n t h , emphasized by the f a c t t h a t the Rocket i s so o f t e n p e r c e i v e d as a t e x t . I t t o o has d i s t r i b u t e d gaps and b l a n k n e s s e s and d e s i r e s t o r e t u r n t o " u n s c r i b b l e d s e r e n i t y " . The Rocket i s a t o o l of d e s t r u c t i o n , which u l t i m a t e l y w i l l wipe c l e a r the complex sytem t h a t has produced i t . I t w i l l b r i n g e v e r y t h i n g back t o z e r o , so t h a t a l t h o u g h i t s system has an e v e r i n c r e a s i n g c o m p l e x i t y , i t i s a l s o s e l f - e f f a c i n g . Meanwhile, t h e war system seduces p e o p l e by p a r t i a l l y e x p o s i n g i t s e l f t o t h o s e who seek t o und e r s t a n d i t . I t i s even • suggested t o be a Masonic p l o t : Non-Masons s t a y p r e t t y much i n the dark about What Goes On, though now and then something jumps o u t , exposes i t s e l f , jumps g i g g l i n g back a g a i n , l e a v i n g you w i t h few d e t a i l s but a l o t o f Awful S u s p i c i o n s . (Pynchon 587) The fragments which jump out presume an under l y i n g - w h o l e which can somehow be p i e c e d t o g e t h e r . C o n c e p t u a l l y , the human w o r l d o f G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow i s d i v i d e d i n two; tho s e who supposedy 54 g e n e r a t e t h e system and u n d e r s t a n d i t , r e f e r r e d t o as the " e l e c t " o r , more o f t e n , s i m p l y "Them", and the " p r e t e r i t e " who are enmeshed i n " T h e i r " system. Only the l a t t e r , however, a r e m a n i f e s t i n the t e x t , w h i l e "They" remain as i n v i s i b l e as t h e i r system. As r e a d e r s of t h e n o v e l , we are c a s t a l o n g w i t h the p r e t e r i t e and t h e Non-Masons, as we attempt t o p i e c e t o g e t h e r the n a r r a t i v e . At one p o i n t , the t e x t a d d r e s s e s us, t e l l i n g us we a r e : k i c k i n g e n d l e s s l y among the p l a s t i c t r i v i a , f i n d i n g i n each Deeper S i g n i f i c a n c e and t r y i n g t o s t r i n g them a l l t o g e t h e r l i k e terms of a power s e r i e s hoping t o z e r o i n on the tremendous and s e c r e t F u n c t i o n . . . . (Pynchon 590) We never reach t h e " s e c r e t F u n c t i o n " and the t r i v i a does not c o a l e s c e i n t o a p e r f e c t e n c y c l o p a e d i a . We can o n l y p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e d i s p e r s a l of i n f o r m a t i o n . Thus we cannot i d e n t i f y G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow w i t h the e n c y c l o p a e d i a i n any way t h a t i s not a n t i t h e t i c a l . I t d e n i e s the coherent v i s i o n o f t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a by making a l l knowledge p e r i p h e r a l t o "What Goes On". The c h a r a c t e r s i n the n o v e l always p e r c e i v e themselves t o be o u t s i d e of any p o s s i b l e e n c y c l o p a e d i a : [ S l o t h r o p ] w i l l never get f u r t h e r than t h e edge of t h i s m e t a - c a r t e l which has made i t s e l f known t o n i g h t , 55 t h i s R o c k e t - s t a t e whose b o r d e r s he cannot c r o s s . . . . (Pynchon 566) On t h e o t h e r hand, they a re i n s i d e the system which p e r p e t u a t e s the i l l u s i o n o f the e n c y c l o p a e d i a . ' The more the s e c h a r a c t e r s attempt t o pursue a h o l i s t i c v i s i o n , t he more t h e y knot themselves i n t o the complex l a b y r i n t h , e f f e c t i v e l y moving themselves f u r t h e r and f u r t h e r from any h o l i s t i c system. In G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow the a c c u m u l a t i o n o f know-ledge does not u n i t e t h a t knowledge; i t d r i v e s i t a p a r t . The t e l e o l o g i c a l problem which knots p e o p l e l i k e S l o t h r o p i n e x t r i c a b l y i n t o the system i s one of z e r o i n g i n . Any attempt t o z e r o i n p a r a d o x i c a l l y r e s u l t s i n a movement outwards. T h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y e v i d e n t i n the realm o f language. S l o t h r o p ' s d i s c o v e r y of a seeming c o n n e c t i o n between "Blackwords" i l l l u s t r a t e s t he d i f f i c u l t y of z e r o i n g i n through language: I s t h e r e a s i n g l e r o o t , deeper than anyone has probed, from which S l o t h r o p ' s Blackwords o n l y appear t o f l o w e r s e p a r a t e l y ? Or has he by way of language caught t h e German mania f o r name g i v i n g , d i v i d i n g t h e c r e a t i o n f i n e r and f i n e r , a n a l y z i n g , s e t t i n g namer more h o p e l e s s l y a p a r t from named, even t o b r i n g i n g i n t h e mathematics of c o m b i n a t i o n , t a c k i n g together, e s t a b l i s h e d nouns t o get new ones, t h e i n s a n e l y • d i d d l i n g p l a y of a chemist whose m o l e c u l e s a re words...? ' -(Pynchon 391) When t h e "mathematics o f c o m b i n a t i o n " and c h e m i s t r y become 56 a s s o c i a t e d ;.with language, t h e r e i s no way t o d i s c o v e r the " s i n g l e r o o t " . T r y i n g t o use language as a t o o l f o r z e r o i n g i n i s ' c o u n t e r - p r o d u c t i v e , as language always seems t o i n v o l v e a moving away from p o i n t s of o r i g i n . L i k e the war system, language i s a l w a y s ' d i V i d i r i g ' and s u b d i v i d i n g i n a p o t e n t i a l l y i n f i n i t e manner. Wh i l e the d i v i d i n g p r o c e s s c r e a t e s a sense of c o n n e c t i o n between words, i t a l s o c r e a t e s gaps w i t h each d i v i s o r y move. Ch e m i s t r y and language have a p a r t i c u l a r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n G r a v i t y "s Rainbow At d i f f e r e n t p o i n t s i n the t e x t , each i s seen i n t h e l i g h t of the o t h e r . "'How a l p h a b e t i c i s the n a t u r e o f m o l e c u l e s ' " , s a y s one c h a r a c t e r : "These a r e our l e t t e r s , our words: they t o o can be moculated , b r o k e n , recouple'd, r e d e f i n e d , co-p o l y m e r i z e d one t o t h e o t h e r i n w o r l d wide c h a i n s t h a t w i l l s u r f a c e now and then over l o n g m o l e c u l a r s i l e n c e s , l i k e t h e seen p a r t s o f a t a p e s t r y . " (Pynchon 3 5 5 ) Hence t h e r e i s a t e c h n o l o g i c a l / l i n g u i s t i c l i n k i n the n o v e l . The human c o n t r o l over c h e m i s t r y , which produces s y n t h e t i c s such as the I m i p o l e x G which c o v e r s the R o c k e t , r e f l e c t s the c o n t r o l over language and v i c e - v e r s a . Yet f o r a l l the m a n i p u l a t i o n i n v o l v e d i n e s t a b l i s h i n g w o r l d wide c h a i n s o f c h e m i s t r y and l a n g u a g e , t h e r e remain t h e s i l e n c e s , l i k e the blank spaces i n the A r g e n t i n e l a b y r i n t h s . Language and s y n t h e t i c c h e m i s t r y may p r o l i f e r a t e , -but they a r e never co m p l e t e , nor do t h e y cover the w o r l d c o m p l e t e l y . Pynchon s e t s w o r l d wide c h a i n s a g a i n s t the m o l e c u l a r -s i l e n c e s , c r e a t i n g a t a p e s t r y t h a t has both seen p a r t s and, at 57 l e a s t c o n c e p t u a l l y , unseen, showing how the p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f human systems not o n l y c r e a t e s and s t r u c t u r e s knowledge, but a l s o s t r u c t u r e s t h e i g n o r a n c e i n h e r e n t i n t h e blank spaces of t h e s e systems. Ignorance and knowledge i n t e r a c t , so t h a t w h i l e the seen elements suggest an i n t e r l o c k i n g whole, the unseen elements undermine t h a t p r e s u m p t i o n o f complete i n t e r - c o n n e c t e d n e s s . Perhaps t h e be s t way t o d e s c r i b e the e f f e c t t h a t Pynchon c r e a t e s i n G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow i s as e n c y c l o p a e d i c p a r a n o i a . The i l l u s o r y connectedness t h a t the war system engenders has the c h a r a c t e r s and r e a d e r s of the t e x t always p e r c e i v i n g themselves t o be on t h e edge of r e v e l a t i o n . But t h a t p e r c e p t i o n i s always h e l d i n check by t h e o p p o s i t e p e r c e p t i o n of b e i n g on the edge o f n o t h i n g : I f t h e r e i s something . c o m f o r t i n g - - r e l i g i o u s i f you want-- about p a r a n o i a , t h e r e i s s t i l l a l s o a n t i ^ -p a r a n o i a , where n o t h i n g i s connected t o a n y t h i n g , a c o n d i t i o n not many of us can bear f o r l o n g . (Pynchon 4 34) The t e x t keeps us f l i p p i n g back and f o r t h , between overcoded f u l l n e s s , and a b s o l u t e e m p t i n e s s . I t p l a y s on our d e s i r e s f o r " r e l i g i o u s " meaning and e n c y c l o p a e d i s m , and our most n i h i l i s t i c f e a r s , such d e s i r e s knot us i n t o the l a b y r i n t h o f the war system, whose f r u s t r a t i n g powers of d i s p e r s a l push'us towards n i h i l i s m . The c h a r a c t e r s i n G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow become- s i m p l y f u n c t i o n s o f t h e system i n which they a re enmeshed. They are often-r e f e r r e d t o . as chess p i e c e s ; i n d e e d , S l o t h r o p c a r r i e s a chess 58 p i e c e i n h i s pocket as he pursues the Rocket t h r o u g h the "Zone" of p o s t - W o r l d War I I Germany. The c h a r a c t e r s can o n l y s p e c u l a t e b l i n d l y as t o what p o s i t i o n t h e y occupy. One of t h e s e s p e c u l a t i o n s makes an a p p r o p r i a t e r e f e r e n c e t o the a l p h a b e t i z i n g scheme of the e n c y c l o p a e d i a : " S c h w a r t z g e r a t , Schwartzkomanndo. S c u f f l i n g : suppose somewhere t h e r e were an a l p h a b e t i c a l l i s t , . . . But suppose t h a t on t h i s l i s t , t h e two names, Bl a c k i n s t r u m e n t , Blackcommand, j u s t happened t o be t h e r e , j u x t a p o s e d . That's a l l , an a l p h a b e t i c a l c o i n c i d e n c e . We wouldn't have t o be r e a l , and n e i t h e r : would i t , c o r r e c t ? " (Pynchon 363) B e s i d e s p a r o d y i n g the a r b i t r a r y u n r e a l i t y o f t h e a l p h a b e t i c a l e n c y c l o p a e d i c scheme, t h i s s p e c u l a t i o n a r t i c u l a t e s the p o s i t i o n o f t h e p e r s o n who must i n h a b i t any k i n d of system. I f one i s an e n t r y i n a system, j u x t a p o s e d w i t h o t h e r e n t r i e s , v i e w i n g the system _in t o t o i s i m p o s s i b l e . E l s e w h e r e , S l o t h r o p r e a l i z e s : That th e zone can s u s t a i n many o t h e r p l o t s b e s i d e s those p o l a r i z e d upon h i m s e l f . . . t h a t t h e s e are the e l s and busses of an enormous t r a n s i t system here i n t h e R a k e t e n s t a d t , more t a n g l e d even than B o s t o n ' s . . . . (Pynchon 603) He f e e l s t h a t i f he can j u s t r i d e the system l o n g enough,"making the r i g h t t r a n s f e r s , t h a t " t h i s network of a l l p l ots-may y e t c a r r y him t o freedom"(Pynchon 603). He never r e a l i z e s t h i s freedom; h i s p e r s o n a l i t y d i s p e r s e s i n the f a c e o f the l a b y r i n t h . 59 " P l o t s " i s a pun h e r e , r e f e r r i n g b oth t o the c o n s p i r a t o r i a l p l o t s of the war system, and t o the p l o t s o f t h e t e x t i t s e l f . G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow i t s e l f s u s t a i n s many p l o t s as i t probes i t s own p a r a n o i d t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i c v i s i o n of u n i t y and conn e c t e d n e s s . The t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i t e n a c t s i s b l e a k , but i n t e l l e c t u a l l y s t i m u l a t i n g i n t h a t i t c h a l l e n g e s our p e r c e p t i o n s o f o r d e r by p l a c i n g them i n the c o n t e x t of a p e r v e r s e l a b y r i n t h which makes them p a r a n o i d and d i s p e r s e d . 5. A l l e g o r y and the Open T e x t : A Reading S t r a t e g y f o r the P o s t - E n c y c l o p a e d i c Work Works l i k e G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow and Moby Dick which d i s r u p t the e n c y c l o p a e d i c i d e a l r e q u i r e a d i f f e r e n t r e a d i n g s t r a t e g y than c o n v e n t i o n a l l y e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t s . E n c y c l o p a e d i a s , whether they are " r e a l " or l i t e r a r y works presuming an i d e n t i t y w i t h the e n c y c l o p a e d i a i n v o l v e a r e a d i n g p a t t e r n o f d i g e s t i o n . I f one had a p e r f e c t memory, one c o u l d i n c o r p o r a t e them f u l l y . P o s t -e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t s , however, not o n l y defy a h o l i s t i c p e r s p e c t i v e p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y , but a l s o p r a g m a t i c a l l y i n terms o f the r e a d e r ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f them. In o r d e r t o h e l p d e f i n e the r e a d e r ' s p r o j e c t f o r t h e s e works, we can t u r n ' t o some of t h e i d e a s o f Umberto Eco, J u r i j Lotman and Maureen Q u i l l i g a n . . In The R o l e o f t h e Reader Umberto Eco d i s c u s s e s c e r t a i n 60 k i n d s o f m u s i c a l c o m p o s i t i o n s as h e l p f u l analogues t o l i t e r a r y c o m p o s i t i o n s which he d e f i n e s as "open": i n l i s t e n i n g t o Scambi th e a u d i t o r i s r e q u i r e d t o do some of the o r g a n i z i n g and s t r u c t u r i n g of the m u s i c a l d i s c o u r s e . He c o l l a b o r a t e s w i t h the. composer i n making th e c o m p o s i t i o n . (Eco 56) The open work i s one which we can c a l l , " f i n i t e i n one sense, but i n a n o t h e r s e n s e . . . u n l i m i t e d " (Eco 54). I t c o n t a i n s f i n i t e d a t a , but t h a t d a t a can be r e - s t r u c t u r e d i n a p o t e n t i a l l y u n l i m i t e d number of ways. In terms of m u s i c a l c o m p o s i t i o n , the composer w i l l l e a v e t h e arrangement of a s p e c t s of t h e p i e c e up t o t h e p e r f o r m e r . Thus th e c o m p l e t i o n o f t h e work ( i f c o m p l e t i o n i s the word) r e l i e s g r e a t l y upon the way the p e r f o r m e r chooses t o o r d e r n o t e s , t h e l e n g t h o f time the p e r f o r m e r wishes t o g i v e t o the sounding of those notes and so on. The c o m p o s i t i o n can be p l a y e d i n v i r t u a l l y l i m i t l e s s v a r i a t i o n s w h i l e r e m a i n i n g the same c o m p o s i t i o n . Eco m a i n t a i n s t h a t t h i s p r o c e s s of t h e p e r f o r m e r / r e a d e r p l a y i n g w i t h v a r i a b l e s i n the c o m p o s i t i o n a l s o works i n c e r t a i n l i t e r a r y t e x t s . The openness of any g i v e n work i s , of c o u r s e , r e l a t i v e . There i s no a b s o l u t e way i n which we can s e p a r a t e open works from c l o s e d ones. There can o n l y be works which are more or l e s s open than o t h e r s . For the purposes of h i s argument, however, Eco must use the b i n a r y o p p o s i t i o n o f o p e n : c l o s e d . The c l o s e d work more or l e s s d e t e r m i n e s t h e p e r f o r m e r / r e a d e r ' s p r o g r e s s i o n i n a s e m a n t i c a l l y l i n e a r f a s h i o n : 61 Those t e x t s t h a t o b s e s s i v e l y aim at a r o u s i n g a p r e c i s e response on the p a r t of more or l e s s e m p i r i c a l r e a d e r s . . . are i n f a c t open t o any p o s s i b l e " a b e r r a n t " d e c o d i n g . (Eco 8) The c l o s e d work does not i n c l u d e i n i t s e l f t h e p o s s i b i l i t y f o r the a b e r r a n t r e a d i n g , or t h e r e a d i n g which i s not the " c o r r e c t " one, but i n i t s l i n e a r d e t e r m i n a c y a c t u a l l y a l l o w s i t s reader t o be "immoderately" o f f base. Only a t e x t which a l l o w s the reader t o master i t by p r o v i d i n g such a c l e a r semantic p r o g r e s s i o n can p r o v i d e the r e ader w i t h the o p p o r t u n i t y t o impose any i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s/he l i k e s . The open work, on t h e o t h e r hand, disavows the p r e s c r i p t i o n of a . l i n e a r p r o g r e s s i o n , w h i l e i t imposes r e q u i r e m e n t s upon the r e a d e r . Eco m a i n t a i n s t h a t w h i l e the c l o s e d work i m p l i e s an open r e a d e r , the open work p r e s c r i b e s i t s reader as a p a r t of i t s t e x t u a l s t r a t e g y : "An open t e x t o u t l i n e s a ' c l o s e d ' p r o j e c t of i t s Model Reader as a component of i t s s t r u c t u r a l s t r a t e g y " (Eco 9 ) . The open work a c t u a l l y has a b e r r a t i o n s w r i t t e n i n t o i t s e l f , t h e r e b y d i s a l l o w i n g the r e ader of any f u r t h e r a b e r r a t i o n : "An open t e x t , however 'open' i t may be, cannot a f f o r d whatever i n t e r p r e t a t i o n " (Eco 9 ) . T h i s homology of c l o s e d t e x t / o p e n reader:open t e x t / c l o s e d r e a der may seem p a r a d o x i c a l , s i n c e the open t e x t would seem t o a l l o w the r e ader both more and l e s s - freedom at t h e same t i m e . But i f we can u n d e r s t a n d t h a t the open t e x t p r e s c r i b e s i t s 62 r e a d e r ' s freedom, w o r k i n g i t s openness and p r e s c r i p t i v e n e s s i n a d i a l e c t i c , then we can a p p r e c i a t e the concept of t h e open work as a game which makes up i t s r u l e s as i t goes a l o n g : An author can f o r e s e e an " i d e a l r e a der a f f e c t e d by i d e a l i n s o m n i a " . . . a b l e t o master d i f f e r e n t codes and eager t o d e a l w i t h t h e t e x t as a maze o f many i s s u e s . But i n t h e l a s t a n a l y s i s , what m a t t e r s i s not the v a r i o u s i s s u e s i n themselves but the m a z e - l i k e s t r u c t u r e of t h e t e x t . You cannot use the t e x t as you want, but o n l y as the t e x t wants you t o use i t . (Eco 9) We can p e r c e i v e a d e f i n i t e power s t r u c t u r e i n Eco's t h e o r y . The c l o s e d t e x t r e q u i r e s t h a t we master i t . I t s a u t h o r , i n h a v i n g d e t e r m i n e d a c e r t a i n s e mantic p a t h , must t r u s t t h e reader t o f o l l o w t h a t p a t h , t h e r e b y s u b m i t t i n g t o the r e a d e r , who may choose t o f o l l o w t h a t p a t h or n o t . The open t e x t , however, works i n t h e o p p o s i t e manner. The semantic pathway i s u n c l e a r , i n v i t i n g t h e reader t o f i n d . h i s / h e r own way, but at the same time making the reader submit t o the l a b y r i n t h i n e codes of the t e x t . P o s t - E n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t s l i k e . G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow and Moby  Dick a r e examples of works which defy a b e r r a n t r e a d i n g s i n t h e sense t h a t they have a l r e a d y encoded a b e r r a n c e . They p r e s e n t themselves as i n f i n i t e l y v a r i a b l e and i n d e t e r m i n a t e m i s r e a d i n g s of t h e w o r l d . The o n l y f o r e s e e a b l e way of m i s r e a d i n g t h e s e t e x t s i s t o mis-misread.them, i . e . t o suggest t h a t t h e r e i s a d e t e r m i n a t e r e a d i n g - f o r them ( o r "whatever i n t e r p r e t a t i o n " as Eco would have i t ) . Perhaps more than any o t h e r k i n d o f t e x t , the 63 p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t engages the reader i n a performance. The reader must pursue i n them th e same t a s k s as the c h a r a c t e r s or v o i c e s , but on a p u r e l y t e x t u a l l e v e l , whether i t be s e a r c h i n g f o r the meaning of w h i t e n e s s through language as Ishmael does, or p o n d e r i n g the d i s p e r s a l of s e e m i n g l y connected words l i k e S l o t h r o p ' s " Blackwords." The t e x t becomes an e n d l e s s l y p l a y a b l e game, because the r u l e s by which the work p l a y s do not d e f i n e a s t o p p i n g p o i n t ; t h e i r i n d e t e r m i n a c y keeps them from bottoming out. In The S t r u c t u r e of t h e A r t i s t i c Text J u r i j Lotman makes a c l a i m s i m i l a r t o Eco's when he d i s c u s s e s the i n e x h a u s t i b i l i t y o f the " a r t i s t i c " t e x t : An a r t i s t i c model i s always broader and has g r e a t e r v i t a l i t y than any i n t e r p r e t a t i o n a t t r i b u t e d t o i t . . . w h e n we recode an a r t i s t i c system i n t o a non-a r t i s t i c language, we are always l e f t w i t h an " u n t r a n s l a t e d " r emainder, t h a t " s u p r a i n f o r m a t i o n " which i s p o s s i b l e o n l y i n an a r t i s t i c t e x t . (Lotman 68) For Lotman, a r t i s t i c n e s s i n a t e x t i s c o r r e l a t e d w i t h t h e i n t e r p r e t i v e p o s s i b i l i t i e s t h a t the t e x t a f f o r d s : "A t e x t which l e n d s i t s e l f o n l y t o a l i m i t e d number of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s comes c l o s e t o b e i n g a n o n - a r t i s t i c t e x t " (Lotman 68). Lotman's c l a i m s may be h y p e r b o l i c i n t h e i r d i s t i n c t i o n between a r t and n o n - a r t , but they c e r t a i n l y a p p l y t o the p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c work, which we might r e - d e f i n e i n Lotman's terms as a h y p e r - a r t i s t i c t e x t . F o l l o w i n g Lotman, I suggest t h a t the e n c y c l o p a e d i c work i s t h e 64 epitome o f t h e n o n - a r t i s t i c t e x t . I t does not a l l o w "the i n t r u s i o n of d i s o r d e r , e n t r o p y , or d i s o r g a n i z a t i o n i n t o the sphere o f s t r u c t u r e and i n f o r m a t i o n " (Lotman 75). Lotman c a l l s t h i s i n t r u s i o n " n o i s e " , " a n d i t i s the p r o j e c t of t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t t o be a ' s p e c i f i c a l l y u n n o i s y work, whereas the p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t t h r i v e s on e n f o l d i n g n o i s e i n t o i t s s t r u c t u r e . By i n t r o d u c i n g n o i s e i n t h i s way, the p o s t -e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t can e n d l e s s l y r e f o r m u l a t e t h e problem of i t s b e i n g , w h i l e t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t would render t h o s e problems dead. P o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c works are o n l y f i n i s h a b l e i n t h e sense t h a t one may rea c h the f i n a l pages of them; i n t e l l e c t u a l l y , however, they remain u n f i n i s h a b l e . They always await f u r t h e r performances. The n o t i o n o f a l l e g o r y p l a y s a d i s t i n c t i v e p a r t i n Eco's d i s t i n c t i o n o f open and c l o s e d works, as i t does w i t h e n c y c l o p a e d i a s . For t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i a ' s p e r f e c t i o n l i e s i n i t s a b i l i t y t o be brought back t o the w o r l d as a metonymy o f t h a t w o r l d . The t r a d i t i o n a l c o n c e p t i o n o f a l l e g o r y p o s i t s t h a t a g i v e n work can be i n t e r p r e t e d on v a r i o u s o t h e r l e v e l s than on the l i t e r a l ; s p e c i f i c a l l y , t he moral l e v e l , the a l l e g o r i c a l l e v e l , and the a n a g o g i c a l l e v e l . Eco s u g g e s t s t h a t t h i s m u l t i - l e v e l e d r e a d i n g i s r e l a t i v e l y c l o s e d , d e s p i t e i t s apparent p o t e n t i a l f o r openness: The meaning o f a l l e g o r i c a l f i g u r e s and emblems which the reader i s l i k e l y t o encounter i s a l r e a d y 65 p r e s c r i b e d by h i s e n c y c l o p a e d i a s , b e s t i a r i e s and l a p i d a r i e s . (Eco 51) Thus, t h e r e i s always a d e f i n i t e correspondence between the t e x t ' s symbols and t h e l e v e l s of meaning which can be d e r i v e d from them. Eco s u g g e s t s t h a t t h i s correspondence i s determined by a g e n e r a l m e d i e v a l w o r l d view of an " o r d e r e d cosmos, a h i e r a r c h y of essences and laws" (Eco 52),. E c o . a s s e r t s t h a t modern "open" a l l e g o r i e s , e x e m p l i f i e d by t h e works of K a f k a , r e p r e s e n t a r a d i c a l d e p a r t u r e from t h e f i x e d c o n c e p t i o n o f m e d i e v a l a l l e g o r y : i n K a f k a t h e r e i s no c o n f i r m a t i o n i n an e n c y c l o p a e d i a , no matching paradigm i n the cosmos, t o p r o v i d e t h e key t o the symbolism. (Eco 54) In h i s works, K a f k a p r o v i d e s symbols and p a t t e r n s 'for which t h e r e i s no d e f i n i t e , p r e s c r i b e d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . He g i v e s us one h a l f o f t h e a l l e g o r i c a l e q u a t i o n , l e a v i n g the o t h e r h a l f open: The work remains i n e x h a u s t i b l e i n s o f a r as i t i s "open," because i n i t an o r d e r e d w o r l d based on u n i v e r s a l l y acknowledged laws i s b e i n g r e p l a c e d by a w o r l d based on a m b i g u i t y , both i n the n e g a t i v e sense t h a t d i r e c t i o n a l c e n t e r s are m i s s i n g and i n a p o s i t i v e s ense, because v a l u e s and dogma are always b e i n g p l a c e d i n q u e s t i o n . (Eco 54) L i k e t h e works of K a f k a , p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c works are 66 i m p e r f e c t i b l e a l l e g o r i e s ; no i m p o s i t i o n o f e x t e r n a l laws w i l l c l o s e the t e x t . A p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c work i n c o r p o r a t e s what would be a f t e r the f a c t a c t i v i t y f o r c o n v e n t i o n a l a l l e g o r y , i n t h a t the t e x t s are always r e a d i n g themselves i n an o p e r a t i o n t h a t Maureen Q u i l l i g a n c a l l s " a l l e g o r e s i s " i n her book The Language of  A l l e g o r y . Q u i l l i g a n s u g g e s t s t h a t the l i n k i n g o f s y m b o l i c p a t t e r n s i n a work w i t h " o t h e r " meanings o u t s i d e t h e work i s a c t u a l l y a n t i t h e t i c a l t o what a l l e g o r y i s : The " o t h e r " named by t h e term a l i o s i n t h e word " a l l e g o r y " i s not some o t h e r h o v e r i n g above the words of t h e t e x t , but t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f an o t h e r n e s s , a polysemy i n h e r e n t i n t h e v e r y words of t h e page; a l l e g o r y t h e r e f o r e names the f a c t t h a t language can s i g n i f y many t h i n g s at once. I t does not name the many o t h e r t h i n g s language means, or t h e d i s j u n c t i o n between s a y i n g and meaning, but the o f t e n p r o b l e m a t i c a l p r o c e s s of meaning m u l t i p l e t h i n g s s i m u l t a n e o u s l y w i t h one word. ( Q u i l l i g a n 26) Q u i l l i g a n ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f a l l e g o r y , r u n n i n g a g a i n s t the stream of c o n v e n t i o n a l thought as i t does, opens the way f o r an o n t o l o g i c a l p e r c e p t i o n of the p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c work as a p u s h i n g o f a l l e g o r y t o i t s l i m i t s . The r e a d i n g s t r a t e g y which one must adopt i n engaging t h e p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c work as a t e x t t h a t i s open and i n f i n i t e l y a l l e g o r i c a l , echoes F o u c a u l t ' s n o t i o n o f w r i t i n g i n o r d e r not t o 67 d i e ; one reads such a t e x t a g a i n s t e n c y c l o p a e d i c a l l y p r e s c r i b e d death,becoming i n v o l v e d i n a p o l y s e m i c performance t h a t has no v i a b l e c o n c l u s i o n . 6. Working Toward t h e L i t e r a r y Fugue In The S t r u c t u r e of t h e A r t i s t i c Text J u r i j Lotman d i s t i n g u i s h e s between two forms o f r e c o d i n g which c r e a t e meaning i n t e x t s : i n t e r n a l r e c o d i n g " i n which meaning i s formed not by the convergence of two c h a i n s t r u c t u r e s , but immanently w i t h i n one system" (Lotman 3 5 ) , and e x t e r n a l r e c o d i n g , i n which " e q u i v a l e n c e i s e s t a b l i s h e d between two c h a i n s t r u c t u r e s of d i f f e r e n t t y p e s , and between t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l elements" (Lotman 36). The problems t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n r a i s e s , such as u n d e r s t a n d i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e i n s i d e and o u t s i d e of a system, and b e i n g a b l e t o t e l l t h e d i f f e r e n c e between one system and " c h a i n s t r u c t u r e s of d i f f e r e n t t y p e s " a r e i m p o r t a n t f o r our e x p l o r a t i o n o f t h e p o s t - e n c y c l o p a d i c t e x t . I n t e r n a l r e c o d i n g i s p a r t i c u l a r l y n o t a b l e w i t h r e g a r d t o e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t s , f o r Lotman says t h a t i t i s p a r t i c u l a r l y e v i d e n t i n th o s e secondary s e m i o t i c systems w h i c h l a y c l a i m t o u n i v e r s a l i t y , : ' a n e x c l u s i v e 68 w o r l d o u t l o o k , t o the s y s t e m a t i z a t i o n o f a l l human r e a l i t y . (Lotman 37) Al t h o u g h Lotman uses l i t e r a r y Romanticism as h i s p r i m a r y example of such an immanent h e r m e t i c system, i t i s o b v i o u s t h a t any s t r a i g h f o r w a r d e n c y c l o p a e d i c e n t e r p r i s e must p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s k i n d of r e c o d i n g as w e l l . Any system which atte m p t s t o c i r c u m s c r i b e an " a l l " o f some k i n d has t o c o n t a i n i t s s t r u c t u r e of r e l a t i o n s i n a way t h a t does not a l l o w f o r the i n t r u s i o n of o t h e r systems t h a t would d i s r u p t the p e r f e c t i o n of t h e p r i m a r y system. To use B a k h t i n ' s terms, such a system i s mon o l o g i c . To h e l p d e f i n e i n t e r n a l r e c o d i n g , Lotman uses non-r e f e r e n t i a l a l g e b r a and a b s o l u t e music as examples. I f we c o n s i d e r t h e a l g e b r a i c f o r m u l a a=b+c w i t h o u t g i v i n g any of t h e v a r i a b l e s n u m e r i c a l v a l u e , t h e e q u a t i o n s t i l l forms i t s own i n t e r n a l meaning: " T h e i r meaning w i l l be r e l a t i o n a l : i t w i l l e x p r e s s the r e l a t i o n o f some elements i n t h e system t o o t h e r s " (Lotman. 36). Of a b s o l u t e music, Lotman s a y s : "we can i m a g i n e , however c o n d i t i o n a l l y , a s t r i c t l y m u s i c a l meaning formed by r e l a t i o n s o f sound s e r i e s w i t h o u t e x t r a - m u s i c a l bonds" (Lotman 36). I m a g i n i n g such a s t r i c t l y i n t e r n a l f o r m a t i o n i n a v e r b a l work i s o f co u r s e a d i f f e r e n t m a t t e r , s i n c e i t would seem t o be i m p o s s i b l e t o s t o p words from o p e r a t i n g i n ways o t h e r than t h o s e d e t e r m i n e d by immanent s t r u c t u r i n g . I n t e r n a l r e c o d i n g i s a l s o p r o b l e m a t i c when we c o n s i d e r the i n h e r e n t a l l e g o r i c a l and metonymical f u n c t i o n s of t e x t s . We must remember- t h a t i n t e r n a l r e c o d i n g i s a " r e " c o d i n g of something e l s e and t h e r e f o r e the 69 i n t e r n a l l y recoded t e x t must r e l a t e t o i t s " a l i o s . " We can f o r m u l a t e a p o s s i b l e answer t o t h e s e problems, by c o n s i d e r i n g t h a t the i n t e r n a l l y recoded work s t r u c t u r e s i t s o u t s i d e , or the ground a g a i n s t which i t i s a f i g u r e , i n a way t h a t makes i t p e r f e c t l y c o m p a t i b l e w i t h the t e x t ' s i n t e r n a l s t r u c t u r e . I t h e l p s here t o r e c a l l Eco's i d e a s on m e d i e v a l a l l e g o r y and F o u c a u l t ' s n o t i o n o f the work t h a t p l a c e s the i n f i n i t e o u t s i d e o f i t s e l f . These a r e cases of c o n c e p t u a l l y p e r f e c t metonymy, i n which t h e r e i s an u n d i s r u p t e d exchange between t h e w o r l d and the t e x t which a c t s as i t s metonym; i n ot h e r words, t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i c p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e w o r l d . In t he e x t e r n a l l y recoded system, however, t h a t which i s " o u t s i d e " i s d i f f e r e n t from the c o r r e s p o n d i n g component of t h e i n t e r n a l l y recoded system. " O u t s i d e " i s not t h a t which the t e x t p e r f e c t l y r e f l e c t s , but the s t r u c t u r e s t h a t run a l o n g s i d e and i n t e r s e c t at any g i v e n j u n c t u r e i n t h e work. That which i s " e x t e r n a l " i s not n e c e s s a r i l y e x t e r n a l t o the t e x t i t s e l f . i t i s s i m p l y e x t e r n a l from t h e p e r s p e c t i v e o f any of t h e d i f f e r e n t . systems o p e r a t i n g i n t h e t e x t . D i v e r s e elements a r e mapped onto each o t h e r t o c r e a t e c e r t a i n e f f e c t s : we must s t r e s s t h a t the p l u r a l i t y of e x t e r n a l r e c o d i n g means d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s i n d i f f e r e n t s t r u c t u r e s . In some i t can t a k e a s e r i e s o f s u b j e c t i v e p o i n t s of view w h i c h , when p r o j e c t e d upon each o t h e r , r e v e a l a common ' c o n t e n t — r e a l i t y . . . .But the o p p o s i t e i s a l s o p o s s i b l e . . . r e p e a t e d r e c o d i n g [may c o n f i r m ] the absence 70 o f r e a l i t y . R e a l i t y d i s i n t e g r a t e s i n t o a l a r g e number of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . . . i t i s i m a g i n a r y . (Lotman 39) L i k e B a k h t i n ' s d i a l o g i s m , e x t e r n a l r e c o d i n g i s a means of b r i n g i n g i n t o p l a y v a r i o u s systems w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s of a s i n g l e work, so t h a t t h e ground of a work becomes as f a c e t e d as i t s f i g u r e . For our p u r p o s e s , t h e n o t i o n o f t h e d i s i n t e g r a t i o n o f r e a l i t y t h r o u g h e x t e r n a l r e c o d i n g i s the most i n t e r e s t i n g 1 , s i n c e t h e books we a r e l o o k i n g at are concerned w i t h t h e i m a g i n a r i n e s s of e n c y c l o p a e d i c r e a l i t y . A l t h o u g h i t may seem p a r a d o x i c a l , we s h o u l d c o n s i d e r how i n t e r n a l r e c o d i n g and e x t e r n a l r e c o d i n g may c o - e x i s t i n a t e x t u a l system. Lotman h i m s e l f admits t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y : " W e s h o u l d not f o r g e t t h a t t h e o r e t i c a l l y d i s p a r a t e systems of meaning f o r m a t i o n o f t e n c o - e x i s t . . . " ( L o t m a n 3 9 ) . But at t h e same time he s a y s : Most o f t e n one type of meaning p r e d o m i n a t e s. The s t r i c t e r the o r g a n i z a t i o n of one of t h e s e systems, th e more l o o s e l y t h e o t h e r w i l l be c o n s t r u c t e d w i t h i n the g i v e n s t r u c t u r e . (Lotman 4 9 ) In o r d e r t o p r e p a r e o u r s e l v e s f o r Lous z u k o f s k y ' s "A"-12, however, we must be a b l e t o c o n c e i v e o f the r a r e case where i n t e r n a l and e x t e r n a l r e c o d i n g do not f u n c t i o n t o each o t h e r ' s d e t r i m e n t . For t h i s p u r p o s e , we can l o o k t o a few of t h e i d e a s o f Douglas H o f s t a d t e r , whose st a t e m e n t s on fugues i n G o d e l , E s c h e r , 71 Bach open the p o s s i b i l i t y f o r the c o - e x i s t e n c e o f i n t e r n a l and e x t e r n a l r e c o d i n g w i t h i n a g i v e n system. B e f o r e d e a l i n g w i t h f u g u e s , H o f s t a d t e r d e f i n e s the canon.,' from whose b a s i c s t r u c t u r e the fugue d e v e l o p s : The I d e a o f a canon i s t h a t one s i n g l e theme i s p l a y e d a g a i n s t i t s e l f . T h i s i s done by h a v i n g " c o p i e s " of the theme p l a y e d by the v a r i o u s p a r t i c i p a t i n g v o i c e s . ( H o f s t a d t e r 8) The b a s i c theme can be p l a y e d a g a i n s t i t s e l f i n s e v e r a l ways, the most fundamental of which i s t o s t a g g e r the v o i c e s i n t i m e , so t h a t t h e c o p i e s of the theme e n t e r the p i e c e a f t e r s p e c i f i c time d e l a y s , c r e a t i n g an i n t e r a c t i o n of melody and harmony: In o r d e r f o r a theme t o work as a canon theme- each of i t s n o tes must be a b l e t o s e r v e i n a d u a l (or t r i p l e , or q u a d r u p l e ) r o l e : i t must f i r s t l y be p a r t of a melody, and s e c o n d l y i t must be p a r t o f the h a r m o n i z a t i o n o f t h a t same melody... each note i n a canon has more than one m u s i c a l meaning.... ( H o f s t a d t e r 8) B e s i d e s t e m p o r a l s t a g g e r i n g , o t h e r means which can a c h i e v e t h i s m u l t i p l i c i t y o f m u s i c a l meaning i n c l u d e p l a y i n g the c o p i e s i n d i f f e r e n t p i t c h e s , p l a y i n g them t w i c e as q u i c k l y , or t w i c e as s l o w l y , and i n v e r t i n g the theme: "which means t o make a melody which jumps down wherever the o r i g i n a l theme jumps up..." ( H o f s t a d t e r 8 ) . S t r i c t l y s p e a k i n g , the canon i s i n t e r n a l l y recoded i n t h e sense t h a t i t never goes out of the system of the b a s i c theme. 72 But i t m a n i p u l a t e s t h i s theme i n a way which produces a p a r a d i g m a t i c as w e l l as a s y n t a g m a t i c r e c o d i n g . The way i n which a canon p l a y s i t s theme a g a i n s t i t s e l f t o produce a m u l t i p l i c i t y o f m u s i c a l meanings makes the i n t e r n a l r e c o d i n g b e g i n t o work i n the manner of an' e x t e r n a l r e c o d i n g system. D i f f e r e n t v e r s i o n s of a c e r t a i n m u s i c a l c o n t e n t are mapped onto each o t h e r , but the immanence of t h e s t r u c t u r e i s not l o s t . In one sense the s t r u c t u r e i s h e r m e t i c , w h i l e i n another i t i s open; e s p e c i a l l y when i t s r u l e s are somewhat r e l a x e d : Sometimes i t i s d e s i r a b l e t o r e l a x t h e t i g h t n e s s of the canon form. One way i s t o a l l o w s l i g h t d e p a r t u r e s from p e r f e c t c o p y i n g . . . . A l s o , some canons have " f r e e " v o i c e s — v o i c e s which do not employ th e canon's theme, but which s i m p l y harmonize a g r e e a b l y w i t h the v o i c e s t h a t are i n the canon w i t h each o t h e r . ( H o f s t a d t e r 9) Thus t h e canon r e p r e s e n t s the development of freedom w i t h i n the l i m i t s o f an i n t e r n a l r e c o d i n g system. The fugue expands the h o r i z o n s o f t h e canon i n terms of m u s i c a l freedom. A l t h o u g h i t i s f u n d a m e n t a l l y based on the canon, i t s r u l e s a r e c o n s i d e r a b l y l e s s r e s t r a i n e d , as H o f s t a d t e r s a y s : When a l l the v o i c e s have " a r r i v e d " then t h e r e are no r u l e s . There a r e , t o be s u r e , s t a n d a r d k i n d s o f t h i n g s t o do-- but not so s t a n d a r d t h a t one can merely compose a fugue by f o r m u l a . ( H o f s t a d t e r 9) 73 What i s most i n v i t i n g about the fugue from a l i t e r a r y p o i n t o f view i s the way i t p l a y s a g a i n s t i t s e l f i n t h e m u s i c a l e q u i v a l e n t of d i a l o g i s m , as w e l l as of F o u c a u l t ' s m i r r o r i n g p r i n c i p l e , i n o r d e r t o produce what i s e f f e c t i v e l y an " e x t e r n a l l y " recoded system out of an i n t e r n a l l y recoded one. For t h e p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c work, the n o t i o n o f the fugue p r o v i d e s a good s t r u c t u r a l metaphor. For w r i t e r s l i k e M e l v i l l e , Pynchon and Zu k o f s k y , the n o t i o n o f e x t e r n a l i t y i s not f e a s i b l e s i n c e i t s u g g e s t s a deluded o b j e c t i v i t y . I n t h e i r systems, i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o t r a n s c e n d the s e l f or the p r o c e s s e s i h which t h e s e l f i s enmeshed. By l o g i c a l e x t e n s i o n , i t i s a l s o i m p o s s i b l e t o t r a n s c e n d the t e x t a l l e g o r i c a l l y . However, such t r a n s c e n d e n c e i s the key t o e n c y c l o p a e d i c works, w h i c h , a l t h o u g h they a r e immanently recod e d , presume an e x t e r n a l , o b j e c t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e : a supreme v i e w p o i n t t h a t i s fundamental t o t h e e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t ' s m o n o l o g i c , a u t h o r i t a r i a n v o i c e . What the p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c t e x t a c h i e v e s i s a k i n d o f f u g a l " i n w r e a t h i n g " , t o use z u k o f s k y ' s terms; an e x p a n s i o n of t h e t e x t u a l system from an i n t e r n a l p e r s p e c t i v e . To c a l l Moby Dick and G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow t e x t u a l fugues would be t o s t r e t c h the p o i n t , but they do have c e r t a i n f u g a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Z u kofsky's "A"-12, however, o v e r t l y models i t s e l f on a f u g a l framework as i t g e n e r a t e s a p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c i n w r e a t h i n g o f an i n d i v i d u a l p e r s p e c t i v e . 74 i . "A"-12: The C o u n t l e s s E f f e c t s o f the I n f i n i t e Not I n f i n i t e In some r e s p e c t s , L o u i s Z u k o f s k y ' s "A"-12 i s what Lotman would b a l l an i n t e r n a l l y r e c o d e d , "Romantic" system. At the same t i m e , however, i t i s an "open" t e x t i n Eco's terms, a n o v e l i s t i c t e x t i n accordance w i t h B a k h t i n ' s t h e o r y and a " t r a n s f o r m e d network", which e n a c t s F o u c a u l t ' s n o t i o n of p o s i t i n g the i n f i n i t u d e o f w r i t i n g a g a i n s t d e a t h . z u k o f s k y ' s use of a f u g a l s t r u c t u r e makes p o s s i b l e t h i s d u a l p o s i t i o n . "A"-12 p l a y s t h e concept of t h e i n d i v i d u a l v o i c e which c i r c u m s c r i b e s the t e x t a g a i n s t i t s e l f , making i t m u l t i f a c e t e d : "Have your odyssey/ How many v o i c e d i t be..." ( z u k o f s k y 128). The t e x t c o n t i n u a l l y a d d r e s s e s i t s e l f and q u e s t i o n s i t s e l f , as i t g e n e r a t e s an assemblage of p o s s i b l e p o s i t i o n s c o n c e r n i n g the problem of t e x t u a l i z i n g t h e w o r l d . I t i s thus a t h o r o u g h l y p o s t -e n c y c l o p a e d i c work. "A"-12 s t r i v e s towards a m u s i c a l i t y , a s s e r t i n g t h a t the o r d e r of music i s the most u n i v e r s a l form of o r d e r : The o r d e r t h a t r u l e s music, the.same c o n t r o l s the p l a c i n g of t h e s t a r s and t h e f e a t h e r s i n a b i r d s wing. ( Z u k o f s k y 128) In P r e p o s i t i o n s , Zukofsky s t a t e s t h a t the t a s k of w r i t i n g i s t o "approach a s t a t e of music wherein t h e i d e a s p r e s e n t themselves s e n s u o u s l y and i n t e l l i g e n t l y " ( P r e p o s i t i o n s 18). A p p r o a c h i n g t h i s s t a t e i s c o m p l i c a t e d by t h e n e c e s s i t y t h a t w r i t i n g must d e a l 75 w i t h " f a c t s " , which are not n e c e s s a r i l y t r u t h v a l u e s , but' r a t h e r u n i t s of l i n g u i s t i c i n f o r m a t i o n , s t a t e m e n t s and a s s e r t i o n s t h a t commit language t o the p r o d u c t i o n o f meaning. These f a c t s may f u n c t i o n d i s c o r d a n t l y i n r e l a t i o n t o o t h e r s , so t h a t the w r i t t e n work i s C o n t i n u a l l y e n c o u n t e r i n g f a c t s which i n the making seem t o want t o d i s t u r b the music and y e t the music or movement cannot e x i s t w i t h o u t the f a c t s , w i t h o u t i t s f a c t s . ( P r e p o s i t i o n s 18) The problem of c o n s t r u c t i n g a " m u s i c a l " system i n language thus i n v o l v e s w o r k i n g w i t h elements t h a t t h r e a t e n t o make t h e system u n m u s i c a l by t h e i r d i s c o r d a n t c o n t r a d i c t o r i n e s s . What "A"-12 c o n s t i t u t e s i s a system which a l l o w s c o n t r a s t i n g f a c t s t o i n t e r a c t w i t h o u t s u b o r d i n a t i n g them t o a h i e r a r c h i c a l o r d e r by. l e t t i n g them p l a y by means of f u g a l i n w r e a t h i n g . The word fugue form s e r v e s as a s t r u c t u r e d h e t e r o g e n e i t y which t r a n s f o r m s t h e n o i s e o f c o n t r a d i c t o r y " f a c t s " i n t o communication, or "music". I f we p e r c e i v e "the o r d e r t h a t r u l e s music" i n the'terms o f Eco and H o f s t a d t e r , we can say t h a t Z u k o f s k y ' s a s s e r t i o n o f i t s " c o n t r o l " i s l e s s d e t e r m i n a t e than i t may i n i t i a l l y .appear. C l e a r l y music has no s i n g l e d i s t i n c t o r d e r . The o r d e r of any' p i e c e of music i s c o n s t i t u t e d by t h e r u l e s t o which i t submits i t s e l f . Thus the o r d e r o f music i s t a u t o l o g i c a l , s e l f - - r e f l e x i v e and f u n d a m e n t a l l y i n d e t e r m i n a t e . T h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e case w i t h both t h e fugue, which H o f s t a d t e r says i s not c o n c e i v a b l e i n f o r m u l a i c t erms, and w i t h "A"-12 which i s "not so hard s e t as a 76 paradigm" ( z u k o f s k y 215). Thus what we must d e a l w i t h i n t h i s t e x t i s the f u n c t i o n i n g e x i s t e n c e of a f l u i d system: For a l l i n w r e a t h e d T h i s imagined music T r a c e s t h e p a r t i c u l a r l i n e Of l i n e s meeting By chance or d e s i g n . ( Z u k o f s k y 189) The i l l u s o r y d e t e r m i n a c y of the phrase "the o r d e r t h a t r u l e s music" i s symptomatic of "A"-12's p o s t - e n c y c l o p a e d i c s t r u c t u r e . I t f i e l d s a number of s e e m i n g l y e n c y c l o p a e d i c a s s e r t i o n s which i t proceeds t o undermine and t r a n s f o r m . Every a f f i r m a t i o n o f " f a c t " which "A"-12 produces i s s u b j e c t t o e r a s u r e once i t i s put i n t o p l a y w i t h t h e o t h e r a f f i r m a t i o n s o f t h e system. In t h i s r e s p e c t i t , i s s i m i l a r t o Ishmael's s u b v e r t e d a t t e m p t s t o e s t a b l i s h an e n c y c l o p a e d i c o r d e r i n Moby  D i c k . E a r l y i n the work, the t e x t a s s e r t s t h a t " U n f i n i s h e d i s a g a i n s t the laws of the s p i r i t " ( Z u k o f s k y 130) and l a t e r c l a i m s t h a t i t r e p r e s e n t s a s e l f - c o n t a i n e d whole. But l i k e Ishmael's "comprehensive" c e t o l o g i c a l system, t h e s e c l a i m s i n t e r r e l a t e d i a l o g i c a l l y w i t h c o u n t e r s t a t e m e n t s : "Nothing i s ever f i n i s h e d / Complete" ( Z u k o f s k y 181). F u r t h e r d i s r u p t i n g the wholeness of the work, Zukofsky l i s t s a number of i n c o m p l e t e p r o j e c t s which r e p r e s e n t s i p p a g e s i n the t e x t ' s a s p i r a t i o n s of completeness: These are some t h i n g s I wanted To get i n t o a poem, Some u n f i n i s h e d work 77 I may never f i n i s h . . . . ( Z u k o f s k y 251) The i n c l u s i o n o f t h i s " u n f i n i s h e d work" i s a supplementary g e s t u r e which f u n c t i o n s p a r a d o x i c a l l y . I f Z u k o f s k y ' s p r o j e c t i n "A"-12 i s t o p r e s e n t a p e r s o n a l e n c y c l o p a e d i a , as at times, he c l a i m s i t i s , i t cannot be complete u n l e s s i t i n c l u d e s even h i s i n c o m p l e t e works, which o n l y s e r v e t o render t h e e n t i r e p r o j e c t i n c o m p l e t e : the i d e a o f the p e r s o n a l e n c y c l o p a e d i a s e l f -d e c o n s t r u c t s . "A"-12 makes c e r t a i n a s s e r t i o n s which seem t o a l l y i t s c o n c e p t i o n o f the w o r l d w i t h t h a t which B a k h t i n p o s i t s f o r t h e e p i c : "The Gr e a t World/ I s c l o s e d / So t h a t n o t h i n g can l e a v e i t " ( Z u k o f s k y 171); "You cannot t a k e out of the c i r c l e — w h a t • w a s i n i t " ( Z u k o f s k y 173). In s p i t e o f t h e s e a s s e r t i o n s , however, "A"-12 does not draw a c i r c l e around i t s e l f i n an e f f o r t t o r e p r e s e n t an e n c y c l o p a e d i c r e f l e c t i o n o f t h e "Great World". I t does not presume a vantage p o i n t from which the w o r l d can be t o t a l l y c i r c u m s c r i b e d . W h i l e t h e s u g g e s t i o n o f a c l o s e d u n i v e r s e w i t h a c i r c u l a r geometry has t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i m p l i c a t i o n s , the t e x t i t s e l f a l l o w s no t r a n s c e n d i n g . The s i t u a t i o n . i n "A"-12 i s r o u g h l y analogous t o t h a t of G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow, a l b e i t i n l e s s p a r a n o i d terms: one. cannot p e r c e i v e the w o r l d e n c y c l o p a e d i c a l l y w h i l e one p a r t i c i p a t e s i n i t : I t i s not easy 78 To exceed the c i r c l e One's hand i n i t . F i s h t h a t f l y out of t h e ocean F l y i n g f i s h go back t o i t . ( Z u k o f s k y 199) C o n s e q u e n t l y , the pres u m p t i o n o f a c l o s e d w o r l d can never be more than an unpr o v e a b l e s p e c u l a t i o n among o t h e r s p e c u l a t i o n s which may be e q u a l l y as l i k e l y or u n l i k e l y . I f the t e x t chooses t o c o n f i n e i t s e l f t o the p o s s i b i l i t y of one c o n f i g u r a t i o n o f the w o r l d , i t b l i n d s i t s e l f t o o t h e r c o n f i g u r a t i o n s . T h i s i s something which "A"-12 does not do. From t h i s n o n - t r a n s c e n d e n t a l p e r s p e c t i v e , . w e can u n d e r s t a n d the d i f f i c u l t y o f c l a s s i f y i n g "A"-12 i n terms o f i n t e r n a l and. e x t e r n a l r e c o d i n g s t r u c t u r e s . The co n c e p t s of i n s i d e and o u t s i d e are not r e a l l y a p p l i c a b l e i n t h i s work. I n s t e a d , the t e x t s u g g e s t s t h a t i t cannot break out of i t s own s t r u c t u r e , y e t at the same time i t cannot c o n t a i n i t s e l f . Thus the use of m u l t i p l e p o i n t s o f view and m u l t i p l e v o i c e s does not r e p r e s e n t a movement " o u t s i d e " a p r i v i l e g e d p e r s p e c t i v e , but r a t h e r a f a c e t i n g which e s t a b l i s h e s a f i e l d w i t h i n d e t e r m i n a t e b o u n d a r i e s . In one sen s e , t h i s f i e l d i s r e s t r i c t e d t o a s e l f - r e f l e x i v e n e s s : L i k e the sea f i s h i n g C o n s t a n t l y f i s h i n g I t s own w a t e r s . ( Z u k o f s k y 215) 79 In a nother sense, however, th e f i e l d i s u n l i m i t e d i n t h a t the " f i s h i n g " can proceed i n d e f i n i t e l y , and the b o u n d a r i e s of the w a t e r s a r e not f i x e d . We can view t h i s paradox i n t h e l i g h t of Eco's c o n c e p t i o n o f the open t e x t , which a l l o w s f o r an u n l i m i t e d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , but whose m a z e - l i k e s t r u c t u r e d i s a l l o w s t r a n s c e n d e n t a l mastery. I f we e x p l o r e some s p e c i f i c examples of the t e x t ' s f a c e t i n g o f i t s f i e l d , we can u n d e r s t a n d more f u l l y how "A"-12's d i s r u p t i o n o f e n c y c l o p a e d i c g e s t u r e s e v o l v e s i n t o a word fugue. "A"-12 b e g i n s by a d d r e s s i n g the problem of the g e n e s i s o f the w o r l d , as i f i t were an e n c y c l o p a e d i c h i s t o r y : So goes: f i r s t shape The c r e a t i o n - -A m i s t from the e a r t h , The.whole f a c e of ground; Then r h y t h m — And b r e a t h e d b r e a t h o f l i f e , Then s t y l e . . . . ( Z u k o f s k y 126) But what appears t o be a s e r i a l development and a h i e r a r c h i c a l o r d e r b e g i n n i n g w i t h "shape" i s soon d i s r u p t e d by a l t e r n a t e b e g i n n i n g s which p l a c e t h i s p a r t i c u l a r g e n e s i s under e r a s u r e . Other elements e n t e r the s t r u c t u r e t o v i e f o r the p o s i t i o n of " f i r s t " , but none of them can occupy t h a t p o s i t i o n . R a t h e r , t h e s e p o s s i b l e b e g i n n i n g s are u n f i x e d , as the p o s s i b i l i t y o f an a f f i r m e d o r i g i n . i s d i s p l a c e d by a q u e s t i o n : B e f o r e the v o i d t h e r e was n e i t h e r 80 Being nor non-being; D e s i r e , came warmth, Or w h i c h , f i r s t ? ( Z u k o f s k y 143) Thus "A"-12 d e f i e s the h i e r a r c h y o f a system which d e v e l o p s s e a m l e s s l y from a d e f i n i t e o r i g i n t o a d e f i n i t e end. The i s s u e of b e g i n n i n g i s d e f e r r e d : "To b e g i n a song/ I f you cannot r e c a l l , / F o r g e t . " "A"-12 i s not an e n c y c l o p a e d i c memory system, but a m o s a i c a l l y a r r a n g e d assortment of s t r i n g s of i n f o r m a t i o n which must c o e x i s t i n a p e r p e t u a l s t a r t i n g over from t h e v o i d of f o r g e t f u l n e s s . In another e n c y c l o p a e d i c g e s t u r e , "A"-12 attem p t s t o e s t a b l i s h a f i x e d s e t of " s i m p l e " c a t e g o r i e s and terms which i t can use t o recode the w o r l d . But l i k e t he o t h e r e n c y c l o p a e d i c moves which the t e x t makes, s i m p l i c i t y becomes u n t e n a b l e . S i m p l i c i t y cannot be m i s t a k e n f o r t r u t h , nor can i t be an end i n i t s e l f : E v e r y t h i n g shoud be as s i m p l e as i t can be, Says E i n s t e i n , But not s i m p l e r . ( z u k o f s k y 143) The p r i m a r y problem w i t h e s t a b l i s h i n g a system o f s i m p l e elements i s t h a t t h o s e elements must be put i n t o p l a y , which i n e v i t a b l y b r i n g s about a c o m p l e x i t y : Between the s i m p l e And t h e r e f o r e i s a chasm. 81 (zukofsky 2 0 0 ) "A"-12's system cannot help but move towards-the indeterminacies and c o m p l e x i t i e s of the "t h e r e f o r e " . Consequently the "chasm" inaugurated by t h i s movement engulfs the simple encyclopaedic system and deconstructs i t . In yet another approach to the encyclopaedic problem, Zukofsky e s t a b l i s h e s a p o s s i b l e r e l a t i o n s h i p between the "eye of sky" (a p o t e n t i a l l y encyclopaedic eye surrounding the world) and the "eye of mind" v i a the eyes of the body. Sight consequently becomes the most l i k e l y encyclopaedic sense: Seeing seems at any moment complete. I t does not lack a n y t h i n g — Like coming i n t o being--To complete i t . (Zukofsky 169) But seeing only e s t a b l i s h e s a f i n i t e f i e l d , and can never be equivalent to a complete perception of the world: I f what r o l l s between My eyelashes .Could receive a l l the world I should indeed Be struck b l i n d . (Zukofsky 2 0 7 ) In "A"-12's system, the world can only be thought i n the way i t can be seen, as an assemblage of f i e l d s e s t a b l i s h e d from a multitude of p e r s p e c t i v e s , which w i l l not add up to " a l l the world" nor present themselves i n a l i n e a r continuum. zukofsky 82 reminds us t h a t "There a r e p l a c e s out of s i g h t / F i l l e d w i t h v o i c e s " . ( Z u k o f s k y 167), which the system cannot account f o r but must acknowledge. In a d d i t i o n t o the i n h e r e n t r e s t r i c t i o n s on s e e i n g , the f a c t t h a t t h e eyes o p e r a t e as a p a r t of the body's s e n s o r y network l i m i t s s i g h t ' s e n c y c l o p a e d i c c a p a b i l i t y : nor do eyes Know t h e n a t u r e o f t h i n g s , Do not accuse the eyes Of t h i s f a u l t o f mind. Can reason sprung from f a l s e senses Speak a g a i n s t them? U n l e s s they are t r u e Reason i s f a l s e . ( Z u k o f s k y 166) The i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e of t h e senses means t h a t none of them can be p r i v i l e g e d as the p e r c e p t o r or pro d u c e r of a t r u e r e a s o n . R a t h e r , the i n t e r a c t i o n o f t h e senses produces a form of p o l y g l o s s i a . The senses i n t e r i l l u m i n a t e each o t h e r , p r o d u c i n g a m u l t i p l i c i t y o f f a l s e r e a s o n , removed from any complete or t r u e u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the w o r l d . Thus the n o t i o n o f "sense" i n "A"-12 o p e r a t e s a n t i t h e t i c a l l y t o t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l e q u a t i o n o f l i n g u i s t i c sense w i t h r e a s o n . Sense i s s i m p l y the f u n c t i o n i n g of the sensory, network which p r o c e s s e s the w o r l d f u g a l l y ; each sense o p e r a t i n g as a k i n d of " v o i c e " . I n s t e a d o f an e n c y c l o p a e d i c s t r u c t u r e o f co n t a i n m e n t , "A"-12 p o s i t s a s t r u c t u r e of exchange among the div e r s e elements of i t s system. I t pursues the problem of encyclopaedism from so many angles that i t renders i t s e l f post-encyclopaedic. I t t e x t u a l i z e s the d i s t o r t e d and m u l t i f a c e t e d r e f l e c t i o n s of the world that w r i t i n g may process i n accounting f o r " f a c t s " . I t inwreathes 'these r e f l e c t i o n s fugaTly so that f a c t s are no longer t r u t h values which f i x the world i n t o p l a c e , but rather u n f i x e d , u n p r i v i l e g e d voices that i n t e r r e l a t e d i a l o g i c a l l y and i n an open ended f a s h i o n : As thought, extended, As body, minded, With countless e f f e c t s of The same i n f i n i t e Not i n f i n i t e As a f f e c t e d by One of us Ac t u a l as he i s But only i n so f a r As i t i s a f f e c t e d By another As a c t u a l And s t i l l another And so on To i n f i n i t y . . . . (Zukofsky 2 0 0 ) 84 Works C i t e d Bakhtin, M.M. The D i a l o g i c Imagination. Trans. C a r y l Emerson and Michael H o l q u i s t . Ed. Michale H o l q u i s t . A u s t i n : U n i v e r s i t y of Texas Press, 4981. Borges, Jorge L u i s . F i c c i o n e s . Ed. Anthony Ke r r i g a n . New York: Grove Press, 1962. C u r t i u s , Ernst Robert. European L i t e r a t u r e and the L a t i n Middle Ages. Trans. W i l l a r d R. Trask. London: Routledge and Kegan Pa u l , 1953. Descombes, Vincent. " V a r i a t i o n s on the Subject of the Encyclopaedic Book". Trans. Ian Mcleod. Oxford L i t e r a r y Review 3 (2) (1976): 54-60. Eco, Umberto. The Role of the Reader: Exp l o r a t i o n s i n the Semiotics of Texts. Advances i n Semiotics S e r i e s . Bloomington: Indiana U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1984. Foucault, M i c h e l . "Language to I n f i n i t y " . Language—Counter Memory--Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews. Trans. Donald F. Bouchard and Sherry Simon. Ed. Donald F. Bouchard. Ithaca, New York: C o r n e l l U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1977. 53-67. Hofstadter, Douglas R. Godel, Escher, Bach: An E t e r n a l Golden B r a i d . New York: Vintage Books, 1980. I r w i n , John T. American H i e r o g l y p h i c s : The Symbol of the Egyptian H i e r o g l y p h i c s i n the American Renaissance. New Haven: Yale U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1980. 85 Lotman, J u r i j . The Structure of the A r t i s t i c Text. Trans. G a i l Lenhoff and Ronald Vroon. Michigan Slavonic C o n t r i b u t i o n s Series 7. Ann Arbor: U n i v e r s i t y of Michigan. Press, 1977.. M e l v i l l e , Herman. Moby Dick. Ed. Charles C h i l d Walcutt. New York: Bantam, 1967. Mendelson, Edward. "Gravity's Encyclopedia". Mindful Pleasures: Essays on Thomas Pynchon. Ed. George Levine and David Leverenz. Toronto: L i t t l e , Brown and Company, 1976. 161-195. Pynchon, Thomas. G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow. New York: V i k i n g , 1973. Q u i l l i g a n , Maureen. The Language of A l l e g o r y : D e f i n i n g the Genre. Ithaca, New York: C o r n e l l U n i v e r s i t y press, 1979. Swigger, Ronald T. " F i c t i o n a l Encyclopedism and the Cognitive Value of L i t e r a t u r e " . Comparative L i t e r a t u r e Studies. 11-12 (1974-75): 351-366. Zukofsky, Louis. "A". Berkeley: U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1978. P r e p o s i t i o n s : The C o l l e c t e d C r i t i c a l Essays. Expanded e d i t i o n . Berkeley: U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a press, 1981. 

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