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A politics of memory : cognitive strategies of five women writing in Canada Thompson, Dawn 1994

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A POLITICS OF MEMORY: COGNITIVE STRATEGIES OF FIVE WOMEN WRITING IN CANADA by DAWN THOMPSON B.A., The University of Alberta,  1986  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Programme in Comparative Literature)  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1994 Dawn Kathleen Thompson,  1994  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  6  (PiE  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  ii ABSTRACT  This dissertation attempts to develop a counter—memory, a cognitive strategy that provides an alternative to the most prevalent mode of political action by members of minority or subaltern groups:  identity politics.  It begins  with Teresa de Lauretis’ semiotics of subjectivity, which posits the human subject as a shifting series of positions or habits formed through semiotic and cognitive “mapping” of, and being “mapped” by, its environment.  De Lauretis  maintains that the subject can transform social reality through an “inventive” mode of mapping.  The first chapter  of this study is a semiotic analysis of the memory system at work in Nicole Brossard’s Picture Theory.  It argues that  Brossard’s use of holographic technology is an invention that attempts to alter women’s maps of social reality. Quantum physicist David Bohm has also employed the hologram as a theoretical model.  By merging Brossard’s holographic  memory with Bohm’s theory of a “holomovement,” this study develops an epistemological strategy that alters not only the map of reality, but also the dominant representational mode of cognitive mapping. This enquiry then moves on to other novels written in Canada which have a strong political impetus based on gender, nationality, ethnicity, race and/or class: Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing, Marlene Nourbese Philip’s Looking for Livingstone, Beatrice Culleton’s In Search of April Raintree  iii and Régine Robin’s La Ouébécoite.  Through textual analysis,  it attempts to establish that although these novels make no mention of holography,  each of them employs a memory system  that inscribes itself holographically.  That holographic  memory provides an alternative political strategy to the “identity politics” at work in each of these texts. text,  in turn,  Each  like a fragment of a hologram, adds another  structural and political dimension to the hologram.  The  processual structure of the holographic theory provides a ground for alliances between different political agendas while resisting closure.  As an epistemological strategy, it  promises to alter both the method and the ground of knowledge.  iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract . . Acknowledgement Epigraph .  . .  .  .  .  .  ii v vi  .  .  .  .  .  Pre-holographic fragments: Setting up the memory theatre Theatres within theatres: situating a holographic counter memory From identity politics to a politics of counter-memory . Previewing the memory walk . . .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  CHAPTER 1: Re-inventing the world: Calculating the con/volutional integrals of holography in Nicole Brossard’s Picture Theory . . . . . Screen—skin my mind: a holographic memory Screen—skin my world? . .  .  .  65 .  66  .  72 83 92  . .  CHAPTER 3: Looking for livingstone in Marlene Nourbese Philip’s Looking for Livingstpne . In search of Silence . . . . From Silence to livingstone From Livingstone to livingstone  . .  . .  .  .  .  95 100 105 110  .  .  .  .  .  CHAPTER 4: Typewriter as Trickster: Revisions of Beatrice Culleton’s In Search of April Raintree Revising “Beatrice Culleton” Orality, literacy, holography  .  . .  .  .  .  From the materiality of language to a marxist materiality . . . . . In/conclusion: a writing that is never whole Bibliography  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  119 131 141  . .  CHAPTER 5: The wandering memory of Regine Robin’s Lapuébécoite . . . .  20  .  .  .  6  43 46  .  .  .  .  .  CHAPTER 2: ReSurfacing: Quantum visions of shamanic transformations . . . . Signs from underground . . . . . . . “Maps and dreams”: cognitive maps and inventive dreams . . . . . . . “Dwelling” in a holographic memory theatre . “At the last judgement we will all be trees”  .  .  .  2  8 13  . .  .  .  .  .149  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  167 177 186  V  Acknowledgement This dissertation was made possible by financial assistance from The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of I would like to thank Canada and Multiculturalism Canada. the members of my dissertation committee, Professors Valerie Raoul and Peter Childers, for their valuable critical insights and suggestions; my dissertation supervisor, Professor Lorraine Weir, for constantly forcing my synapses to fire in new directions, and for her generous support and encouragement throughout my graduate career; Casey, who never fails to remind me that physical play is just as important as intellectual play; and Kym Samis, for daring to explore the space of intersubjective memories with me. “in the midst of writing there is merriment” -Gertrude Stein  vi Epigraph  It is as if the book before us is only one version, one twist of the kaleidoscope of an infinitely permutating, connecting process in which the single event is never more than one step in a larger process. ...  ..  (Dana Polan, translator’s preface to Deleuze and Guattari, Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature xxiv)  1  2 Pre-holographic fragments: setting up the memory theatre  ii s’agit de faire de l’histoire un usage gui l’affranchisse a jamais du modèle, a la fois inetaphysique et anthropologique, de la mémoire. Ii et s’agit de faire de l’histoire une contre-mémoire, d’y déployer par consequent une tout autre forme du temps. (Foucault, “Nietzsche, la genéalogie, l’histoire” 167) —  ...la mémoire sans antériorité, la mémoire d’un passé gui n’a jamais été present, une mémoire sans origine, une iuémoire d’avenir, c’est sans rapport convenu ou convenable avec ce que nous appelons courainment mémoire... . Une mémoire sans antériorité, l’anamnèse gui se passerait radicalement de tout passé antérieur, est—ce encore une experience de la temporalité? Ses figures appartienrient-elles a une rhétorique de la temporalité ou a une rhétorique de l’espacement? (Derrida, Mémoires pour Paul de Man 93; 134)  In order to ensure that their mathematical calculations match their expectations, physicists sometimes find it necessary to measure time in “imaginary numbers.”  Events  which take place in “imaginary time” are said to exist in Euclidean space—time, where the distinction between time and space disappears.  Euclidean space—time is an imaginary  four—dimensional universe, a mathematical device used to calculate answers about real space—time (Hawking 134). However, the efficacy of this construct has led scientists to speculate that ...maybe what we call imaginary time is really more basic, and what we call real is just an idea that we  3 invent to help us describe what we think the universe is like.... A scientific theory is just a mathematical model we make to describe our observations: it exists only in our minds.... So it is meaningless to ask: which is real, ‘real’ time or ‘imaginary’ time. (Hawking 139) Manifesting similar insights at the level of discourse and representation, both Michel Foucault’s notion of counter—memory and Jacques Derrida’s of a radical memory make no attempt to provide answers about “real” memory and its relation to “real” time.  Rather, these two alternative  concepts of memory are designed to re—think the functioning of memory, and speculate on different possibilities for the relation of memory to social and personal history, and to space.  Foucault’s counter—memory forms the basis of the  genealogical method that he employs to map out the different “technologies” of individuals, the “subjection” of humanity (see L’Histoire de la sexualite; Martin et al., Technologies of the Self).  Personal history, subjectivity, and the  possibility of intersubjectivity as an alternative to the autonomous humanist subject are topics explored in Derrida’s Mémoires pour Paul de Man.  These two post—structuralist  notions of memory, related by their refusal to be limited by a linear conception of time and their transformation of the remembering subject, will loosely define the space of this enquiry into a politics of memory.  Memory becomes political  when it is employed to rewrite notions of subjectivity and of reality, especially the realities lived and narrated by  4  minority subjects: female, post—colonial, ethnic minority, non-white, and/or lesbian. “Memory” here refers simultaneously to an involuntarily organized storage place, the faculty for thought itself and mnemonics, or rote memorization.  Derrida suggests that  memory is not only temporal but is also organized to some extent according to a rhetoric of spacing; it functions in space—time.  The notion of a “memory theatre” is helpful to  imagine such a spatial memory.  In the ars memoria of  classical rhetoric, the elements of the orator’s speech are mentally deposited around a room or theatre so that performance becomes a “memory walk” in order to retrieve each element in turn.  Different theorists have made  attempts to trace the development of this art from its classical origins to Freud’s psychoanalytic process (see Yates; Hutton).  The present study attempts to add to that  history by bringing the ancient “art of memory” into the age of modern physics and electronic representational technology. This dissertation sets out to imagine how a radical or counter—memory might be narratively deployed as a cognitive and, ultimately, a political strategy.  As it takes on a  political impetus, this memory becomes a memory of the future; it is no longer simply a record of the past, but a map for social change.  The literary texts to be considered  are Nicole Brossard’s Picture Theory, Margaret Atwood’s  5 Surfacing, Beatrice Culleton’s In Search of April Raintree, Marlene Nourbese Philip’s Looking for Livingstone and Régine Robin’s La Ouebécoite; each employs a memory system that is also a political strategy.  In discussing these texts and  relating them to one another,  I will try to avoid a  distinction between theory and practice.  Rather than  elaborate a complete theory and then try to make the texts “fit” into it, I will attempt to draw out the cognitive strategies at work in each text that constitute or work to achieve a politics of counter—memory.  Each text permits me  either to elaborate further on one aspect of the theory-in— process or to attempt to establish an alliance with it. Thus this study is itself structured, as much as possible, as a holographic memory theatre: a four-dimensional image of the process of cognition.’  Each of the texts to be  discussed, like a fragment of a hologram, produces another perspective on, and adds resolution to, the holographic memory.  The result is not a sequential argument, but the  beginning of a process: that of developing one alternative to a mode of thinkinc about identity and its politics that remains dominant.  ‘While holography is a form of laser photography that produces three—dimensional image, this theory will a incorporate memory, time and movement into the hologram, so that it functions in four-dimensional Euclidian space-time.  6 Theatres within theatres: situating a holographic  counter—memory  This enquiry situates itself, provisionally, within the boundaries of the Canadian nation—state and the literatures written in that space.  Yet that supposedly  “bounded” entity is also part of a larger global system. Increased awareness of race, ethnicity, class and sexuality as determining elements in subjectivity and culture is currently energizing political action and altering literary canons and institutions worldwide.  This dissertation  positions itself within that energy. 2  The last few decades  have seen a surge of interest in “minor literatures” (Deleuze and Guattari 16-18) and especially the inter sections between minorities: considerations of the relationships between race and gender, ethnicity and class, class and gender, race and class, racism and sexism, sexism and heterosexism, feminism and imperialism.  The “etc.” that  usually follows the list of “race, gender, class” is being forced to expand in its implied dimensions, first to include relationships, and then to differentiate between identities  Through a revision of the process of cognitive mapping, 2 by which a subject situates itself physically (and by extension, socially) in space, this study will question the possibility of positioning or situating oneself at all, except very provisionally. According to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, to position oneself in an energy flux is to render that position indeterminate (Gribbin 119-21; Hawking 53-61).  7 and politics.  Each of the texts to be discussed here works  with a different intersection between minority identities and politics. My choice to work with “Canadian” authors is not intended to insist on a unique Canadian specificity that renders its literatures most appropriate to this kind of study.  However Canada  -  with its history of divided  cultures; its participation in colonialism, post-colonialism and neo—colonialism; its strong feminist literary presence; its multicultural policy; and its renewed interest in aboriginal issues, especially land claims  —  does provide a  complex and interesting ground for the issues which I wish to discuss.  In recent years, Canadian literary studies have  begun to participate in that complexity, producing a growing 3 body of criticism and theory addressing these issues.  I  also choose to work with literatures written in Canada in order to “act locally,” rather than to focus on inequities taking place in distant countries, which may permit me to believe I can do nothing about them.  I am supporting an  See, for example, the works of Barbara Godard, ED. 3 Blodgett, Shirley Neuman, Francesco Loriggio, Simon Harel, Sherry Simon, Pierre Nepveu, Julia Emberley, Margery Fee and Terry Goldie listed the bibliography, as well as in collections such as A Mazing Space, edited by Shirley Neuman and Smaro Kamboureli; Telling it: Women and Language across Cultures, edited by The Telling it Book Collective; Language in her eye, edited by Libby Scheier et. al.; the special editions of Canadian Literature edited by J.M. Bumsted and William H. New and that of the Canadian Review of Comparative Literature edited by Joseph Pivato.  8 alliance, first between local feminist, anti—racist and anti—imperialist writers, and then between those writers and theorists such as Teresa de Lauretis, Jacques Derrida and Fredric Jameson, in an attempt to “think” more “globally” Both of these alliances are permitted by the construction of a counter—memory that opens up a possibility of agency for those local and historical subjects.  The  elaboration of this memory begins with a critique of the still dominant humanist notion of memory and of the subject constructed by that memory. 4  From identity politics to the politics of a counter-memory  If identity can be said to reside anywhere, it resides in memory.  (The im/possibility of residing, or dwelling in  the Heideggerian sense, will play an important role in this study.)  Conventional notions of memory as a storage place  that is focussed on the past and provides coherence and continuity to a subject’s identity have led to “identity politics,” a political strategy of iuarginalized groups in  i cannot ignore my own memory as it functions in this effort. And it will become obvious that, in a holographic theory, I cannot clearly distinguish my memory from those of the texts I analyse. Therefore, provisionally: a Canadianist, a comparatist, an aspiring theorist; a white lesbian from a working class background aspires to enter a scholarly community.  9 which, as the term suggests, one’s politics are based on one’s identity as part of an identified group.  Identity  politics are attempts to claim the right of selfrepresentation (Butler 1-3).  And yet the efficacy of this  political strategy is questionable.  It has a tendency  towards fragmentation, isolation and eventually either stagnation or repetition (duplication) of the dominant structure.  From a post-structural perspective, this  tendency is inherent in the notion of identity itself; if identity is based on unexamined essentialist positions, its politics, while useful to members of subaltern groups in the short term, threaten to lead to exclusion, to the mis representation of those outside the group, and to the possibility of group affirmation through the oppression of other subalterns. Identity politics grounds itself in the ideology of humanism; to assert specific rights and privileges for one group, humanity or a sub—category, necessitates a definition of that group, and to define is to practise a discourse of exclusion.  Throughout history, that defining line has been  discursively drawn and redrawn in order to rationalize exploitation of others, first on the basis of species, and then of gender, race, age, nationality, class, and any other difference that permits a group of beings to be classified  10 or re—classified, and thus excluded from those rights and privileges  .  To question humanism is to question the boundaries of humanity.  If, as Michel Foucault maintains, humanism is  based on a model of humanity defined for different practices (psychological, educational, medical, marxist, liberal, facist) that only subsequently becomes normative and/or supposedly universal, then to take an anti—humanist stance “doesn’t mean that we have to get rid of what we call human rights or freedoms, but that we can’t say that freedom or human rights has to be limited at certain frontiers’” (Foucault cited in Martin, Technologies of the Self 15). When feminist, anti—racist or post-colonial critics attempt to re—draw the humanist line in order to include themselves in the definition, the danger is that they are always going to exclude someone else.  Now it is they who will decide who  is a woman, or Black or gay, etc.  To retain the notion of  an identity as foundational to one’s politics, Judith Butler maintains, is to continue to participate in a “metaphysics of substance” that assumes a substantive person who is the bearer of various essential and nonessential attributes ... [and] is characterized essentially as a pre—gendered [one might add to that pre—colored, pre—ethnic, pre—classed; where does the list end?] substance or ‘core,’ called the person, denoting a capacity for reason, moral deliberation, or language. (10) For a fascinating discussion of evolutionary theory as 5 see Dawkins, The Blind such an exclusionary discourse, Watchmaker.  11 This core would be based on what is defined as human, but if  it can be shown that even that definition is constructed, then what is the actual basis for identity politics? And yet without a foundation for one’s politics, how can anyone take a stand against the exploitation of subaltern groups?  Even theorists who have rejected the notion of an  essence sometimes find it necessary to make a strategic use of identity.  For example, deconstructive post—colonial  critic Gayatri Spivak rejects the notion of a substantive, essential identity.  However, since deconstruction  necessarily participates in that which it deconstructs and is thus itself open to deconstruction, when it comes to the specific political agenda of a subaltern group, SpiVak finds deconstruction to be a less than useful tool.  In such cases  she suggests that one might “risk essence” or permit the strategic use of an identity when one is working within a specific political interest (In Other Worlds 205—8).  This  essence is then always open to affirmative deconstruction, by which an identity stand is taken, acknowledged as constructed and temporary, but necessary for the specific context and always agreeable to its own deconstruction, especially from a position that is subaltern to it (Spivak, The Post—Colonial Critic 47).  Affirmative deconstruction is  one political alternative within deconstructive theory; however, because of the operation of deconstruction, it is  12 still based on that which it deconstructs: in this case, identity. If one begins with a more semiotic or discursive point of view, which states that the “person”—ality is formed precisely out of attributes such as gender, race and class, and that it has no core, then it is no longer necessary to refer to an identity substance or essence.  Theorists such  as Judith Butler and Teresa de Lauretis would state that identity is relatively and provisionally constituted out of social relations.  Therefore politics are not a matter of  substantive “beings” requiring fair representation of their interests and rights, but rather politics begin with the tenet that those beings are themselves “representations.” Political agency could then come out of the possibility of changing those representations and their social meanings (Butler 16) through semiotic invention (de Lauretis, Alice Doesn’t 55).  I hope to be able to show that if one begins  from a semiotics of the subject such as that discussed by de Lauretis, rather than from a humanist position (upon which a deconstructive argument such as Spivak’s is necessarily based), the strategic use of identity, or the “risk” of essence, becomes unnecessary. I also hope to take de Lauretis’ semiotics even further. Rather than changing representations, a holographic theory opens the possibility of changing the function of representation itself.  Memory is implicit in de Lauretis’  13 theory.  Just as she replaces the notion of a static  identity with that of a series of shifting identifications, her theory permits memory to be read not as merely a filing cabinet, a collection of representations of past events, but as a process.  While de Lauretis uses film as an exemplary  representational medium, my choice of holography entails modifications of her theory of “subjectivity as representation.”  The result is the beginning of a theory of  a non—mimetic memory, a holographic memory which transforms a politics of self-representation into a politics of perception.  Previewing the memory walk  Each of the texts to be discussed here deploys memory in the service of a different combination of political agendas. Each attempts to construct a subject that is integrated into her environment (linguistic, social, historical, physical), 6 and capable of political agency in that environment.  Each  seeks a somewhat utopian political goal that, from the  I focus on women writers because of the large body of feminist theory (eq. by Simone de Beauvoir, Hélène Cixous, Luce Irigary and Brossard) concerned with the politics of representation. However, this issue is not necessarily limited Jacques Derrida’s to women’s texts. For example, J., Dissemination explores some of the same issues and, as I will suggest, may well lend itself to a holographic reading.  14 perspective of post—structural theory, is either impossible to attain or threatens to oppress other subalterns. However, I will argue that it is possible to read each of these novels in a manner that displaces not its politics, but the foundations of its politics.  Beginning with the  manner in which each of these texts subverts the representational function of language, I will illustrate how they may combine to develop a counter—memory system, a holographic memory system, a strategic mode of thinking that increases their political efficacy. Nicole Brossard’s Picture Theory is a semiotic invention in its attempt to employ holographic, rather than linguistic, representation; it produces a strategy to integrate women into social reality while simultaneously changing that reality.  Brossard’s invention is based on her  literary construction of a hologram, a form of representation employing laser light energy and multiple reflections to produce a three—dimensional image. Holographic technology has been employed to describe how the brain actually functions, as a system of energy waves. Picture Theory employs holographic techniques to focus on thought processes and to alter the manner in which language functions in thought; it attempts to create a holographic memory in the iuindof the reader.  After reconstructing the  hologram in order to elucidate its effects in Brossard’s novel, I will expand this memory by introducing another  15 holographic theory, one which has been employed to describe quantum reality.  Brossard’s holographic memory will be  integrated into this wider theory of a holographic reality in order to render her utopian politics more material, practical and concrete. Ivlargaret Atwood’s Surfacing might at first appear to have very little in common with Picture Theory; it certainly makes no reference whatsoever to holographic technology. However, I hope to demonstrate, first, that it is very possible to read this novel through (and as) a holographic memory, and second, that to do so creates a fortuitous shift in the novel,  increasing its political impetus.  In recent  years this work has been criticized for both its romanticism and its colonialism. criticism,  Acknowledging the validity of this  I contend that its political goals and methods  are nonetheless extremely innovative and valuable to both feminist and post-colonial politics.  To read this novel  through a holographic memory is to bypass its romantic and colonial tendencies.  In addition, Surfacing adds to the  holographic theory that Brossard’s novel only begins to construct.  It elaborates on the process of cognitive  mapping, the situating of a subject-in-process in its environment-in—process, and thus integrates the notion of a memory theatre into this theory.  It also adds another  dimension of integration; whereas Brossard focusses on the insertion of women into discursive and social space, Atwood  16 explores the notion of “dwelling” in physical and national space, adding a post—colonial politics to Brossard’s feminist politics. Marlene Nourbese Philip, an African-Caribbean—Canadian writer, permits a further development of the post—colonial dimension of this holographic theory, adding to it the issue of race.  Looking for Livingstone is an attempt to  recuperate African indigeneity.  Like Surfacing, this novel  seeks integration in a physical, national and cultural space.  Like Picture Theory, but for different political  reasons, it posits a subject excluded from language and attempts to re-integrate that subject into discursive space. In order to effect that recuperation, Looking for Livingstone attempts to transcend the opposition between word and silence, between being a silenced people and speaking that silencing.  A deconstructive reading of  Livingstone as livingstone (a term which I employ as a metaphor for the holographic theory) permits me to bypass that attempt at transcendence.  This reading then suggests  that an alternative political program is also at work in the text, one based on invention rather than recuperation. Looking for Livingstone in turn permits me to begin to elaborate the manner in which Derridean memory might function in this holographic theory. The fourth chapter, on Beatrice Culleton, may at first appear to be out of place in this dissertation.  In Search  17 of April Raintree is a far less “writerly” text, in the Barthesian sense, then the others I am discussing.  And the  holographic theory does not function in this text as clearly as it does in the others.  The relationship I attempt to  establish in this case is far more tenuous than those in the other chapters; in fact it is less a relationship than an indication of a similarity.  Atwood’s use of First Nations  culture suggests that the holographic theory should work perfectly with native epistemologies that claim integration with the natural environment.  However, as I will discuss in  the second chapter, contemporary First Nations and (in this case) Métis texts appear to resist such an easy correlation. Yet, by beginning with precisely the “un-writerly” nature of this novel, that is,  its participation in orality, I attempt  to draw out a similarity between the epistemological processes of oral culture and those of a holographic memory. My goal is one of a slightly displaced repetition: to find something similar to indigeneity in my own culture. The chapter on Culleton’s text is only a tentative beginning of what would be an immense project necessitating prolonged study of First Nations writers and philosophers. I choose to include it despite its limitations because, however tenuous the ties between a holographic memory and Native epistemologies may be, they do suggest a feasible approach to First Nations literatures for non—Native critics.  To include this chapter in this dissertation also  18 works to counteract a tendency in Canadian literary and cultural studies, as well as Canadian politics,  either to  treat First Nations texts separately or, as is more often the case, to avoid treating them at all, ostensibly because they deserve to be treated separately.  While there are  certainly valid arguments for their separate treatment (see Emberley 17-19), this segregation also often works to the disadvantage of First Nations writers.  Because of it, their  works have, until very recently, been much less widely disseminated and less often included in university literature courses.  This tendency also encourages ignorance  on the part of non-natives by allowing us to claim that in order to discuss this literature at all we must be experts on it.  It was by excluding First Nations from the  Multicultural Act, and treating them separately under the Indian Act, that the Canadian Government was able to create a double standard.  While Multiculturalism worked towards  tolerance and the preservation and encouragement of difference, the Indian Act worked towards assimilation (Frideres 99).  By including this chapter despite (and in  part because of) the risk to the coherence of my dissertation,  I am attempting to work against both  assimilation and literary and critical ghettoization. Régine Robin’s La Ouébécoite much more explicitly engages semiotics, a holographic memory and a quest for integration, this time that of an immigrant into Québec.  19 In this novel, Montréal becomes a hologram within a global hologram and Robin traces exactly how semiotic invention can alter the fabric of that city.  In addition, she expands the  hologram by providing the opportunity to suggest a link between this and another theory of cognitive mapping  -  that  of Fredric Jameson on the possibility of mapping postmodern hyperspace. Each of these texts develops a different political agenda; each works at a different intersection of politics and each elaborates a political strategy that participates to some extent in a foundationalist notion of identity.  In  each case, I attempt to draw out one aspect of the text that permits a cognitive shift, displacing identity while maintaining the political goals and thus offering an alternative political strategy.  The grouping together of  such heterogeneous writers is not an attempt to bring out their similarities by ignoring their differences.  Rather, I  hope to show the possibility of an alliance between their several different political aims by relating both their similarities and their differences to a larger system, that of a strategic cognitive process that is already at work in their texts.  20 CHAPTER 1  Re-inventing the world: Calculating the con/volutional integrals of holography in Nicole Brossard’s Picture Theory  “Décembre la neige” (Picture Theory 108): volaient dans toutes les directions”  (112).  “les mots And in the  confused blizzard of words, of signs disseminated across a text, you catch a glimpse of the hologram.  The hologram  enacts memory, or la mémoire: the faculty for thought. Memory is a semiotic system. functions holographically.  And semiosis, like memory, What follows is a thought  experiment, an attempt to come to terms with an essentialist, utopian text from a constructivist position while furthering the political program of that text. Nicole Brossard’s Picture Theory outlines a utopian feminist project of integrating women into a reality that has traditionally either excluded or imprisoned them. theory begins with her lesbian identity.  Her  She argues that  “une lesbienne est une réalité menaçante pour la réalité” (La Lettre aérienne 108).  Excluded from and thus free of  the dominant masculinist construct of reality, lesbians are in a privileged position to first expose that construct as just one possible reality, and then to participate with all women in transforming it by transforming the language that  21 constructs it.  Feminists have celebrated this novel,  revelling in its transformations of language, its eroticism and its challenges to a masculinist epistemology.’  These  feminists also recognize its practical shortcomings: esoteric, highly theoretical and essentialist, its utopia appears to have little to do with the historical conditions of women and the possibility for real social change.  Yet to  read Picture Theory through a materialist processual semiotics is to render its political program more concrete; the possibility of changing reality is no longer simply a utopian dream. Conversely, to read Teresa de Lauretis’ semiotics of subjectivity through a holographic memory is also, surprising as it may at first appear, to render de Lauretis’ semiotics more material.  The incorporation of holographic  theories of neurophysiology and of quantum reality will provide a different perspective on Brossard’s “abstraction”: the hologram.  It is hoped that this movement will allow the  deconstruction of her foundationalist theory while  ‘See, for example, critical studies by Forsyth, Knutson and Weir, as well as Godard’s preface to her translation of this text. I employ the term “material” here in the same polysemous manner in which it functions in de Lauretis’ theory: it refers simultaneously to the materiality of language, the writing of the body, and the conditions of production of both texts and women. This chapter will focus primarily on the first two materialities; the last chapter will offer a perspective on a more marxist materialism.  22 maintaining its breathtaking intensity and strengthening its political commitment.  Brossard’s holographic memory will in  turn expand the horizons of the work of de Lauretis, rendering more specific and concrete her theory of mapping, which describes the manner in which semiosis is at work in subjectivity and perception.  First, I propose to link de Lauretis’ politico-semiotic theory to the swirls and whorls of the sign system that is Picture Theory.  According to de Lauretis, the human subject  is formed through representation: we perform ourselves...”  “we represent ourselves,  (Alice Doesn’t 49).  Engaging,  critiquing and melding Eco’s and Peirce’s semiotics and Foucault’s notion of “technologies of the self,” de Lauretis develops a materialist processual semiotic view of the production of human subjects.  This entails a move from  semiotics, a system of signification which produces signs and in which meaning is established by codes (Alice Doesn’t 4), to processual semiotics, which studies the actual working of codes, the production of meaning (105) rather than just the structure of the code (eg., Saussure’s “langue”).  Thus semiosis is the subject of processual  semiotics, or “the practice by which a culture produces and/ or assigns meaning to signs”  (167).  Semiotics becomes  materialist when the semiotician also considers the modes of  23 semiotic production: the way in which labour is invested in the production of signs and meanings which are materially relevant to whatever is being represented or, more appropriately, constituted by its representation (32): in this case, a human subject. In Technologies of Gender, de Lauretis distinguishes between semiosis (as exemplified by Peirce) and signification (based on Saussure’s semiotics, and from which much of French post—structural theory stems, and which assumes an essential discontinuity between the symbolic and the real)(39). 3  Peircian semiosis retains a connection to  the material, real world through the concepts of “habit” and “interpretant.”  For Peirce, a sign causes an interpretant  (an equivalent sign in the consciousness of the “subject”),  am not in complete agreement with her distinction. Although I agree with de Lauretis’ criticism of Derrida’s use of “woman” (Technologies of Gender 24), I think that semiotics and Derridean theory can work in conjunction in a holographic theory. (For discussions of precisely how they might work together see Ulmer, Applied Grammatology and Weir, Writing Joyce.) Derrida’s notion of “textuality” collapses that separation between sign and referent, and he does acknowledge a temporary anchoring, the formation of a linguistic habit, that is similar to that which de Lauretis posits. However, he emphasizes that it can only be temporary. He describes the process of écriture by which no signified is ever reached, and thus which must reject even the atomistic notion of a signifier: <<éoriture>>, <<hymen>>, <<ph>>, [l]es signifiants <<tissu>>, <<texte>>, etc., n’echappent pas a cette loi et strategie commune [de seule une l’écriture] conceptuelle peut momentanément les privilégier en tant que signifiants déterminés voire en tant que signifiants, ce qu’a la lettre us ne sont plus. (La Dissemination 284)  24 which in turn causes a change in habit or a tendency toward action.  The movement from sign to interpretant to habit  traces the translation of signification into action (41): The chain of meaning comes to a halt, however temporarily, by anchoring itself to somebody, to some body, an individual subject. Thus, as we use signs or produce interpretants, their significant effects must pass through each of us, each body and each consciousness, before they may produce an effect or an action upon the world. The individual’s habit as a semiotic production is thus both the result and the condition of the social production of meaning. (42) Thus for de Lauretis, subjectivity is constructed through “a complex of meaning effects, habits, dispositions, associations, and perceptions resulting from the semiotic interaction of self and outer world (in CS. Peirce’s words)” (18). Alice Doesn’t offers a detailed consideration of the process by which subjects are produced and produce themselves: the process of “mapping.”  Synthesizing  neurological and semiotic notions of mapping, de Lauretis illustrates the process by which subjectivity is constructed through interaction with environmental and social structures as perceptions and expectations engage in a reciprocal staging of each other. The process of semiosis, according to Umberto Eco,  is  that of “mapping”: a transferring of pertinent elements from one material continuum to another (Eco in Alice 54).  One  mode of mapping, the one associated with art and creativity, is that of “invention,” which “chooses a material continuum  25 not yet segmented for [the purpose at hand] and proposes a new way of organizing (of giving form to) it in order to map within it the formal pertinent elements of a content—type’” (Eco cited in Alice 55).  The importance of inventions with  regard to the political programs of both de Lauretis and Brossard is that “by establishing new codes  ...  inventions  are capable of transforming both the representation and the perception of reality and thus eventually can change social reality” (Alice 55). There are, of course, limitations to inventions; they are socially determined and even overdeteriuined.  However,  they are not mere copies or passive representations of an objective reality.  Whereas models of perception based on  mimesis presuppose a subject passively perceiving and representing to itself an external reality, from a semiotic perspective such as that of de Lauretis, subjectivity is already at work in semiosis and semiosis at work in perception (56).  This means that subjectivity is implicated  in reality: perceiving it.  <-->  expecting reality, and changing  If social relations determine reality to even the  slightest degree, resistance is built into the system; reality (or that constructed by the dominant mode of thought) can be changed. The second model of mapping employed by de Lauretis expands on the possibilities of altering reality.  De  Lauretis cites psychophysiologist Cohn Blakeiuore to  26 describe a process of cognitive mapping by which “the activity of the optical and cortical cells constitutes ‘a mapping of visual space on to the substance of the brain’” (Blakemore in Alice 54).  Blakemore explains how  expectations influence that mapping process: “different sorts of sense organs are specialized for detecting different sorts of energy and the brain always assumes that a message from a particular sense organ is the result of the expected form of stimulation” (Blakemore 17).  For example,  pressing on an eyeball causes visual sensations.  Phis leads  Blakemore to question: “how much of our everyday perception is really created entirely within our brains, without any equivalent external stimulus?  And how much of the real  world are we simply incapable of perceiving because we have no neural apparatus to do so”? (Blakemore 17) Moreover, cognitive maps are based on functional importance, distinctiveness or imageability, and value systems that can lead to an unspoken agreement to ignore certain aspects of the environment (deliberate oversight), to augment other aspects and to infer non—existent ones based on expectations.  According to the cognitive  psychologists who study this process, we do not really read the world, but catch only fleeting glimpses and then draw inferences and speculate on outcomes based on those glimpses (Downs and Stea 78).  27 “Above all, cognitive mapping refers to a process of doing....”  (Downs and Stea 6).  The position of a subject is  always provisional, always moving and transforming.  The  formation of a habit may end the game of semiosis, as the chain of meaning comes to a halt by anchoring itself to a subject, but it stops only temporarily (de Lauretis, Alice 41). Pasolini: actions,  The subject is performative. “.in living,  De Lauretis cites  in practical experience, in our  ‘we represent, we perform ourselves’” (49).  Working in the tradition of Aithusser and Lacan, and employing their theories, de Lauretis replaces the humanist notion of an autonomous and coherent “identity” with that of “identification”: relation. other”  “a movement, a subject process, a  The identification (of oneself) with something  (Alice 141).  Despite its general applicability, de Lauretis’ semiotics of subjectivity is,  like Brossard’s utopian  project, part of a specific political agenda. is to look for technologies of gender  —  Her next step  how sexual  differences are produced through systems of representation (Technologies 6). The construction of gender goes on today through the various technologies of gender (eq. cinema) and institutional discourses (eg. theory) with power to control the field of social meaning and thus produce, promote and “implant” representations of gender. But the terms of a different construction of gender also exist, in the margins of hegemonic discourses. Posed from outside the heterosexual social contract, and inscribed in inicropolitical practices, these terms can also have a part in the construction of gender, and their effects  28 are rather at the “local” level of resistance, in subjectivity and self—representation.” (Technologies 18) Although her work in both Alice Doesn’t and Technologies of Gender is specifically feminist, her semiotics of subjectivity is far more generalized; gender is only one aspect of the construction of a subject.  Clearly, de  Lauretis’ theory is applicable to more identifications than that of gender.  The memory systems of Brossard, Atwood and  the other authors to be considered here will supplement de Lauretis’ technologies of gender to incorporate identifications of race, ethnicity and class.  In addition,  these texts will allow me to expand upon the role of memory in both semiotic and cognitive mapping.  They will  facilitate an extension of the project of Alice Doesn’t, beyond its “horizon,  ...  the question, scarcely broached as  yet within feminist theory, of the politics of self representation” (7).  Apparently much less subjective in its focus on a holographic “abstraction,” and less material in its construction of a holographic “woman” (as opposed to de Lauretis’ material and historical “women,” Alice Doesn’t 5-6), Nicole Brossard’s Picture Theory nonetheless deals with subjectivity, “toute la subjectivité du monde” (Picture Theory 170).  29 Like de Lauretis, Brossard is concerned with the manner in which women are “subjected,” constructed as subjects, and how they might perform themselves differently.  For  Brossard, reality is a product of thought conditioned and legitimized throughout history by a masculinist memory: La hantise de l’14 omme, 4 sorte de frequence maladive acheminée dans les cerveaux, longeant la ligne sémantique d’un seul côté, fréquence absolue de la subjectivité patriarcale tendue comme un filet recueillant toutes les sens pour les unir en une seule volonté de puissance. (98) It is only by being “brain washed” that women accept this “web of lies” (149).  For Brossard as well as de Lauretis,  language acts as a screen (“screen skin” (125): the cortex and the corps texte: “écran de séléction.  ...  On invente un  climat, une plage ou un hiver” 127), filtering perception and allowing only that which has already been learned (memorized) as reality to pass through the screen. Brossard’s response is first to reject this reality: “D’instinct et de mémoire j’essaie de ne rien reconstituer. De mémoire j’entame” (19; 149). être d’enfance.  And this memory “ne peut  Seulement d’extase, de chute, de mots.  Ou  de corps autrement” (19): not le souvenir, but la mémoire: thought itself.  This memory leads her to question signs and  their effects: “sans doute s’est—elle concentrée sur l’idée  This format approximates the typography employed by 4 Brossard to signify the illusory nature of masculinist power.  30 très precise du verbe définir ce soir-là qui l’amènerait  a  interroger toute definition concernant des femmes” (169). Picture Theory focusses on precisely the language that defines, concerns (and concerne), surrounds and limits women.  Brossard’s project is to promote “l’éclat du musée.  Mules fragments retombent sur mes épaules.  De la matière  partout, pièces d’identitC : notes, lipstick, miroir, condom, des, argent, mille fragments s’assemblent sous vos yeux dans le musée, dans le livre, il faut les voir venir” (112).  This fragmented reality can then be replaced  by one that is more holistic: a holos gramma in which women are integrated because they have participated in its writing. The process of semiotic invention at work in Brossard’s development of a new form of cognition can be deciphered by analysing the manner in which she constructs Hologramme, the text within Picture Theory. To begin, a brief explanation of the basic technique of holography: a hologram is created by intersecting beams of light.  Light emanating from a laser is split so that one  beam illuminates the object to be recorded, then is reflected onto a photographic plate.  The other beam  bypasses the object to reflect of f a mirror directly onto the plate.  Where the two beams meet on the plate, they  create interference fringes, or patterns that appear to the eye as grey smudges, specks, blobs and whorls (Leith and  31 Upatnieks 24).  It is from this hologram that the virtual  image, the illusion of a three-dimensional object may be reconstructed.  To reconstruct the virtual image, the  photographic plate is once again illuminated by a beam of coherent light that releases the captured waves. dimensional illusion appears.  A three—  The hologram produces  the visual effect of parallax: the perspective of the subject appears to displace the object in view (Leith and Upatnieks 24).  Holography also allows the viewer to look  around and behind a foreground image (Kostelanetz 418). With holography there is no fixed point of view, and no horizon. Both technologically and structurally, holography is radically different from photography.  It is not simply a  more realistic, because three—dimensional, representation. There is no one-to-one relationship in holography.  Any  fragment of the holographic plate, when illuminated, will reconstruct the entire image from a different perspective (Talbot 13).  Thus each representation displaces the object.  Holography actually bypasses mimetic representation since the “text” itself is beyond interpretation.  Instead of  recording the image of the object that it photographs, holography records the light waves themselves as they bounce off the object; the image cannot be discerned without its reconstruction (Leith and Upatnieks 30).  In addition, once  it is reconstructed, the image remains beyond the code (the  32 photographic plate).  The re-presentation, the hologram, is  utterly inaccessible; the virtual image is merely an illusion.  Thus the hologram is not a copy of the object,  but a code for how the object manifests itself to the visual sense.  Finally, holography also offers the possibility of  completely surrounding you; once you have entered the hologram, it is no longer possible to visually distinguish between reality and its representation.  The light source for the inscription of Brossard’s hologram is the sexual intimacy of “la scene blanche” in which “une telle abondance de lumière effrite le regard” (Picture Theory 36).  This scene is repeated several times  in “L’Ordinaire,” the first part of the novel, then expands to form the second section, “La Perspective,” and returns again and again throughout the remainder of the text.  Like  the two beams of light needed to create the hologram, the first scene blanche is split into two scenes, livre et celle du tapis” (27).  “celle du  In the latter, the two women  are des peaux qui alors se concentrent extrêmement. Conjuge a l’éclairage, le plaisir d’audace revêt dangereusement le corps de l’autre d’une pellicule existentielle de laquelle surgit, condensée en une image, l’harmonie qui fait sens. (31)  33 This harmony is “la luiuière cohérente” (198) that creates the hologram. The second scene is that of the book: the dictionary, or the reference beam that causes the interference necessary for the inscription of the hologram.  The dictionary is the  contexte du déjà inscrit” (167) with and against which the t ‘ narrator/writer works “toute la nuit explorant au grand jour le contexte dans lequel les idées s’étaient formées puis renouvelées...” (99).  It is paradoxically both darkness and  light; a source of knowledge of a language that oppresses, it also offers the possibility of reclaiming language. Here, then, is the apparatus necessary for the inscription of the hologram.  The reader is at first likely  to be confused by the swirls and spirals that are the mnemonic traces of this sign system; gradually, however, 5 learns the techniques necessary to reconstruct the s/he virtual image and follow the semiotic process necessary to reach the Hologramme, a process which I will now retrace. “Dehors il neige sur toute l’étendue de la langue” (117).  “De ma fenêtre c’était l’episode dans lequel M.V.  restait collée  a  la langue publique en détresse parmi les  signes noués, string corde raide de la ligne sémantique” (191).  Taking advantage of la poudrerie that is the  dissemination of meaning (“décembre la neige,”) Brossard’s  To avoid both gender specific pronouns and awkward 5 “she/he” combinations, I use the pronouns “s/he” and “he/r.  34 politico-linguistic project begins with the intensification of the spiral paths traced by the snowflakes/signs. According to Brossard, in order to change the context of that which is already inscribed, women must speak and write with an accent that will at once question and deform meaning.  To do so will create a revolution in both senses  of the word: “pour chaque mot une revolution complete autour de son axe: on examine le radical sous tous ses angles, tout point de vue” (La Lettre aérienne 96).  a  While de  Lauretis describes in general how semiosis is involved in subjectivity and perception, Brossard’s text enacts this process, both linguistically and mathematically.  The two  scenes of the carpet and the dictionary lead the reader on a spiral path, tracing the process of inventing a reality in which women may be integrated. begins at the roots:  (=  vulva) and cunnen  For Brossard, the process  the Latin roots of the nouns cunnus  (=  knowledge): the radical  Picture Theory reads the sign  n  with an accent,  spinning it on its axis so that it becomes, like the snow, “Spinster Spirale” (190).  The definition of fl as “idiot”  indicates the con/text of women, cernées by a language that is not their own.  By broaching (“de mémoire j’entame”) this  , Brossard frees the centre of the spiral of its 6 subject sexist connotations: “on se concentre sur ce qui devenu  1n her translation of Picture Theory, Barbara Godard has 6 rendered this sentence as: “From memory, I broach a subject.”  35 abstraction devient motivation et motif premier.  Dans ce  sens, on n’a rien perdu, on a éliiuiné les anecdotes circonstancielles...” (Cotnoir et al. 189).  n  becomes abstract:  En commençant par le mot femme a propos de l’utopie, M.V. avait choisi de se concentrer sur une abstraction pressentie. ... Elle n’aurait d’autre choix que le consentement. Consentir est visiblement le seul verbe qui puisse ici permettre la vraisemblance, la transparence de la soie utopique. (165) With the verb con/sentir the text returns to the eroticism of “la scene blanche,” the conjoining of sense and Through word association and transformation (or  sensuality.  dissemination), the text returns again to the energy source of its poetry and of the hologram. f ii d’arrivée de la pensée.  “La fiction serait le  Le terme exacte” (Picture  Theory 165). Because of its degraded connotations, whispered:  “chu chotte chatte” (115).  can only be  Or it appears  subliminally in the manner of Barthes’ concept of the erotic in jouissance: “the intermittence of skin flashing between two articles of clothing” (Barthes 10).  Brossard echoes  Barthes, describing “la lumière dans les vêtements une confusion entre les tissus et la peau” (Picture Theory 50). As I will soon demonstrate, the hologram as a metaphor of the process of thought also functions subliminally (200): a flash of recognition, or as Brossard quotes Djuna Barnes, “‘une image est une halte que fait l’esprit entre deux  36 incertitudes’” (29). plutôt qu’un autre  a  n  is, quite simply, “Un iuot  la vitesse de la lumière” (Cotnoir  et al. 199). “Un sexe de femme c’est mathématique” (Picture Theory 118); two sign systems, etymology and calculus, 7 meet as the sign gn is spun on its axis and the centrifugal force pushes at the limits of its signification.  Its  derivatives are calculated, and it undergoes the mathematical process of integration.  The radical  n  is a  mathematical function, a formula in the calculus, the mathematics of change (Kolman 99).  To explore the nature of  a function, one takes its limit and calculates its derivatives. To take a limit is to “describe the behavior of a function f when x is near but different from a” (Kolman 100). Let x  =  is derived from the latin cunnus.  cunnus, and a  =  cunnen or connen derived from  knowledge, ability, or to fix in memory.  =  As x and a  approach each other in “la scene blanche,” the equation describes the production of the light energy that creates the hologram.  The presence of flesh within thought  (Weir 346) is revealed in “lap-ensée” (Picture Theory 115) and in la langue as, “souvent le sexe (f em.) c’est promettre  a  l’éclat sous une bouche ruisselante qui pense...” (127).  The mathematics of calculus were 7 invention of the hologram (Goleman 84).  essential  to  the  37 And in direct contact, a con/fusion “lorsqu’elle s’y frotta la tribade aux mots...” (188), this material and sensual language forms “la lumière cohérente” that constructs and reconstructs the hologram.  This is the pleasure of the  text, at the limits of language and sensuality: oui la langue pouvait en trois dimensions a dite de plaisir là ou lesbien, la langue et  être reconstituée partir de sa partie fusionnent le corps l’énergie... (188)  In calculus, the instantaneous rate of change in a function is calculated or frozen,  just as a hologram freezes  a three—dimensional image, by the calculation of its derivative.  The derivative provides information about the  graph of a function, the tangent of its curve; it shows how the function appears, or would ideally appear, in space (Kolman 193).  Once the derivative of a function is taken,  the next derivative takes the derivative of that derivative, the slope of the slope, and so on; if the process continues, the curve eventually returns to the original function. However, the accent with which the function fl is read causes each of its derivatives to denver or drift, and thus each time it turns back on itself its course is slightly altered, so that it follows a spiral path.  And, like a  hologram, this spiral is three—dimensional. The derivatives of con are most evident in the scenes of sexual intimacy, where, according to Brossard, “tout est concentration” (Cotnoir et al. 195).  Words such as  38 “con/centrer,” “con/fusion,” “con/juguer,” “con/denser,” or “con/verger” demand reconsideration as each turns in on itself, creating “des ref lets tautologiques” (Picture Theory 29).  “La fiction déjoue alors l’illysybilité, dans  le sens oü elle insinue toujours quelque chose de plus qui te force  a  Theory 32).  iluaginer,  a  dédoubler.  A y revenir” (Picture  Beginning with con/centrer, a doubled centre  (cunnus and cunnus), the process of semiosis follows a spiral path as each derivative of signification.  causes a detour in  Each detour is, in EGo’s sense, an  invention. Mathematically, this repeated derivation leads to integration, a process used in calculus to find the area under a curve (Kolman 99), which is also used to describe the interaction of the wave forms that cause the interference fringes of holographic photography: “convolutional integrals”  (Pribram 142).  The non—sense of  an accent has no sense (meaning or direction) unless there is recognition by others who also speak with an accent (La Lettre aérienne 91).  The integration of women, as they  learn to understand Brossard’s accent, redefines or reinvents their semiotic environment, the city of Montréal, or the area under the curve of the spiral.  This accent adds  a third dimension to the text as “le corps consent  a  chercher en permanence son espace d’intégrité, le volume” (Picture Theory 150).  39 In a “tranche anatomique de l’imaginaire”  (170), Picture  Theory freezes the city of Montréal into an abstraction. One application for holography is that it can be used to freeze and thus analyze the properties of floating particles in a sample volume, expanding the perspective of an analysis to cross-sectional geometry (Leith and Upatnieks 35). Montreal is shown in the winter, when “les mots,” like snowflakes,  “volaient dans toutes les directions” (Picture  Theory 112) and are frozen for an instant in their whirling “Spinster Spiral”  (190) vortex.  The words themselves, like  the floating dust particles that cause the whorls to be inscribed on a holographic plate (Leith and Upatnieks 29), are extraneous.  Rather, the process by which meaning is  assigned to them is explored as,  “lorsque décembre [or  désémer] la neige” (108), an instant in the dissemination of meaning across the text of Picture Theory (Weir,  “From  Picture to Hologram” 349) is fixed, framed by a window frame (134) so that it might be examined. crystallized in ice (169);  The city is  it becomes the hologram of a  three-dimensional prism, reflecting and splitting light (147).  For one instant, the context is revealed  holistically, in three dimensions: “surcroIt synchronie de la page de la chambre de la cite dans la nuit nombres et lettres..  .“  (206).  Through the mathematical process of integration, the area under the spiral, the city of Montréal, is mapped,  just  40 as the corner of page 97 of the text lifts to reveal a map of the city within it.  Picture Theory re-maps the city so  that women may now be integrated into it; Brossard rewrites the relation between self and reality by remapping reality. Just as the accent with which Picture Theory is written creates non—sense, the holographic techniques produce the interference patterns of a book highly resistant to interpretation.  A three-dimensional linguistic text is non  sense as it is spoken or written in a linear language.  Thus  the narrative moves ahead in quantum leaps, by reactions of energy and light (Knutson 165) and  “‘a  certaines moments  nous atteignont des limites, c’est limite l’origine de lasse l’stoire stèle... Theory 191).  •‘  Indicible aurais-je répondu” (Picture  At the linguistic limit of Picture Theory is  the hologram, which goes beyond the limits of linear language.  The epigraph from Wittgenstein indicates that it  is the sentence that sentences us.  Thus it is in her  grammatical transgression, affirming that “la langue est un spectacle de ce que nous ne pouvons pas penser comme telles” (183), that Brossard offers “le spectacle de l’impensable” (Cotnoir et al. 178).  The hologram “est sans limite Ia  nature des phrases une information visuelle parcourant nos corps  a  la vitesse de la lumière” (Picture Theory 186).  To  reach the hologram in Picture Theory is to take part in a revolution: an invention which can transform reality (Alice Doesn’t 54).  41 Although it is necessary to read through Picture Theory in order to reach the beginning of Hologramme, it is highly unlikely that the virtual image will be reconstructed on that first reading.  It is only with subsequent readings,  when the whole can be pictured simultaneously, that the multi-level word plays, repetitions and allusions take on meaning.  What Joseph Frank says of spatial form in Joyce’s  Dublin is true of Brossard’s Montreal (Weir, “From Picture to Hologram” 346) and Brossard, as much as Joyce, “cannot be read  —  [s]he can only be reread (Frank 19).”  A knowledge of  the whole is essential to an understanding of any part, and then, true to its holographic form, any part can illuminate the whole.  Picture Theory is a memory theatre; it must be  memorised in order for the spectacle to take place. If the hologram can function holistically only in memory, that function itself is to enact memory, or i mémoire.  Thought works subliminally (200): a flash of  recognition, as the semiotic chain of meaning halts, temporarily, anchoring itself to some body for an instant (Alice Doesn’t 178).  The jouissance shared between two  women in les scenes blanches is also inscribed into the act of reading this text.  The experience of the hologram, then,  like that of jouissance, may only be expressed as: That’s it! This cry is not to be understood as an illumination of the intelligence, but as the very limit of nomination, of the imagination. In short, there are two realisms, the first deciphers the “real” (what is demonstrated but not  42 seen); the second speaks “reality” (what is seen but not demonstrated).... (Barthes 45_46)8 Picture Theory writes its “reality.”  It is the theoretical  exploration of a poetics/epistemology/utopia of the hologram, which functions on the edge of the spectrum of white light, of light’s speed, and of language, French or English: <<disissit>> langage qui ref lue dans mes yeux comme un horizon, bord de pense: réalité des bouches... (Brossard and Marlatt 3) Brossard explores thought in the process of making sense, both sensual and intellectual. representation, because,  Picture Theory bypasses  like a hologram, it does nOt  represent the object, but the process of perceiving that object.  Plot, characters and settings are barely relevant  to this text; what is important is the process of making sense of it.  Thus Brossard forces the reader to reconsider  he/r perception of reality and fiction, sense and non—sense, and in altering this perspective, she theoretically alters the context of women.  Brossard’s poetry causes the reader  to experience the semiotic process of re—mapping, or invention, as a mind—hologram that is “un témoignage utopique”  (85): the possibility of changing reality.  i cite the translation of Barthes’ text in order to permit Brossard’s <<disissit>> to echo the “That’s it!” at the edge of nomination: the firing of synapses. My reading of Brossard’s words interprets them differently than does Marlatt’s translation as <<say’dbesayingsays>> (Mauve 17).  43 Screen skin my mind: a holographic memory  What Brossard’s poetry enacts, neurologists have attempted to explain with regard to the functioning of the brain. At first, neurobiologist Carl Pribram used holography as a metaphor for the neurological process; however, gradually the notion of holographic memory came to have a physio logical basis (Goleman 71).  Pribram describes the  holographic wave-front nature of brain-cell connections: [n]eurons possess branches like trees, and when an electrical message reaches the end of one of these branches it radiates outward as does a ripple in a pond. Because neurons are packed together so densely, these expanding ripples of electricity also a wavelike phenomenon are constantly crisscrossing one another. (cited in Goleman 72) -  —  The interference patterns created by crisscrossing waveforms give the brain its holographic properties (Talbot 20). Memory is stored in and activated by wave frequencies. According to Pribram, thought is not information processing and cannot be likened to most computer technology, because the brain does not break things down into their constituent parts; it operates holistically (Goleman 8O). Pribram found evidence that memories were not, as previously thought, localized at specific brain sites, but  As computer technology advances, it more and more 9 closely mirrors the nonlocal functioning of memory (Briggs and Peat, Turbulent Mirror 170).  44 were distributed throughout the brain as a whole.’ 0  Non—  localisation is also a characteristic of holography, by which a piece of a holographic screen or film will produce the entire virtual image.  Moreover, frequency analysis  doesn’t function in the dimensions of time and space, but on axes of spectrum and power: “‘in the frequency domain, time and space become collapsed  ..  my memory is organized along  other dimensions than time and space  —  though space and time  tags may be attached to particular memories” (Pribram cited in Goleman 84). Holographic theory explains many aspects of neurological functioning, for example, the brain’s immense capacity for information storage.  By changing the angle at which the two  lasers strike a piece of photographic film, it is possible to record many different images on the same surface. Forgetting is then a matter of failing to find the right angle.  This also explains the associative nature of memory  because if two objects are holographed at the same time, retrieving one brings the other along with it (Talbot 21). Researchers are at present studying the hypothesis that it is the light—sensitive molecule melanin (a molecule found in skin, but also in most other parts of the body) that may actually be the “holographic film” (“screen skin,”  ‘°For another study of this effect, see Paul Shufflebrain (Boston: Houghton Miff un, 1981).  Pietsch,  45 Brossard 125)  in the brain (Briggs and Peat, The Looking  Glass Universe 263). Although Pribrain’s theory of the holographic brain has not been irrefutably confirmed, recent developments in neurobiology have as yet to disprove it.  It is accepted  in most circles, at least metaphorically, since memory is increasingly considered to function within the whole neural network.  As another scientist describes it,  “memory floats in an undulating sea of relationships that are continually, if subtly, changing” Turbulent Mirror 171).  (Briggs and Peat,  Holographically,  “pour l’instant la  mémoire est en vue comme une site: toutes les regions du cerveau”  (Picture Theory 128-9).  To experience the hologram while reading Picture Theory, then,  is to experience “une manifestation de la pensee dans  ses manoeuvres” “thinking is not  (La Lettre aérienne 146). ...  For Pribram,  solely a linguistic enterprise,  [it]  derives from prolongations of states of active uncertainty” (Pribram 370); he employs the hologram to describe these states.  Brossard describes the identical non—mimetic  thought process:  “‘une image est une halte que fait l’esprit  entre deux incertitudes’” (Picture Theory 29), and the act of deciphering the obscurity of Picture Theory enacts that ’ 1 hologram.  “Susan Knutson points out that the structure of this narrative corresponds to the tree structure of synapses (166).  46 Screen skin my world?  If the picture of reality in our brains is not a picture, but a hologram, what is it a hologram of? According to physicist David Bohm, perception is itself an abstraction; what we see as reality is a virtual image, an illusion of separate entities in space.  Reality itself is a  blur of holographic interference patterns.  Our brains  interpret these wave frequencies and from them construct “objective reality”; thought is thus a hologram of a hologram,  but not in the same way that a platonic reality  may be thought of as a copy of a copy, as Bohm explains; rather, consciousness is only one particular frequency within the hologram of reality (Talbot 126). David Bohiu’s controversial study, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, provides the basis for a more material, or concrete, reading of the “inventions” of both Brossard and de Lauretis.  It allows me to expand both of these theories,  and to integrate them into an epistemological model that intensifies and augments their impetus for social change. Like Brossard and de Lauretis, Bohm begins his theory with a critique of theories of mimetic representation. Wholeness and the Implicate Order rejects the fragmenting effect of mimesis:  “every form of theoretical insight  introduces its own essential differences and distinctions....  {I]f we regard our theories as ‘direct  47 descriptions of reality as it is’... we will be led to the illusion that the world is actually constituted of separate fragments...  “  (7).  Positing that all perception is at  least in part illusion, Bohm is critical of the effects of this mimetic presupposition on which scientific or applied knowledge is based.  The logical outcome of this attitude  (which corresponds to Brossard’s “hantise de l’H omme,” that becomes “une seule volonté de puissance,” 98) is that [ajil that counts in physical theory is supposed to be the development of mathematical equations that permit us to predict and control the behaviour of large statistical aggregates of particles. Such a goal is not regarded as merely for its pragmatic and technical utility: rather it has become a presupposition of most work in modern physics that prediction and control of this kind is all that human knowledge is about. (xiii) For Bohm, language does not reflect the world, but is a way of looking at, or even interacting with, the world; our theories are theatres for thought (3) rather than knowledge of how the world is.  Knowledge is then merely a proposal, a  performance that is continually under revision.  This is how  Bohm introduces his radical reinterpretation of quantum reality  -  with the reminder that his theory, too, is merely  a different manner of “mapping” the quantum world: an invention.  Or, as other physicists have described it,  Bohm’s theory “attempts to devise not only a new map of the universe, but to create a new understanding of the relationship between maps and terrains” (Briggs and Peat, The Looking Glass Universe 94).  Bohm does not state that  48 mainstream quantum theory is false, nor does he make any claims for the truth of his own theory.  He merely states  that his theory offers solutions to some of the paradoxes in 2 the more accepted versions of quantum mechanics.’ It is for this reason that Bohm’s work is not merely an attempt to “restore determinism and causality to quantum physics” (Ilayles, The Cosmic Web 56) by postulating hidden variables, even though his theory and its preference for clarity, harmony and order (Bohm 2) may at first appear suspect to one who has learned to distrust such “theological” terms.  The notion of the implicate order is  deterministic, hut not classically so; it merely points out that the dominant quantum theory is not the only valid one,  1t is in part for this reason that Bohm’s work is so 2 ‘ controversial; he is less interested in finding the “truth” than in questioning how that truth is constructed and how it might be constructed otherwise. This, of course, questions the foundations of Western science. As an exceptional young man his he entered the domain of quantum theory “like a meteor” research was ground—breaking and his 1950’s textbook, Quantum Theory, is considered to have been one of the best of its time. One of his most important contributions was to disprove “von Neumann’s proof,” the mathematical formula that confirmed the dominant view of quantum physics (the Copenhagen school which formed around Niels Bohr) by proving that “hidden variable” arguments could never work. Bohm invented one that could. It has since been disproved, but Bohm never intended it to be an accurate picture of reality; his aim, which he attained, was to show that alternate formulations were possible. This feat has led to some of the most important work now in progress on the foundations of quantum physics (eq. that of John Bell on the non-local nature of quantum reality). And it has led Bohm even further from the confines of the dominant school of thought regarding the foundations of quantum physics (interview with Dr. Philip Stamp, University of British Columbia Physics Department, October 6 1992; see also Nick Herbert, Ouantum Reality). —  49 nor is it a complete explanation of reality (Briggs and Peat, The Looking Glass Universe 97).  It is precisely  Bohm’s different notion of “mapping,” and the provisionality inherent in his theory that guards against totalization and allows his theory, like de Lauretis’ subject, to be processual: a temporary “anchoring” position of an idea. “Wholeness” is Bohiu’s interpretation of the fact that both relativity and quantum theory imply that the world is an undivided whole.  “In this totality, the atomistic form  of insight is a simplification and an abstraction, valid only in some limited context” (Bohm 11).  Bohm’s theory  might actually better be termed holistic, because it does not attempt to enact completion, closure, or stasis, but rather to emphasize interconnectedness.  Even the word  “holistic” however, tends to make some physicists and other theorists uneasy, as they worry about the “flakier” aspects of such a term (Gribbin 172) and its New Age inter pretations.  And yet these same theorists will quickly  acknowledge that even mainstream theories of quantum reality require far more radical changes in epistemology than have yet filtered into other philosophical and scientific domains. In The Holographic Universe (which, after the first chapter has summarized the work of Pribram, Bohm and others, becomes a perfect example of the “flakier” aspects of New Age uses of quantum theory) Michael Talbot explains that in  50 quantum physics, sub—atomic particles are neither particles nor objects.  They are waves which have no dimension; they  manifest themselves as particles only when observed: “everything we touch turns to matter”  (Talbot 33-34).  Our  perception of “objective reality” as made up of separate or fragmented elements, then,  is an effect of on our fragmented  way of thinking (Bohm 7).  Bohm traces the history of this  manner of thinking in the rise of modern science and philosophy. Both Bohm and more conventional quantum theorists reject the concept of an objective, fragmented reality.  According  to Bohm, Einstein’s theory of relativity led to a unified field theory, as does quantum theory; however the two are incompatible because the first is deterministic and local, and the second indeterministic and nonlocal.  (Non—locality  refers to the fact that at the subquantum level, as in a hologram and in the human brain, location ceases to exist, Talbot 41).  However, quantum physicists continue to  postulate, search for and then find smaller and smaller particles (eg. positrons, neutrinos, mesons, quarks) (Gribbin 162; Briggs and Peat, The Looking Glass Universe 78), thereby (as Bohm and his supporters claim) perpetuating a fragmentary view of reality in the face of quantum theory’s denial of such a reality.  In addition,  there are some inexplicable aspects and philosophical implications of quantum theory that most mainstream  51 theorists choose to ignore.  “If the math works, don’t fix  it” seems to be the dominant attitude.  Bohm, who like  Einstein was uncomfortable with the lack of determinism in quantum reality, attempts to bring relativity and quantum theory together by speculating on hidden variables which would explain in a holistic manner what the quantum world is doing when no one is looking at it. At first glance, Bohm’s theory might appear to be as farfetched and utopian as Erossard’s.  However, from a  “realistic” or “common—sense” perspective, Bohm’s holistic theory is no less believable than the other interpretations of reality based on quantum findings.  The dominant  “Copenhagen interpretation” claims that there is no reality in the absence of observation, or that the observer creates its own reality (Gribbin 159-162).  Another interpretation  is that reality consists of a steadily increasing number of parallel universes (Gribbin 235-254).  These interpretations  may appear to the non-physicist to be more science fiction than fact, and yet they are serious theories formulated by some of the most respected thinkers of this century.  An  understanding of quantum physics demands a radically different perspective on the nature of reality. Bohm’s work experiments with one possibility. In an interview with Robert Temple in Scientific American, Bohm explains that what the lens did for the atomic particle view of science (the lens magnified objects  52 on a one—to—one basis), the hologram does now; it presents the whole structure of which the human observer is a part. Yet Bohm does not merely replace the picture of reality with a hologram of reality; the hologram has its own limitations. Like a picture, or even cinema, the hologram freezes moments in time.  As Brossard’s hologram of Montréal illustrates, a  hologram can only offer a series of static observations. Similarly, Bohm continues, one of the constrictions of quantum theory is that it cannot conceive of movement or process; it offers just one static observation, then another (Temple 362) which is perhaps what transforms waves into particles.  It is for this reason that Bohm extrapolates  from holography his notion of a “holomovement” (Temple 145). In doing so he takes this three—dimensional illusion into 3 four dimensional, non—Euclidean space-time.’  The  holomovement is not simply a more accurate picture of reality, because on the level of sub—atomic particles, “the very fabric of reality itself possesses what appears to be an undeniable ‘holographic’ property” (Talbot 3). What Bohm claims, then, is that reality, which he refers to as the implicate order, is what is seen on a holographic plate: patterns of waveform interference: a mess of whorls and vortices, like whirlpools in a stream (Bohm 179).  Each  With this adaptation, Bohm also opens the possibility 3 ‘ of taking the virtual image into virtual reality, a task which is beyond the bounds of this dissertation.  53 vortex is what we interpret, through a conceptual strategy (see n3 above), as a thing, what Bohm refers to in the explicate order (the virtual image, abstraction or illusion of “objective reality”) as a “relatively autonomous subtotality” (Bohm 189).  These relatively autonomous sub-  totalities are also referred to as moments, because just as nothing is separate, nothing is permanent; like the eddies in a stream, they will eventually whirl into something 4 else.’  “Bohm is not suggesting that the differences between  ‘things’ is [sic] meaningless.  He merely wants us to be  aware constantly that dividing various aspects of the holomovement into ‘things’ is always an abstraction, a way of making those aspects stand out in our perception by our way of thinking” (Talbot 48).  As the terms “implicate” and  “explicate” suggest, Bohm’s conception of reality is one of  Bohm’s 4 ‘ interesting description of time also has implications for time in Picture Theory and for this holographic counter—memory. In the implicate order time is not the movement of a particle across space, but rather different degrees of unfolding all present at the same time. “So instead of describing movement as one point related to another, in the implicate order movement is described as one form of present (one degree of enfoldment) related to another form of present (a different degree of enfoldment). All these different “presents” are unfolded together at any moment” (Briggs and Peat, Through the Looking Glass 118). Hence the “soeur anarchiste ... [c]elle qui vit partout en méme temps” (37) and the multiple dimensions of the hologram which exceeds space—time: “Je confonds les temps parce qu’en moi subsiste une abstraction vitale qui me fait tendre a la mémoire multiple” (85). only “la hantise de l’H omme” is characterized by the arrows of linear time (96).  54 folds, in which both the implicate order and the past are enfolded and thus invisible to our conditioned perception. 15 Bohm provides mathematical arguments for physicists, but he also presents material of interest to literary theorists and linguists.  Like Brossard, Bohm is concerned  with how language conditions our perceptions and thus transforms reality. language and meaning.  His response is also to “play” with However, he takes the notion of  speaking with an accent to much further extremes.  And yet  their techniques are similar; both Brossard and Bohm attempt to create a language that does not reflect the hologram/ holomovement, but participates in, or enacts it.  Words in  Picture Theory do not refer on a one—to—one basis to things. Rather, the confusion of their dissemination is an attempt to cause the reader to “experience” the hologram in he/r brain.  Bohm’s linguistic experiment, the “rheomode,” is  also an attempt to allow its speaker to interact with the holomovement. The rheomode (“rheo” from the Greek “to flow”) attempts to overcome the subject—verb--object fragmentation of most  1t is difficult to gauge Bohm’s reception by his peers. 5 ‘ Acknowledging the brilliance of his early career, and careful not to reject his later work on the implicate order outright (“Who knows, in another century he might be considered oh the same level as Einstein”), mainstream physicists look at Bohm with approximately the same scepticism with which British “but what can philosophers looked at French existentialism you do with it?” [ie. “How can you use it to predict or control?”] (interview with Dr. Philip Stamp, University of British Columbia Physics Department, 6 October 1992.) —  55 languages by making all words variations of the verb.  As a  response to claims that language is necessarily representational and that the deep structures of Indo— European languages are inherently dualist (Hayles, Chaos Bound  l6),16  dichotomy.  the rheomode creates no subject/object It is also explicitly self-reflexive, and each  verb flows into the next.  For example, Bohm begins with the  verb “to levate,” meaning to lift something into attention in such a way as to include the question of whether what one is talking about is relevant to the context, while at the same time calling attention to the fact that one is calling attention to something  -  that to some extent one is  separating it out of the whole by the tweezers of language. The verb “re—levate” means to do this all again,  including  the whole process of considering whether what one is saying is relevant “this time” (Briggs and Peat, The Looking Glass Universe 135).  From the verb re—levate comes the adjective  re—levant, that is, whether or not in each case to re—levate is re—levant, and the noun (remembering that nouns can only be continued states of activity of the form indicated by the  Bohm acknowledges that not all languages are necessarily 6 ‘ dualist, citing ancient Hebrew as an example of one that is based on the verb—form. “However,” he claims, “in modern Hebrew the actual usage is similar to that of English, in that the noun is in fact given a primary role in its meaning even though in the formal grammar is all still built from the verb as a root” (30). An exploration of other non—European languages and literatures with regard to this issue would go beyond the scope of this dissertation.  56 verb) “re—levation: a continued state of lifting a given content into attention” (Bohm 35).  Other verbs and  variations similarly call attention to the process of language, thereby, Bohm hopes, avoiding the fragmentation which language often brings about and creating a language that flows into, rather than represents, reality.’ 7 Bohm goes on to illustrate how consciousness relates to the implicate order.  His theory offers an extension of the  semiotics of Teresa de Lauretis in its claim that memory and environment do not simply interact; rather, they are indissolubly linked: part of the same movement.  Further,  Bohm stresses that all thought is memory, or cognitive mapping in process: “Thought is memory in every phase of life  ...  ...  sensuous, muscular and physical  the active response of  intellectual, emotional,  ...  all these are one  process of response of memory to each actual situation” (Bohm 50).  Past—focussed memories might be considered as  previous “moments,” which leave traces (usually enfolded) that continue on in later moments, “though this trace may change and transform almost without limit” (208). For Brossard, thought is instantaneous; the moment of the firing of synapses is a holographic process, and Picture Theory attempts to reconstruct this process subliminally in  This summary is a necessary simplification; I refer 7 ‘ readers to the chapter on the rheomode in Wholeness and the Implicate Order.  57 the mind of its reader.  Bohm contrasts the mechanical  functions of memory such as repetition, re—organization, and combination to what he calls “perception” (using the word in a manner different from that of de Lauretis): a spatially organized “flash of understanding” in which, holistically, “one can see the irrelevance of one’s whole way of thinking about the problem, along with a different approach in which all the elements fit in a new order and in a new structure” (Bohm 51). It is here again that Bohm differs from conventional quantum physicists, as he pushes at the limitations of the language which they (often unquestioningly) use to describe the quantum world.  Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle  claims that the observer interacts with the experiment (Gribbin 171).  Bohm responds that “interact” is a  misleading term because it still assumes that human consciousness and the subatomic particles of the experiment are separate entities; for Bohm, consciousness is another form of matter (Talbot 49). Teresa de Lauretis quotes neurophysiologist Cohn Blakemore on mapping to assert that “perception works by a set of learned responses, a cognitive pattern, a code” and that a map does not copy reality, but symbolizes it (Alice Doesn’t 54).  As previously quoted, Blakemore goes on to  question exactly “how much of our everyday perception is really created entirely within our brains without any  58 equivalent external stimulus?  And how much of the real  world are we simply incapable of perceiving because we have no neural apparatus to do so?” (Blakemore 17).  Bohm in turn  provides responses to both of these questions that allow de Lauretis’ semiotics to be taken even further: first, it is impossible to separate the brain and the environment it “perceives”; and secondly, it is the implicate order that is precisely what we are incapable of perceiving. According to Bohm, then, reality is a vast flux of waves and frequencies, and appears concrete to us only because our brains are able to take this holographic blur and construct from it the tables and chairs and other familiar objects that make up our world (Talbot 54).  Thus “to say we are a  holographic mind, looking at a holographic universe is another abstraction, an attempt to separate things that ultimately cannot be separated...”  (Talbot 55).  Thought is  not a copy of a copy, or a hologram of a hologram, but rather a hologram within a hologram.  “We can view ourselves  as a blur of interference patterns enfolded throughout the cosmic hologram” (Talbot 55):  “Nos alentours étaient trois  dimensions que nos corps éprouvaient avec clairvoyance dans toute l’étendue de nos mémoires (Picture Theory 79).  As I have already discussed, Brossard also refers to the fragmentation of reality that arises as a result of a belief  59 in our representations as “direct descriptions of reality as it is” (Bohm 7). Du sens était en vue, amplifiait la réalité comme une coiuète sonore... L’éciat du musée. Mule fragments retombent sur ities épaules. De la matière partout, pièces d’identité : notes, lipstick, miroir, condom, des, argent, mule fragments s’assemblent sous vos yeux dans le musée, dans le livre, ii faut les voir venir. (112) It is necessary to see these fragments coming  —  to see how  the world becomes a museum of fragments taken out of context precisely by the way we look at it  —  in order to change  reality. To re—levate one fragment for a moment: “pieces of identity”  —  the literal translation is useful  -  identities  are also fragments, and are defined by fragments assembled as in a museum; “[iji faut les voir venir.”  Brossard’s  “characters” do not mirror autonomous identities, but rather contribute to “l’évanouissement de Ia personne” (115).  The  attempt to follow the characters through the plot or to hold them together, like holding words together as unities, is, sadly, what loses many readers of this text.  Signs, things  and persons are no more than relatively autonomous subtotalities, continually undergoing transformations, as phonemes disengage and are reconnected across the network of the text (Godard, “Preface” to Picture Theory, 7-9) Cosmos osmose cosmos annule, avive, a—vide, gravite, l’af fame la mere la femme la femme: (human mind) lap/ensée. lèformes chu chotte chatte. Décembre la neige. Visible pour une fois; vie-cible. Les mots fonctionnent indéfiniment (l’évanouissement de la personne) a perte de vue en tout sens: chats pitres. Tristement. (115)  60 This text is structured non-locally; because of its spatial form the reader can flip to any page, any word, or any phoneme in the rereading. Brossard’s project, then,  is “L’indispensable [it is  indispensable to think the unthinkable, the dis/pensable] trajectoire: déployer le reel gui est en soi l’espace active de la matière holographiée”  (143).  Her abstraction unfolds  (or makes explicit) the implicate order. However, what happens to Brossard’s notion of “abstraction” when read through Bohm’s theory?  For both  Brossard and Bohm, the virtual image of the hologram is the abstraction.  However, if Brossard’s abstraction is the  primary gesture of her feminist project,  it falls prey to  the same critique that Bohm levels at “objective reality.” And from de Lauretis’ perspective, it is based on her lesbian identity and remains utopically focussed on “woman.” This is only true if Picture Theory is read as a linear text of which the hologram is the end result, as “la rêalité se condense en abstraction, la peau travaille...  (186).  If  the attainment of the third dimension, the body’s “espace d’intégrité, le volume” (150)  is seen to be the goal of  Picture Theory, then the abstraction is utopian, and esoteric.  impractical  However, reading Picture Theory through Bohm  shifts the dominant effect of Brossard’s text from the abstraction, the virtual image of the hologram, to the implicate order: the holographic plate and the process of  61 con/fusion into which it leads the reader, rather than the teleology of Barthesian jouissance.  In this, Brossard might  be said to provide a feminist revision of Barthes’ term. Brossard clearly asserts that the reality that is “la hantise de l’Il omme” is as much an abstraction as the holographic woman: “toute la réalité se condense en abstraction.  Se dédouble, floue, difficile repere.  Difficile apres.  La hantise de l’H omme, sorte de fréquence  inaladive acheminée dans les cerveaux....” (98).  What she  rejects is the acceptance of this abstraction as the only reality possible: “un filet recueillant toutes les pensées pour les unir en une seule volonté de puissance” (98). It is the recognition that this is an abstraction that allows Brossard to abstract differently:  a la source de chaque emotion, il y a une abstraction dont l’effet est l’êmotion mais dont les consequences dérivent la fixité du regard et des idées. Chaque abstraction est une forme potentielle dans i’espace mental. Et quand l’abstraction prend forme, elle s’inscrit radicalement comme énigme et affirmation. Avoir recours a l’abstraction est une nécessité pour celle qui fait le projet, tentée par l’existence, de traverser les anecdotes quotidiennes et les iuémoires d’utopie qu’elle rencontre a chaque usage de la parole. J’ai tenté un jour de conquérir la réalité, de la rendre plausible. D’abord par insinuation, en glissant quelques mots de travers: pour la saisir par la peau des plis, dans ses trous noirs comme une version sans fin, j’ai fabriqué a son sujet un savoir a ma connaissance. (89) The importance of Brossard’s theory, like that of Bohm, is not the truth or falsity of its content, but its affirmation of the possibility of a different “mapping” of reality.  62 “According to the holographic idea, matter is a kind of habit and is constantly born anew out of the implicate, just as the shape of a fountain is created anew out of the constant flow of water that gives it form” (Talbot 137). This notion of matter as a habit coincides with a semiotic habit in terms of Peirce via de Lauretis; it is a “meaning effect,” a “disposition, readiness (for action), a set of expectations” where the chain of meaning (or in this case the chain of substance) temporarily anchors itself (Alice Doesn’t 178).”  Thus both Eco’s notion of mapping or  “invention” which by establishing new codes transforms reality, and that of cognitive mapping which produces reality by “sensation, cognition, memory, an ordering and distribution of energy” (Alice Doesn’t 66), may be seen as part of the flux between implicate and explicate order. Should we now be talking about holosemiosis?  Semiosis  is also a flux, most of which is implicate, and only becomes explicate when “anchored” temporarily.  Signs are usually  depicted as functioning atomistically, as particles, and existing in chains.’ 8  Perhaps a more apt image of them might  The Derridian notions of écriture, trace, différance, 8 ‘ dissemination, plis, etc. have also been described as a chain of nonsynonymous substitutions that are part of a general economy of operations (“La Différance” 4; 13). What if one also imagined them as operating holographically, like fragments of a hologram? Or envisioned the flow between implicate and explicate order, the enfolding-unfolding process, as precisely a surface kinetics, a moire effect between figure and ground (Ulmer 39). Such a project is clearly beyond the bounds of this dissertation, but its possibilities are fascinating. One version of this project has  63 be as vortices, taking shape for a moment and then flowing into something new, yet still carrying enfolded past significations.  This has not been an attempt to provide a more concrete, because scientific, metaphysics of presence. been a temporary anchoring of an idea.  It has simply  The notion of a  holographic memory within a holomovement offers a slightly different angle from which to read not only feminist texts, but also, as the next chapter will illustrate, the issue of “dwelling” so central to post—colonial writing.  The project  of attempting to think differently, like an understanding of quantum physics, would seem to demand a radically different perspective on the nature of reality.  Bohm’s theory enables  an experimentation with one possibility that allows Brossard’s “utopia” to be read less as a naively idealist project than as one attempt at invention  —  an invention that  will not by itself assure women’s integration into reality, any more than a utopian vision would.  However that  invention does become more than merely “un temoignage utopique”: it offers a more practical means to “stimuler en  been suggested in an article by Zulma Nelly Martinez, “From a mimetic to a holographic paradigm in Fiction: toward a definition of feminist writing.” However, Martinez opts for an essentialist feminism and attempts to read both Derrida and Bohm in a manner that would support her definition of “Woman.”  64 nous une qualite d’émotion propice  a  notre insertion dans  l’histoire” (Picture Theory 85), because it traces the process by which that insertion may come about.  65 CHAPTER 2  Resurfacing: Quantum visions of shainanic transformations  Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing makes no reference to either holography or quantum physics in its development of a political strategy.  However, like Picture Theory, this  novel employs experimentation with language and memory to point towards a utopian integration of women into their environment.  Whereas Brossard strives to integrate women  into a socially constructed historical reality, Atwood turns to the natural world.  By establishing that a holographic  theory is also relevant to this text, I hope to show that this theory is not simply a product of one brilliant and innovative text (Picture Theory).  Rather, it designates a  cognitive strategy that may or may not be thematically treated, but is structurally at work in at least several other feminist texts, and may have even further—reaching implications.  Moreover, this chapter is not merely an  application of a theory to a text.  Surfacing adds to and  clarifies the holographic theory initiated in the first chapter; like a fragment of hologram, it reconstructs the virtual image from another perspective. The concerns in Surfacing are not limited to that text. They stretch back in time (or more precisely, enfold time)  66 to include Atwood’s rewriting of Susanna Moodie’s Roughing it in the Bush, and unfold again in a short story in her recent collection, Wilderness Tips.  I will begin with an  image from Journals of Susanna Moodie, an image of a woman who, like the virtual image constructed by Brossard’s hologram, can be glimpsed only periodically across Atwood’s written works.  Signs from underground  Picture two images superimposed within the domain of Canadian literature.  The first is the concluding collage in  Margaret Atwood’s Journals of Susanna Moodie.  It is the  shape of a woman with long hair, wearing a flowing dress; she is painted in water—colour, with little detail, and she is buried in the earth.  Below her lie different strata of  rock, and above her the straight line of a street surface. On that surface, drawn in precise lines, well—dressed people stroll down sidewalks in front of nineteenth century buildings.  There is a slight skew in perspective: the  street is over there, between the sidewalks.  She is here on  the other side where more buildings should be. is built, and nothing grows directly above her smooth, hard, flat surface.  Yet nothing -  just a  67 This figure of Susanna Moodie is haunted by another image, one depicted on the concluding page of Peter Such’s Riverrun.  This page is an excerpt from Such’s diary, the  date of which coincides with the date of publication of Riverrun.  The entry sings an elegy for Shawnadithit, the  last of the Beothuk people.  It recounts her death in 1829,  her burial, and the fact that her grave is lost; the cemetery has become a city street (145).’ The poems which follow Atwood’s collage compose a prophecy.  “Alternate Thoughts from Underground” brings the  collage into a modern Canadian city: “Down. hear  /  faintly laughter, footsteps;  /  Shovelled.  Can  the shrill of glass  and steel” (57:1—3). The voice of the buried woman prays, “0 topple this glass pride...” (11).  In “Resurrection,” she  has become one with “those who have become the stone  /  voices of the land” (59:18-19), who proclaim that “at the last  /  judgement we will all be trees” (24—25).  Finally,  ‘In a chapter entitled “Le cadavre sous la fondation de l’édif ice: la violence faite a la femme dans le roman contemporain” (236—264) in Ecrire dans la maison du père, Patricia Smart traces a similar image in Québec literature, maintaining that it is “fle] cadavre de la femme qui soutient l’édif ice représentationnel et culturel fondé sur l’économie du désir masculin” (249), that it is this representational edifice which has immobilized women and that feminist literature transforms representation by reaching towards a more fluid and semiotic image (255; 263). An interesting comparison might employ these images, as well as that which I discuss at the end of this chapter, to discuss the similarities/relationships between sexism and imperialism and the possible alliances between feminism and post-colonialism with regard to Canadian, Québec and First Nations literatures.  68 although entombed in “concrete slabs” have  /  my ways of getting through”  (60:7), she warns:  “1  (60:13-14), and concludes  by addressing her reader: Turn, look down: there is no city; this is the centre of a forest your place is empty (61:28-31) In the centre of a forest, at the beginning of Riverrun, the protagonist Nonosabasut trips over the roots of a tree or what he at first takes to be its roots.  —  Looking more  closely, he finds that he has stumbled upon the bones of an old woman intertwined with the roots.  He performs the  required ritual of respect by rubbing them with red ochre. In the preface to this novel, Such refers to its writing as the acknowledgement of a debt to these people, to their names (ix).  The names have become their bones and the  novel, the ochre. “At the last judgement we will all be trees.”  The  chiasmus formed by these two texts crosses between tree— rooted soil and concrete: the remains of Shawnadithit’s people, once part of the trees, are now trapped in concrete; and Susanna Moodie is made to prophesy the crumbling of that concrete and the return of the trees.  However, the Beothuk  people will not return; their silence is permanent.  That X  perpetuates its history of marking the disenfranchisement of First Nations peoples.  Atwood’s collage ironically entombs  Shawnadithit in concrete in an attempt to transform Susanna  69 Noodie into “the spirit of the land she once hated” (“Afterword” 64). Atwood’s collection of poems enacts what Terry Goldie has referred to as “indigenization” (73) by which the nonNative “goes Native” in order to belong to the land, or more aptly put, to “naturalize [he/ri appropriation of the land”  (Fee,  People” 24).  “Romantic Nationalism and the Image of Native In this process the Native sign is emptied of  2 signification; it has no other function but mediation.  At  the time of its writing, Atwood’s feminist and post-colonial revision of the figure of Susanna Moodie, Canada’s literary epitome of British colonization, was surprising, extremely effective and politically appropriate in that it filled a large gap in Canadian cultural and literary mythology.  She  reclaimed this author by listening to what she refers to as “that other voice running like a counterpoint through [Moodie’s] work”  (Journals 63).  However the image of  Shawnadithit becomes yet another (silent, silenced) voice running through Atwood’s work.  The voice of Shawnadithit,  through Such, exposes Atwood’s post—colonial act as an act  One might argue that all signs are empty, to the extent 2 that the signifier does not lead to its signified but only to another signifier (Goldie 68). I would answer such a Derridian argument with an analogy between the emptying of the sign of the native and Teresa de Lauretis’ critique of Derrida’s use one can agree with dissemination of the sign of the woman and also choose not to ignore the very material and historical effects of the temporary anchoring of a sign. —  70 of recolonization. 3  The last line of the Journals of  Susanna Moodie could well be speaking to the unheard voice of Shawnadithit, telling it,  “your place is empty.”  The need to indigenize in settler colonies is perhaps larger than the issue of post—colonialism.  The work of  Dennis Lee on this subject begins with a very specific and post—colonial awareness of a lack of “cadence” in Canadian writing (“Cadence Country Silence”); in his later work, Savage Fields, he expands the problem of “cadence” to deal with something that has been read as part of “the human condition”  (Blodgett,  “Authenticity and Absence: Reflections  on the Prose of Dennis Lee” 114).  The issue that links  “indigenization” with Lee’s work is that of “dwelling,” which Lee adopts from Heidegger.  Heidegger situates  dwelling in direct relation to Being by tracing the etymology from bauen to buan to bin: dwell,  I am:  ich bin, I build, I  “die Weise, nach der wir Menschen auf der Erde  sind, ist das Buan, das Wohnen” (141).  Thus to accept a  precomprehended Being is to solve the problem of dwelling: “Die eigentliche Not des Wohnens beruht darin, dass die Sterblichen das Wesen des Wohnens immer erst wieder suchen, dass sie das Wohnen erst lernen müssen”  (156).  3 S uch avoids appropriation by acknowledging the debt involved in writing his novel and by the fact that he does not, like Atwood, employ the Beothuk’s story for his own political ends.  71 It may be difficult for a non-Native (such as myself) to understand the words spoken so often by indigenous peoples, that “we are the land.”  I suspect that the attempt to  understand through conventional European modes of cognition is precisely part of the problem.  Yet to attempt to  deconstruct such a claim would be to reinscribe the violence already perpetrated on them.  I must therefore recognize  that their challenge to Western ontology simultaneously questions Jacques Derrida’s erasure of Being.  To move  directly from Being to trace (Spivak in Derrida, Qj Grammatology xv) is to forget the possibility that something similar to “dwelling” may exist outside the western metaphysical tradition. 4  For now, I can only set the  possibility of indigeneity aside as unrepresentable (Spivak, In Other Worlds 209), even unimaginable as yet, for me, and focus on dwelling as an issue of/for European immigrants. The problem of dwelling is not limited to post-colonial cultures; however, whether or not it is a “human” issue, or whether to treat it as such is a universalizing, Eurocentric act, are questions that extend beyond the bounds of this dissertation. Certainly, for post—colonial cultures, dwelling takes on an immediate, concrete and political importance.  And to consider the manner in which it is bound  For a discussion of the appropriation of the non—West 4 as anti—West by deconstructive critics, see Homi Bhabha, “The Other Question: difference, discrimination and the discourse of colonialism.”  72 up in the material forces of imperialist politics, economics and language,  and how literatures participate in  those forces, is to render it a post—colonial issue (Ashcroft et al.  29).  5 “Maps and dreams”: cognitive maps and inventive dreams  While the last collage in The Journals of Susanna Moodie is a spatial enactment of the indigenization of a nineteenth century colonial, Surfacing is its more contemporary narrative.  My analysis of this text will focus first on the  manner in which this novel’s post—colonial, nationalist and feminist agendas empty the sign of Native spirituality in order to employ it for their own purposes.  I will then  propose an alternative means of dealing with the problem of dwelling in Surfacing.  Métis and First Nations writers  such as Maria Campbell and Lee Maracle have admonished non— Natives to “find your own roots” (Griffiths and  by of a study the title and Dreams Maps 5 is anthropologist Hugh Brody which illustrates some cultural differences in cognitive mapping between First Nations and non—native peoples, and refers to “dream maps” of aboriginal shamanic has read the Weir space. Lorraine spiritual transformation in Surfacing as “Alcheringa,” the dream—time of the Australian aboriginal peoples, “the fundamental unity of the ground of being, a unitary system enfolding man and nature, past and present.... (“Atwood in a Landscape” 145). Finding that space-time unmappable, this chapter employs Bohm to invent another.  73 Campbell 34).  If an attempt to follow this advice results  in the acknowledgment that a contemporary theoretical standpoint denies me the practical use of those roots, I must find another way to deal with the problematic of dwelling in a post-colonial context.  The theoretical  apparatus initiated in the previous chapter provides a particularly western means of rereading the transformative strategies of Surfacing: semiotics and quantum physics, a holographic memory dwelling in a holomovement.  Western  science and technology may be used as narratives against themselves 6 First, Surfacing is undeniably a post-colonial text.  At  issue is the impossibility of dwelling on “[h)ome ground, foreign territory” (12).  Childhood, Canada and rural life  are portrayed with a Romantic nostalgia as somehow closer to the land, in contrast to urban, destructive “American” imperialism.  Yet the focus on “America,” regardless of how  generalized that term becomes (and also precisely because of  1n The Postmodern Condition 6 A Report on Knowledge (Manchester: Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi (trans. Manchester UP, 1979) 19-23), Jean-Francois Lyotard posits narrative as an alternative mode of knowledge to science. He adds that in oral societies where narrative dominates, ways of knowing are legitimized as products of actual social relations; there is no attempt, as there is in the case of western science, to separate out knowledge as ‘objective’ truth. One of the purposes of the present study isto make use of the explicitly narrative mode of knowledge upon which the science of quantum physicist David Bohm is based (amd which is closely related to “narrativity” in the semiotics of de Lauretis). I will return to this aspect of orality in my fourth chapter. -  74 how generalized it becomes) all but obscures other colonial situations at work in the text.  First, with regard to the  relation between francophones and anglophones, the protagonist’s focus on her own insecurity in the French language and her perception of the scorn of francophones when she tries to speak French in the grocery store (27-28) obscures the material fact that it is she who brings money into the economically depressed town.  She also portrays  herself as insecure (ironically, financially this time) as she rationalizes her participation in the translation, appropriation and revision of Québec culture: territory but I need the money” (57).  “it isn’t my  Secondly, there is  only one fleeting reference to “the others who used to come,” those whom the government had “corralled and put somewhere else” (92).  “Fleeting” is the appropriate term;  the rhetoric of the text denies these “others” material existence by portraying them “condensing as though from air” and then “disappearing.., as though they had never been there” (92).  Although the protagonist finally realizes  “how they must have hated us” (92), she makes no acknowledgement of her own “American”—ness with respect to these First Nations people.  Finally (and I will return to  this aspect), there is Atwood’s much documented appropriation of native pictographs to facilitate the protagonist’s vision—quest.  75 The protagonist’s motivation is that of members of all settler colonies feeling alienated from the land and experiencing a separation of language and place (Ashcroft et al.  9; 82).  However, with the spiritual transformation  marked by the attainment of the non-rational moment of dwelling, Atwood, like Lee, attempts to transcend the postcolonial in order to question the boundaries of humanity. English comes to stand for all human languages: foreign (161):  imported,  “[t]he animals have no need for speech, why  talk when you are a word”  (195).  According to Atwood, to be post-colonial is to claim psychic space.  She reads literature as a “geography of the  mind”; the post—colonial engages in an act of map-making (Survival 3).  Her reading of thematic patterns as such,  however, forms a mimetic model that her fiction ironically manages to reject (Weir,  “Atwood in a Landscape” 151).  As  with Brossard’s Picture Theory, a semiotic reading of the mapping process in Surfacing more fully develops ita political potential.  To read the memory system at work in  this text as a semiotic process of mapping is to trace a feminist movement from cognitive mapping to invention. However it is also to point to the sign which, making possible such an invention, is violently emptied of significance: that sign is found on the only physical map represented in the text, that locating the Ojibwa pictographs.  76 If cognitive mapping is “a mapping of visual space on to the substance of the brain’” (Blakemore 17), Surfacing adds the elements of time and memory to this process by superimposing maps; the protagonist’s journey north to find her missing father entails the mapping of a changed landscape over that of memory: “[n]othing is the same, I don’t know the way anymore” (13).  The landscape has become  a memory theatre, a map on which each sign or site (a road, a restaurant, a church, a sugar lump, the dock in front of her father’s cabin) becomes the repository of a memory image that is revealed analeptically.  The protagonist’s journey  is thus a memory walk, one that is rendered more and more complex as layers of memory and forgetting unfold.  For  example, the first sight of the dock in front of her cabin brings up the memory of her brother’s drowning, just as many other sites bring up childhood memories.  However, this  memory is followed by the realization that she should not be able to remember it; she was not yet born.  Her  rationalization in turn points to another site on a different level of the memory theatre: “...perhaps I did see it.  I believe that an unborn baby has its eyes open and can  look out through the walls of the mother’s stomach, like a frog in a jar” (34—5).  The frog in the jar points to her  brother’s laboratory in which he kept animals in jars, which in turn is connected to the protagonist’s repressed memories of her abortion.  77 In addition to “natural” workings of the memory by which sites bring up unbidden memories, a more “artificial” memory theatre (Yates 19) is put to work in the protagonist’s reading of the landscape. order to find her way:  Mnemonics are repeatedly used in  “it’s easy to lose the way if you  haven’t memorized the landmarks” (34); the brother’s secret, coded trail is now almost “illegible”  -  the memory of the  code is the only means of recognizing it (50, 141, 180). Blazes, beaver lodges, boulders, compost heaps, each is a memorized site, filed for use in orientation. According to Lorraine Weir, the “writing of places situates them within a rhetorical space, the space of discourse, rendering place textual [...and] assert[ingj the centrality of reader in text” (144).  Weir’s “Atwood in a  Landscape” outlines this deception of the memory theatre as the “assertion of a false centrality” by which “the writing of place divides man from ‘his’ world” (144).  She then goes  on to point out the manner in which, in Atwood’s “border country,’ this deception becomes obvious” (144). It is precisely the non—coincidence of the memory—map with present geography (“Those weren’t here before,” 14; “suddenly there’s a thing that isn’t supposed to be there,” 17) that brings up repressed memories and begins a transformation of the memory theatre.  More specifically,  there is only one map whose function the protagonist does not understand, for which she has no cognitive equivalent  78 : the map 11 and therefore which she at first labels “insane locating/not locating the pictographs, which is the map that leads her to enter the memory theatre.  In border country  one realizes the non—coincidence between the view of a map and from within that map (34). memorizer become confused. holographic,  “I”  Images, places and the  When the memory theatre becomes  becomes a place (195).  Self and place actually begin to conflate earlier, at the moment in which the different layers of the memory theatre unfold.  Despondent at lacking emotions, at having  had to memorize them in order to mimic others (another use of mnemotechnics), the protagonist remembers having, as a child, pricked herself with pen—nibs and compasses, “instruments of knowledge” (120) and of mapping.  This  memory leads to that, still repressed, of her abortion: They slipped the needle into the vein and I was falling down, it was like diving, sinking from one layer of darkness to a deeper, deepest; when I rose up through the anaesthetic, pale green and then daylight, I could remember nothing. (120-21) This memory in turn becomes a site in the memory theatre of the text itself, as it is up to the reader to map this image onto the protagonist’s actual dive in the lake: Pale green, then darkness, layer after layer, deeper than before ... the water seemed to have thickened, in it pinprick lights flickered and darted. (152)  am indebted to Lucie Bradacova from my class on Canadian Literature at Simon Fraser University (1992) for pointing out the correlation between these two passages.  79 In the echoes between these two passages, the map of the The  world (the lake) and that of her body/mind coincide. protagonist becomes a place, a memory theatre, and the  memories sparked by her dive lead to a realization of what actually happened to her.  In hindsight the text also  becomes a map not only of the island, but of her past, as moments in the text, her brother’s drowning, the animals in his “laboratory,” the fountain in the town,  incongruous  metaphors such as “amputation” (46) for divorce, and the reference to the giving up of her baby as having it “sliced away”  (52) become mnemonic sites for the reader.  With this moment of integration of human and non—human also comes a transformation of the form and function of cognitive maps, as well as the language of mapping.  The map  locating the pictograph is no longer so scientifically precise; it has transformed from map to invention, marking “sacred places  ...  new places, new oracles  ...  like stepping  through a usual door and finding yourself in a different galaxy, purple trees and red moons and a green sun”  (155—6).  The names of plants along the trail, which earlier supplanted the plants themselves (“I keep my eyes on the ground, names re—appearing...” 53), fade “but their forms and uses remaining, the animals learned what to eat without nouns”  (160).  Borders, fences and walls (including that of logic, 187) are to be rejected, first literally, as the “new rules”  80 gradually prohibit the protagonist from entering enclosed spaces (194).  Then, even rationality is rejected through  this repeated blurring of the borders between self and other and self and place; there can no longer be a rational point of view (181), since both rationality and a point of view would require a “self” to be situated in a specific location in time and space.  The protagonist enters a period of  “earth-dwelling” (Weir,  “Atwood in a Landscape” 150).  This spiritual transformation has already been criticized for the recolonization implicit in its use of the Ojibwa pictographs (Godard, “Listening for the Silence” 134; Fee,  “Romantic Nationalism” 16; Guédon 91—110).  Surfacing  is an early example of a vogue of feminist vision quests or shamanic initiations “wherein the Native woman (or man) [or sign] initiates a white woman into various Native religious practices through which she attains her creative and personal “identity” (Godard “The Politics of Representation” 190).  In fact, the novel is often cited  briefly as a typical example of this kind of appropriation. However, the easy dismissal of the text by contemporary post-colonial critics ignores both the complexity and the powerful political implications of Surfacing. In “Atwood in a Landscape,” an article written before the notion of “appropriation” became an issue in Canada, Lorraine Weir remarks upon the profound implications of the transformative strategy offered by Surfacing (154n)  81 and produces an elegant reading of that transformation. Entering into a dialogue with Heidegger and Dennis Lee, Weir produces a feminist reading of the issue of dwelling in earth and world, suggesting that Atwood provides at least a partial solution to the problem of “savage fields” through access to the shamanic tradition (147; 154n).  Weir follows  the protagonist of Surfacing to the pictographs, to the “border of revelation, accessible only to those who have left world and assented to earth, to the integration of the human with the non—human, to an ethic of participation rather than that of domination” (147), and to the materiality of language.  Thus Weir, like Blodgett and Lee,  generalizes the problem of dwelling to a human issue.  For  her the problem becomes the “violence of writing” and of representation (151).  Weir claims that “to be drained of  the blood of language (the blood which is the bliss of the text in potentia, the claim of language on the body) is to be capable of colonization” (149).  In opposition to this  separation of language and body, subject and earth, dwelling is “the sparing and preserving of that which is most deeply human and of earth mediated not by world..., but by the text of flesh, the body’s capacity for earth—dwelling” (150). Today, post—colonialism complicates the previously generalized problem of “dwelling,” Atwood’s feminist proposal for a solution to that problem and Weir’s elucidation of Atwood.  Because if Atwood’s “system is one  82 whose shamans are women”  (Weir 150), and those women are  white, then they are appropriating that shamanic tradition and reenacting colonial domination.’ Even more ironic is the fact that Atwood’s narrator— protagonist requires another sign of mediation between herself and the Native sign.  When she first encounters the  drawings she cannot make sense of them and thus considers them to be the acts of an insane (and white) man. Incredibly,  it is academic prose that must interpret them  for her, impart meaning to these empty signs.  And that  prose is written by a person whose gender is left ambiguous but who speaks the masculine voice of reason (110-11). Rather than the spiritual information passing “from one woman to another” (Weir 151), the rituals of fasting and of leaving clothing as an offering (155) are suggested to the protagonist by that prose, further emptying those Native signs. My goal then, in rereading this text,  is to bring  together the readings of Weir, Godard, and others, that is, to ally feminism with post-colonialism in Atwood’s text.  use the term “appropriation” both deliberately and hesitantly: under erasure. In this dissertation, the word is inaccurate to the extent that it presupposes the concepts of property, propriety and authenticity, which are part of an identity politics (and which Derrida critiques in “Des Tours de Babel”). However “appropriation” is also a necessary concept to recognize the enormous imbalance of power, of historical and physical conditions of production and of access to publishing and to goods between, for example, an author such as Margaret Atwood and Native artists.  83 Agreeing with Weir that Surfacing merits more attention in contemporary post—colonial criticism than a brief citation as a typical example of white western feminist appropriations of Native culture, I propose another reading of the text, one that attempts to work parallel to Native ecological politics by developing the text’s anti-humanist implications.  This would acknowledge the importance of  Atwood’s conflation of feminist and ecological concerns with Native spirituality.  My intention here is to expand upon  Atwood’s extremely innovative and effective political strategies by “post-colonializing” them.  In this, while I  cannot make amends for Surfacing ‘s colonialist ideology, I can acknowledge a debt to the Native ideologies by refusing to perpetuate their appropriation.  Thus I now turn my  attention away from the appropriation of Native signs and, detouring back into my own culture, focus on the map on which they are found.  Dwelling” in a holographic memory theatre  It is that map and the process of mapping that it signifies, even more than the pictographs which it supposedly locates, that marks the transformation of the protagonist.  The map is at once nonsense and science;  geometrically precise and vaguely spiritual; referential and  84 symbolic.  It transforms science into narrative:  science/f iction’.  Both the map and the drawings are  destroyed (190), but the process of mapping remains inscribed in memory.  And the different translations of the  significance of the map signal the transformations in cognitive mapping undergone by the protagonist.  The map is  the door (156) through which she steps into and becomes her own memory theatre. It is at the moment when the map ceases to function “properly,” that is, when it ceases to be locational (155) and begins to invent, that the two cognitive maps, that inscribed in memory and that in process, begin to coincide. It is as if one, superimposed on the other, were slightly skewed so that the lines did not match. them up.  The “vision’ 1 lines  After this moment, ironically when the map and the  drawings finally make sense (155), the protagonist enters a period of “non—sense,” which her companions call insanity; Guédon calls it “a moment of coherence” (110) and Weir, “earth—dwelling.”  But what exactly does that period entail?  ‘Purple may trees notwithstanding, this (156) be considered another conflation of Lyotard’s distinction between scientific and narrative modes of knowledge (see n6 above). ‘°The moment at which the protagonist states that the map finally makes sense (155) is that which makes the least sense to the reader. Thus the reader, as well as the protagonist, must acknowledge the deception of he/r centrality (Weir 144). as invention Here, Theory, is in Picture Brossard’s characterized by a strategy that moves from sense to a non sense that must be “entered” before it finally begins to make a different kind of sense.  85 Yet a closer reading of the  Self and place conflate.  examples of precisely how they do so enacts another transformation, that of the notion of “earth—dwelling.” In fact, transformation is the key, as everything keeps changing into something else.  With abolition of the  distinction between self, world and map; the protagonist has become a part of her own memory theatre, and that theatre is holographic; she has entered into the holomovement. As discussed in the first chapter (43-55), the notion of a holomovement is central to the theory of quantum physicist David Bohm, a theory that deals with Werner Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle in a brilliant, if controversial, manner.  Bohm claims that just as on the sub—atomic level  particles are actually waves that only manifest themselves as particles when we look at them, our perception of reality is also conditioned by our atomistic outlook. always already an abstraction.  Perception is  The accepted theories of  quantum mechanics cannot deal with process, only with “freeze frames” of matter.  Bohm attempts to deal with  process, and thus with the inplications of space-time, by postulating an “implicate order” that like a hologram is formed of patterns of waveform interference fringes: swirls, whorls and vortices, like whirlpools in a river.  “Things,”  which Bohm refers to as “relatively autonomous subtotalities,” are abstractions; they appear to have substance in the “explicit” order but that substance is  86 illusory or at best temporary.  The implicate order also  enfolds time so that the past is not irrevocably gone, merely enfolded so that it is not immediately visible. I must stress that in applying Bohm’s theory to this text I am not making a claim to another universality or truth, that of science.  Nor am I attempting to produce a  different, more scientific and thus even more generalizing discussion of the issue of “dwelling” as part of the human condition.  One of the most important aspects of Bohm’s  theory is the fact that it profoundly questions scientific knowledge as truth, or even as “descriptions of the world as it is” (Bohm 7).  It is a very provisional sort of “mapping”  that also questions the nature of mapping.  Thus it  counteracts the empiricist and imperialist tendencies of western science.  In this instance I am simply using it as a  strategy for rereading Surfacing. With the holomovement in mind, consider the following moments in Atwood’s novel:  Surfacing exposes perception as deception  —  “if our  bodies lived in the earth with only the hair sprouting up though the leafmould [like mushrooms) it would seem as if that was all we were...” (160).  This realization leads the narrator to reason that the purpose of coffins is to stop the dead from spreading  87 and changing into something else (160).  Her parents,  especially her father whose body has not been found, have gone back to the earth, air and water (202).  Her father has been transformed from a surveyor imposing geometry on the land (200)” to an enfolded “presence” that “wants it ended, the borders abolished, he wants the forest to flow back into the places his mind cleared: reparation” (201).  The protagonist’s body becomes place as both the palm of her hand and her brain become networks of trails (140; 170) and she claims:  “I am part of the  landscape, I could be anything, a tree, a deer skeleton, a rock” (201).  Conversely, place becomes body: “everything is waiting to become alive” (170); the sunset “pal[es) to flesh webs, membrane” (171); worms become the veins of the earth (193); and the protagonist hears “breathing, withheld, observant, not in the house but all around  “Geometry, the basis of mapmaking, is what the protagonist has to eliminate: “the circles and arrogant square pages” (190). Ironically she can only “X” out the samsonite case imposing a geometrical and rhetorical figure on it and also providing me with an introduction to this chapter. Would of the it be possible to offer another reading of this text “chaos” of the transformation and its mapping on the basis of fractal, rather than Euclidean, geometry? —  -  88 it” (187).  As she remarks that decaying trees give  birth to flowers, she notices that her “body also changes, the creature in [her], plant—animal, sends out [she] multipl[iesj (180).  filaments in [her]...  She and her canoe become two beings, hiding together, referred to as “we,” “the two of us... boat and arms one movement, amphabian [sic]” (179).  And a frog, in its  role in evolutionary history, and perhaps also in a more radical way, “includes” her (193).  Jays swoop through the trees, “the air forming itself into birds” (196).  Boulders  —  once reliable memory sites leading to the  “laboratory” (179)  -  “float, melt, everything is made of  water, even the rocks”  (195).  Later those boulders  “have pulled themselves back into the earth (199).  The abolition of borders leads not only from “things” to “relatively autonomous subtotalities,” but also to nonlocality; the map which specifically located a drawing of an antlered figure on White Birch Lake (113) suddenly marks generally sacred places, even on another planet (156).  89 Perception is deceiving.  Humans, trees, rocks, the air  itself, spread and transform into something else.’ 2  The  protagonist’s parents have each been “enfolded” into their surroundings, to reappear for a moment in a different form and disappear again. The forest flows; it is as if everything is made of water: floating and melting.  The time  span of the evolution of humanity is enfolded in the space between the protagonist lying on the grass and the frog that “includes” her.  It includes her as well because it is her;  they are both part of the holomovement. Finally, how can a map be one—dimensional, other than as the representation of a waveform?: “unscrolling, one—dimensional map thickening into stone and wood around Consider the ubiquitous motif of lines and  us” (118). filaments  —  one—dimensional waves  —  as hair becomes  “filaments plants” growing out of the earth (160); the protagonist’s palm becomes a network of trails (170); filaments, trails in her brain reconnect and branch (140); the sunset is a web of lines (171); and her fetus sends out filaments within her (180).  These filaments point to the  waves of the implicate order, as well as to the holographic functioning of the brain, a hologram enfolded in a hologram,  1n her Feminine Fictions: Revisiting the Postmodern, 2 ‘ Patricia Waugh notes a similar, although less developed and less positive, merging women’s bodies and their of environments in The Edible Woman and Lady Oracle (179-89).  90 as nerves branch and synapses fire, creating electromagnetic wave interference (Goleman 72). Surfacina enters the holomovement on a linguistic level as well.  In order to counter the fragmenting effect of  Western languages that separate and subordinate subject and object, David Bohm has created a language based on verbs, which he refers to as the “rheomode”: a language that, rather than reflecting reality, participates in it. “In one of the languages there are no nouns, held for a longer moment” (Surfacing 195).  just verbs  Like Bohm,  Atwood explores the alternatives to a “language [that) divides us into fragments” (157). Wanting to be whole (157), but convinced that “a language is everything you do” (139), the protagonist at first looks to animals for a way out of the fragmentation of language: “the animals learned what to eat without nouns” (160); “animals have no speech, why talk when you are a word” (194).  This leads to an assertion  of the materiality of language (Weir, “Atwood in a Landscape” 149-150); the protagonist must immerse herself in the other language, an act which is fatal if one remains human (170), because it denies a separation between human and non—human.  The materiality of language leads to  experimentation with language, and a recognition of substance as process: •  I lean on a tree, I am a tree leaning I am not an animal or a tree, I am the thing in which the trees and animals move and grow, I am a place (195).  91 And yet the protagonist cannot reject language, and finally returns to the “human” world of discourse.  In this,  according to anthropologist Marie-Françoise Guédon, she finally rejects full integration with earth (l07—l09).’ However, to read Surfacing holographically is to permit the integration of human and non—human to outlast the (and, as I will argue, the  protagonist’s sojourn in earth, conclusion of the novel).  Having realized that she cannot  remain in the animal world, and even as she re—enters the world of “civilisation,” the protagonist points in the direction of a more radical Bohmian kind of dwelling. Language as “word furrows,  ...  untravelled paths” (205) in  the proto—brain of the fetus within her conflates word, forest, flesh and wave patterns.  The implicate order of  holomovement, which this reading proposes as an alternative to the shamanic tradition, may be heard clearly in the “waves talking against the shore, multilingual water” (192).  ‘ G 3 uédon’s article points to possibilities for further research on affinities between the holomovement and Native epistemologies: “For the North American Indian cultures nature is at once part of the human mind and a personalized fraction of the universe.... Nature .. is a manner of seeing” (101-102). She writes that in Ojibwa-Cree culture, animals, plants, rock and water, “everyone human and non—human interacts with everyone else,” a process that can be perceived only in a “moment of coherence” (109) because Man [sic] does not have ready access to all of reality. Bohm may yet provide a way to read such a cosmology without appropriating it. —  —  92 “At the last judgement we will all be trees”  As mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, to read Surfacing through a holographic memory system is to expand that memory beyond the covers of that novel.  Th  Atwood’s  Journals of Susanna Moodie begins with a picture of the narrator in the act of cutting out her eyes so that “where my eyes were,  / every— / thing appears” (7).  Her loss is  A form of perception  only that of conventional sight (25).  that requires separation from the perceived is replaced by “everything,” a union between self and environment. holomovement, like “moving water[,] reflection” (11).  The  will not show me  / my  And when Moodie finally looks in a  mirror, she sees herself transforming into a tree and adds, in an elegant repetition of Bohm’s critique of “objective” perception, (you find only the shape that you already are but what if you. have forgotten that or discover you have never known.) (25) That possibility is the impetus for Surfacing, and the image of Moodie becoming a tree is the precursor of the transformation in Surfacing.  That transformation also  includes a rejection of mirrors (because “reflection intrudesJ between my eyes and vision,” 188) and yet, because the protagonist finally decides to rejoin “humanity,” the novel concludes with another mirror image  93 that carries only the memory of a tree, in the leaves and twigs tangled in the protagonist’s hair (205). Yet that memory, and Atwood’s holographic memory system, are not forgotten.  Almost twenty years are enfolded in the  space between Surfacing and the short story collection, Wilderness Tips.  The story “Death by Landscape” rewrites  the transformation that began in Journals of Susanna Moodie and was finally rejected in Surfacing.  This time that  transformation is accomplished without resorting to recolonization: “Death by Landscape” acknowledges that to take a Native name or impersonate a Native person or spiritual rite is “a form of stealing” (110).  And then this  story takes the transformative moment one step further into the holomovement.  Paintings of The Group of Seven remind  the protagonist of the presumed death of a childhood friend in the woods.  The protagonist reflects upon the whereabouts  of her friend’s body:  “because she is nowhere definite, she  could be anywhere” (121) and suspects that her friend, like Susanna Moodie, has become a tree.  And yet “the trees  themselves are hardly trees; they are currents of energy, charged with violent colour” (121).  94  and those who have become the stone voices of the land shift also and say  at the last judgement we will all be trees (Atwood, Journals 59)  95 CHAPTER 3  Looking for livingstone in Marlene Nourbese Philip’s Looking for Livingstone  For Africans in the Caribbean and the Americas, be/longing anywhere is problematic. The only peoples who ... are the who be long here be(truly)long here Native peoples. ... {T]he African did not choose to come, but was forced to come as a consequence of one of the most cruel enterprises in history, the trans Atlantic trade in Africans.... Five hundred years! Africans be long here now. Sometimes it appears we be too long here, but there is nowhere else to go. (Nourbese Philip, Frontiers 22-3) —  —  With my maps, my body and my silence, I followed Livingstone.” (Nourbese Philip, Livingstone 16)  Livingstone: “the boulders float, melt, everything is The transformative  made of water” (Atwood, surfacing 195).  moment in Surfacing marks a change in perception; what was once perceived as static, inorganic, and thus a reliable reference point on a cognitive map suddenly becomes a “relatively autonomous subtotality,” a moment in the holomovement that can at any other moment become re—enfolded out of perception.  Marlene Nourbese Philip traces that same  movement in the opposite direction, responding that “Stone mourns  /  haunted  /  into shape and form  /  by its loss...”  96 (“Testimony Stoops to Mother Tongue,” She Tries Her Tongue 78).  For Nourbese Philip, as for David Bohm, it is  “the word” that haunts stone into the static form of its own shrine (“Testimony” 79).’  And because she is dealing with  language in a specific racist and post—colonial context, that of the kidnapping and exportation of Africans into slavery, she adds that it is “the word [that] kinks hair flattens noses  /  thickens lips  /  /  designs prognathous jaws  shrinks the brain” (78), and turns tongue to stone (80).  / In  Looking for Livingstone, the proper noun “Livingstone” comes to represent “the word” which perpetrates a double violence. Language as representation renders stone its own shrine and Livingstone’s “discovery” of Africa was the imposition of the European word upon that place and its peoples, rendering tongue stone.  And yet if this word is read as a common  noun, it promises another transformation, one not unlike that in Atwood’s Surfacing, in which tongue turned to stone transforms itself again into livingstone. “Tongue turned to stone” conveys the impossibility of “dwelling” in language.  According to Nourbese Philip, the  African in the New World has been forced into a specifically problematic position with regard to language.  In the  ‘Susan Knutson points out that Brossard also employs a motif of women turned to stone (immobilized) by a masculinist epistemology (Knutson 153), of memory enfolded in stone (260) and finally, I would add, of livingstone: “ii y a la pierre parlante ... la pierre utopique (Brossard, Picture Theory 88).  97 introductory essay to her poetry collection She Tries Her Tongue, she explains her semiotic theory of art, which is based on the “i—mage.”  Like “be/longing,” “i—mage”  incorporates the Caribbean demotic; it also privileges the “I,” claiming subject-hood for peoples with a history of being excluded from it.  For Nourbese Philip, the word is  the tangible presentation of the i—mage and poetic invention is formed by the tension between the two: i-mage to word, word to further i-mage, etc.  (14).  However, African—  Caribbean people were denied their own language: they were silenced and so lost “the capacity to create in [their] own i—mage” (15), to represent themselves.  2 an To logologize  otherwise theological choice of words, in semiotic terms their capacity for the invention of new habits was blocked. They could no longer produce new identifications; they could not change.  Their only choice was to adopt European  languages and thus ironically, when the word/i-mage equation was attempted again, this process would take place through a language that was not only experientially foreign, but also etymologically hostile and expressive of the non—being of the African. To speak another language is to enter another consciousness. Africans in the New World were compelled to enter another consciousness, that of their masters, while simultaneously being excluded from their own. The paradox at the heart of the acquisition of this language is that the African learned both to speak and to be dumb at the same time, to give voice to the experience and i—mage, yet remain silent... (15—16):  0n logology, see Kenneth Burke’s 2 Rhetoric of Religion.  introduction to Th  98 to speak with a stone tongue. Nourbese Philip argues that the New World African artist must create in he/r own i—mage, and name that i—mage which “will eventually heal the word wounded by the dislocation and imbalance of the word—i—mage equation language our own” (21).  ——  make the  Looking For Livingstone is her  attempt at healing that wound.  It is a quest novel with a  double quest, a memory walk that conflates “the dark continent” of Africa with a self, that of The Traveller (narrator/protagonist): “I will open the way into the interior or perish” (7).  Armed only with “primitive” (7)  and often incomprehensible maps, she searches for Livingstone, visiting the many peoples who have been silenced by European colonization, the ancestors to whom the novel is dedicated.  Looking for Livingstone explores the  different silences of African peoples, imposed and strategic, and weaves them together into the Silence of the narrator.  “Silence” is an ambiguous term that attempts to  transcend the opposition between word and silence and offer an alternative to the political strategies of each.  As the  capital letter signals, Silence is also a transcendent term; it is a form of belonging, of dwelling. functions as a proper noun  -  Silence also  it is the only thing that is  “proper” to The Traveller, that which Livingstone could neither impose nor appropriate (65). powerful recuperative strategy.  As such it is a  Like Brossard’s utopia and  99 Atwood’s shamanic transformation, Nourbese Philip’s political program incorporates a constructivist theory of language, but finds a solution in an ontotheological position. However, to read Livingstone (and “Livingstone”) improperly, that is, through a holographic memory in which the opposition between organic and inorganic (living and stone) is less evident, is to perceive another alternative to that Silence.  Such a reading counteracts the  transcendence of Silence and provides an alternative political strategy for Looking for Livingstone. To read Livingstone as livingstone is to read this novel as a memory system based on Jacques Derrida’s mémoire radicale, a memory that is future-oriented, in which the proper noun is inseparable both from its semantic equivalent and from memory, and in which memory is a form of mourning that incorporates the trope of prosopopeia. 3  Derrida’s work  on memory has as yet been more or less “enfolded” into this discussion of holography, cognitive mapping and holomovement.  Looking for Livingstone permits a Derridean  memory to “unfold” into this theory, and a Derridean deconstruction of Silence leads to livingstone.  Barbara Godard’s article, “En mémoire de l’avenir: les 3 strategies de transformation dans la narration de Jovette Marchessault” makes use of a Derridean memory system that, although it is not holographic, functions in a manner very similar to that which I develop here.  100 In search of Silence  Like the transformative memory systems of de Lauretis, Brossard and Atwood, Looking for Livingstone begins with a reconsideration of the process of cognitive mapping.  The  narrator/protagonist sets out on her quest carrying a collection of maps and a mirror.  Maps and self—  representation: “I will open a way to the interior or perish” (7).  However, it is interesting to note that that  mirror plays no further role in the novel; after this brief appearance on the first page, it is immediately forgotten. it i as if the narrative itself belies this insistence on the issue of self—representation.  As self and environment  conflate, there is no more need for representation and the mirror is discarded.  The maps, the word, Livingstone,  Africa and the protagonist cannot be definitively separated: they are livingstone. The novel takes the form of the travel diary of the protagonist, who is referred to only as The Traveller, and this only in the concluding “author’s note” (which deploys the convention of a “found” diary).  This unnamed Traveller  journeys through an Africa in which time and space are radically altered.  There is no attempt at realism in this  “imaginary,” circular space-time.  The first entry of the  Traveller’s diary is dated “the first and last day” of “the first and last month” of “the first year of our word” (7).  101 Through substitution, “word” is introduced here as a God— term (Burke 2), a transcendental signified which will be forced to function against itself as the novel takes up that word again in order to condemn its imposition.  Although  there is some chronological progression, the journal jumps back and forth in time (by billions of years), and only rarely provides translations into “real” time. difficult to ascertain how the maps work 4  —  It is also  even The  Traveller finds them to be of little use (10, 15)  -  as the  journey takes a circular (10) and repetitive path and The Traveller encounters different peoples, each named, anagrammatically, SILENCE. “With my maps, my body, and my silence, I followed Livingstone” (16) in search of Silence: in its belonging  /  know it again” (9).  “I re  /  cognize it  /  Because a silence  that is imposed is experienced as a prison sentence, the narrator claims that it can be parsed: in the possible independence of Silence  (59) “I am interested -  independent of  These maps, like the mirror, lose their effectiveness as 4 self conflates with environment. This could be the message of the elderly woman who gives The Traveller a map and then points to her chest (15-16). In order to “open a way into the interior” (7) without repeating the conventional use of a map as a tool of domination and colonization, The Traveller must interiorize it as a cognitive map? For a discussion of other subaltern peoples for mapping strategies employed by resistance purposes, see Graham Huggan’s doctoral dissertation on “Maps and Mapping Strategies in Contemporary Canadian and Australian Fiction.” —  102 word. Silence  Is there a philosophy, a history, an epistemology of —  or is it merely an absence of word”? (71)  Her attempts to parse that silence begin with an exploration of the different forms of the word/silence opposition; sometimes she maintains it, sometimes collapses This inquiry into silence  it, and finally deconstructs it.  takes place on two different levels.  The novel is a mixture  of prose and poetry, the former producing the narrative and the latter commenting on it.  The narrative recounts the  travels of the protagonist and her encounters with the silences of the different peoples she meets.  She learns of  their origin myths, which include a battle for the primacy of silence and word (11—12); elsewhere, the opposition is However, gradually the  stereotyped as male/female (25).  word is abandoned as The Traveller also learns that there is a language of silence; she undergoes a transformation not unlike that of Atwood’s protagonist, in which she experiences silence as the language of the body, and of the land (35—7).  She is forced to undergo several rituals of  silence: first she must escape a circle of silence (36—8), then she undergoes a sweat lodge ritual (42-3), and finally is locked in a room full of wool and told to “piece together the words of (my) silence” (50)  —  a parsing of sorts.  It is  this process which finally rejects an opposition between word and silence and weaves them together: neither word using what we all have, word and silence weave, alone, nor silence alone, but word and silence —  —  103 patch, sew together and remember it is your silence all yours, untouched and uncorrupted. The word does not belong to you it was owned and whored by others long, long before you set out on your travels but to use your silence you have to use the word you need the word to weave your silence. (52) —  —  ...  ...  ...  It is also during this process that she becomes aware of another primary or originary Silence: separate strands or threads important as the other.  —  “there were two  word and silence  —  each as  To weave anything I first had to  make the separation, and before I could do that, I needed to find my own Silence” (54). silence is a physical state imposed by European languages, that which was stolen, “haunted into shape and form,” and reified in museums (57).  In contrast, Silence is  ontological, ontotheological, precomprehended, as the epigram suggests: “Silence is.  /  Always” (5).  The discovery  of her own Silence renders silence material, allows the Traveller to explore its colors (55), and when she enters the Museum of Silence which displays all the stolen silences of the peoples of Africa, she experiences their silences as tangible as well: “a structure, an edifice I could walk around, touch, feel, lick even” (57).  The museum becomes  for her a memory theatre, reminding her of the silence of each of the peoples she has visited. When she finally confronts Livingstone, the silence between words becomes clearly evident (60).  Livingstone is  indispensable to The Traveller, because in “discovering” her  104 silence, in “bringing it out for all to see”  (63), he forced  her to “set out to find her interior, the source of her silence, which was he perhaps” (63).  Yet what she finds is  not only her silence but also her Silence. the source of African silence, but also, source of the Traveller’s Silence.  Livingstone is  ironically, the  Through a process of  repetition and displacement, repeating and displacing the phrase:  “I will open the way into the interior or perish’”  (7), The Traveller replaces silence with Silence.  It is  through another repetition and displacement, one that I will soon trace in more detail, that this Silence reveals itself as Livingstone once again -in that it replaces the Word as an ontotheological concept.  However, to repeat and displace  Silence one more time is to reach livingstone. It is thus through Livingstone that The Traveller reaches towards livingstone.  This is signalled in the  narrative as she does not call him Livingstone, but rather “Livingstone-I-presume”  (62) which signals all that he  presumed: although Livingstone was said to have made “the greatest triumph in geographical research” (32), Stanley points out that all of his maps were unreliable; his research was dependent on the knowledge of native guides (32).  More importantly,  “Livingstone-I-presume”  signals the presumption of all acts of naming: perception is presumption.  It is Livingstone who stresses the stoniness,  the thing-ness of things by his inability to comprehend how  105 one can discover silence: “it’s not a thing like a river, The  or a waterfall or a country,” he claims (69).  Traveller responds by explaining how language transforms those rivers, waterfalls, countries and silence into objects: “[y]ou captured and seized the Silence you found possessed it like the true discoverer you were  —  —  dissected  and analyzed it; labelled it” (69-70).  From Silence to livingstone  La force dislocatrice de la déconstruction se trouvant toujours déjà localisée dans l’architecture de l’oeuvre, il n’y aurait en somiue, devant ce toujours déjà, qu’a faire oeuvre de mémoire pour savoir déconstruire.... Les textes se déconstruisent d’eux-mêmes, il suff it de se le rappeler ou de se les rappeler.” (Derrida, Mémoires pour Paul de Man 83, 123)  In counterpoint to this relatively straightforward quest narrative of The Traveller’s search for Livingstone and her Silence, the poetry sections circle back, at each appearance commenting on or questioning the claims of the narrative. For example, if the narrative sets up an opposition between word and silence, a poem will question the “either/or” of that opposition (13).  The poetry thus functions as a kind  of memory, une mémoire pensante (Derrida, Mémoires 54): memory as thought, active, bringing itself to bear on the assumptions of the narrative.  This memory also reaches  106 further back than the narrative; as the narrative attempts to map the silence of African peoples, the poetic sections attempt to map silence before the “fall” into knowledge, into language.  It is also a future—oriented memory,  reaching further forward in the narrative, to Silence, before the narrative actually gets there; and this memory deconstructs that Silence, reaching beyond the narrative itself towards livingstone.  The poetic sections circle  ahead and back in the narrative, forming a memory that is simultaneously past and future-oriented, as well as spatial in that it is at work simultaneously throughout the entire text: nonlocal, this memory functions in space—time. The origins of language and of the universe, the big bang, conflate in the image of a stone dropped in water, causing widening circles (17—18).  The image reverberates,  including not only the big bang, but also the directions of The Traveller’s voyage and the contour lines of a map (18). The poems, interspersed throughout the narrative, also act as stones dropped, their imagery causing widening circles that comment on, complement or condense the narrative. “[Tjhe silence of  /  stone  /  dropped” (18) causes further  widening of the circles: The Traveller eventually learns the language of silence (35) which enables her to hear the silence of stone dropped, of livingstone. There are, however, things that she still cannot perceive, as she remarks to Livingstone that female  107 elephants call males at a frequency so low that humans cannot hear it (73).  What else is happening that humans do  not perceive? “{T]he boulders float, melt, everything is made of water” (Atwood, Surfacing 195).  Stone and water, stone that  melts into water, changing into something else: “the silence of stone dropped” combines with the circles of influence of stone, “haunted into shape and form” to enter Bohiu’s holoiuovement: the widening circles, the vortices, the waves themselves silent because unperceived.  When The Traveller  finally meets Livingstone she points out to him that a “fact” is “whatever anyone, having the power to enforce it, says is a fact. Falls.  ...  Fact  —  Livingstone discovered Victoria  [Tjhat is a lie, and a fact” (67).  With the  recognition of the possibility of livingstone, facts, like melting boulders and livingstone, are no longer hard and immutable. The poetic exploration of origins leads to the mathematics and physics necessary to compute the equations of silence, which “explode and wave simile  /  /  /  atomic and subatomic  of silence” and “rests  /  particle  in the ‘is like’ of  defies the is in silence of star  (22—3).  /  /  planet  /  galaxy  Quantum physics and cosmology conflate and, as  David Bohm contends, the language of physics is also at a loss in its attempt to describe reality; essentially allegorical, it can only represent what it “is like.” Yet  108 although livingstone is out of the reach of language, that “is like” is an extremely powerful means of control, producing atomic bombs, gulags and bantustans. However, that power is slightly weakened when it is exposed as a means of control rather than a description of reality, because at least there is the possibility of resistance to that power through different constructions of reality.  The possibility of livingstone offers a strategy  other than control.  Like the protagonist in Surfacing, The  Traveller must finally reject the imposition of Euclidean When she is faced with a  geometry on a chaotic reality.  circle drawn in the dirt, the string with which she attempts to measure the diameter and circumference turns into a snake and then an umbilical cord. “[S]tring corde raide” (Brossard, Picture Theory (191): linear measurements no 5 longer apply; a new method of mapping is required.  She  becomes trapped inside the circle, inside her own measurements, until a “thought came to [her], it wasn’t even a thought  -  an impulse perhaps  -  unbidden...” (36):  Brossard’s subliminal thought—hologram or Bohm’s perception: a flash of understanding, a synapse firing, a waveform: “surrender within” (36).  The conflation of consciousness  Pi is permitted in the measurement of this circle, 5 possibly because it is an element of fractal geometry. Chaos theory might be brought to bear on this text as well as Atwood’s. For an example of literary applications of chaos theory, see Katherine Hayle’s Chaos Bound.  109 with a holographic epistemology results: —  a universe of silence within  body cell atom within It is by “surrendering within” to this conflation that The Traveller discovers a Silence that mocks the again in know the word discovers Word mirrored in Silence trapped in the beginning was not word but Silence and a future rampant with possibility  and Word.  (39-40)  Silence is primary; however, it mocks its re—cognition as such because cognition takes place in words, which become Word reflecting only itself  -  the Same.  Nourbese Philip  deconstructs the opposition of word/silence in asserting that Silence came first but can be known only in word: to say that in the beginning was Silence is to affirm an ontotheological principle: Word. This affirmation is repeated in the claim that while words can only describe the “is like,” silence is, being that which words cannot reach: “words  /  in the effort  110 of silence  /  the off limits of the imagination  to force pattern on eye silence)” (22—3).  /  texture and form  /  reaching  /  (of  To reach silence and through it Silence  can only reaffirm word: “...Silence is. Silence Being Always  =  stone.  /  Always” (5)  =  Yet that attempt, the  reaching movement, is what promises livingstone, not before its haunting into shape and form but somehow through that haunting.  livingstone is not word, because word renders  livingstone stone.  Nor is it silence because silence is  tongue turned to stone. Silence “is  /  Nor is it Silence, because if  always” then it, too, is stone.  livingstone  is not, because a stone that melts, a “relatively autonomous subtotality,” never is for long.  livingstone, a tongue not  turned to stone which is nevertheless not confined by words, is an alternative to Silence.  From Livingstone to livingstone  To move from Livingstone through Silence to livingstone is an act of memory directed at the future: the memory of an imposed silence leads to Silence which is both the memory of past injustices and a future—oriented strategy of recuperation of what came before those injustices.  To  remind the text of its deconstruction of that Silence is to push the text even further (or perhaps in another non—linear  111 temporal direction)  -  also what it promises.  to read not only what it says, but And to read Livingstone as  livingstone is to remember tongue turned to stone, and the possibility of loosening that tongue. And yet to read Livingstone as a common noun is not merely to “apply” a Derridean technique to the text.  In  fact, Looking for Livingstone points towards the limits of Derrida’s work on proper and common names.  Derrida traces a  translation between proper and common nouns, claiming that a proper noun only inscribes itself into a language by becoming improper, contaminated by its semantic equivalent (“Babel” 2l6).  His well—known plays on antonomasia depend  first on this separation.  However, it is possible (although  to prove it would be far beyond the scope of this dissertation) that indigenous languages explode his first premise, because, as The Traveller points out, the tie between indigenous names and their semantic equivalents is much closer and clearer than in European languages. 7  What  Livingstone named Victoria Falls was “Mosioatunya,” the smoke that thunders.  Such a name is the semantic  1t is an ironic coincidence that Derrida employs as an 6 example the name “Pierre,” noting that “Pierre” is not “Peter” which is also not “stone” (“Babel” 216). For an extremely interesting study of the complex 7 significance of place names in one indigenous culture, see Julie Cruikshank, “Getting the Words Right: Perspectives on Naming and Places in Athapaskan Oral History.”  112 description of that which it names.  Thus this reading of  livingstone in Livingstone is already promised by the text. livingstone is memory at work.  It is tongue turhed to  stone and back again, carrying the memory of stone, of Livingstone, and employing memory to move beyond it. like any proper noun, it refers. is  Thus,  it extends beyond the person to whom  It retains the function of a proper noun which  “d’avance <<en méinoire de>>.  Nous ne pouvons separer le  nom de <<mémoire>> et la <<mémoire>> du nom, nous ne pouvons séparer le nom et la mémoire (Derrida, Méiuoires 63). “Livingstone” functions in memory of Livingstone, as does Looking for Livingstone, because, as The Traveller notes, Livingstone is the source of her silence.  As Derrida has  repeatedly noted, the name becomes its own shrine (Mémoires 47, La Vérité en peinture 205; Signéponge 57).  For Nourbese  Philip, this shrine signifies the refusal to forget ...the history of empire... that produced Canada and honed the beliefs and practices of white supremacy.... [Tjo forget that what we now appear to share are education, religion, dress, legal institutions really tombstones erected on the graves of African customs, culture and languages, is simply to collude in our own erasure, our own obliteration. (Frontiers 19) —  —  To remember in one’s be/longing here is to render those tombstones livingstone, to “haunt the absence” of African culture, and to mourn it “into shape and form” Her Tongue 80).  (She Tries  113 Written in memory of Livingstone, this is in part a text of mourning, mourning the loss inflicted by Livingstone, the loss that turned tongue to stone.  Memory as mourning and  mourning of memory (Derrida, Mémoires 50).  Memory is the  mourning of tongue turned to stone, and mourning of memory  —  f or Derrida this is in part the mourning of the limits of memory  -  is mourning the impossibility of the  interiorization of the other in memory, of the impossibility of mourning, of intersubjectivity.  Here again, perhaps  Nourbese Philip indicates the limits of Derrida’s memory. She circumvents this limit in that her memory is non—local It forms alliances with other displaced and  and collective.  disenfranchised indigenous, peoples: Some events help to stimulate the memory, the revolution taking place in South Africa being just such an event. I can but only imagine the life of the black South African in Soweto or Cross Roads, but I remember; I remember what I do not know and have never lived, whenever I read of the death of yet another Black in South Africa; and when I witness the obscene contortions of the white Western powers over the imposition of sanctions and their fundamental refusal to act in any meaningful way, I remember; I remember that the slave trade only came to an end when it was no longer economically feasible for the slave—owning, slave— trading nations... (Frontiers 57) ...  Aside from being collective, this memory refuses to be localized in the brain.  It is with her bodily silence, the  silent memory of her body, that The Traveller follows Livingstone (16).  Elsewhere, Nourbese Philip refers to her  “body intelligence,” arguing that racism is a gut issue and  114 refusing to forget that “it was for our bodies that we were originally brought to this brave new world” (Frontiers 212). Like Brossard’s memory (and yet in a profoundly different manner) Nourbese Philip’s memory is inscribed on the skin “screen skin”  —  —  it is the color of her skin which prevents  her from be/longing in Canada (Frontiers 185). And yet this corporeal memory is also livingstone, a “relatively autonomous subtotality,” a phantom body.  The  Traveller also sees herself “as a shadow, a dark ghost memory almost  -  —  a  haunting you [Livingstone) in your sleepless  nights down through the ages  -  the silence of your lies” (73).  refusing to let you rest in This memory once again  alters linear notions of time, since to be in Livingstone’s memory, The Traveller must both follow and precede him. This haunting memory also embodies the central rhetorical figure of this text, that of prosopopeia, the trope by which an absent or deceased entity is addressed and made to speak. To look for Livingstone, to find Livingstone, to address him and make him speak is to engage the figure of prosopopeia. To haunt him is to turn that trope upon itself. Prosopopeia is arguably also the central figure of Derrida’s most sustained work on memory, Mémoires pour Paul de Man.  This work includes a reading of de Man’s  “Autobiography as De—faceiuent” which claims that prosopopeia is the central metaphor of autobiography.  To  the extent that The Traveller seeks her interior through the  115 writing of a diary, this text is autobiographical.  And  Livingstone is the voice-from-beyond-the-grave (de Man 77) that is made to speak; Livingstone becomes the “speaking (de Man 75), speaking from his own tomb—stone  stone”  (de Man 77).  Yet how can this be when Livingstone is tongue  turned to stone? livingstone.  Livingstone can only speak if it becomes  As de Man traces the movement from mouth to  face, tracing the etymology of the trope to prosopon poien, the giving of face (76), Nourbese Philip puts a spin on that trope  -  a feminist, post-colonial spin  -  by producing a de  facement of a different kind: she confronts the “tropological spectre” of Livingstone with another ghost, that of The Traveller  -  who gives him face only to take it  away again. Thus neither Livingstone himself nor “Livingstone” itself are as “stoney” as they might at first appear.  The  man and the name have been rendered “relatively autonomous subtotalities” (Bohm 189), phantom memories.  Livingstone is  not; therefore he too is livingstone: here and gone again. The past become present, but a “presence sans present d’un present gui seulement revient (Derrida, Mémoires 76). Livingstone is livingstone as it reaches for the transcendent Silence, the utopic possibility of be/longing, of “dwelling.”  Livingstone is livingstone when The  Traveller learns the language of silence and communicates with all around her (41).  Livingstone is livingstone when  116 The Traveller discards her mirror, with the conflation of self, Africa and eventually quantum reality and the universe.  Livingstone is livingstone in the silence of  stone dropped, in the confusion between proper and common noun, and in the trope of prosopopeia, which makes the tombstone speak.  And as Nourbese Philip spins that trope, Thus, in a  Livingstone is livingstone, a phantom of itself.  nonlocal and holistic fashion, like Brossard’s hologram, like the flash of Bohm’s perception, livingstone occurs only momentarily, breaking down the difference between “I see” and “I think I see.” It is in this moment, this flash, that the memory of livingstone becomes a counter—memory.  No longer nostalgic,  it is memory as thought and a memory that leads to invention.  Nourbese Philip argues for “a subversive role  for memory, that memory is more than nostalgia  —  it has a  potentially kinetic quality and must impel us to action” (Frontiers 20).  Her memory is thought in action as she  decides to list why I consciously try to remember what did not happen to me personally, but which accounts for my being here today: to defy a culture that wishes to forget; to rewrite a history that at best forgot and omitted, at worst lied; to seek psychic reparations; to honour those who went before; to grieve for that which was irrevocably lost (language, religion, culture) and those for whom no one grieved; to avoid having to start over again.... In making the list ... I found that even the mere determination to remember can, at times, be a revolutionary act like the slave who refused to forget his or her rituals, or music, or whose body refused to (Frontiers 56) forget the dance. —  117 This determination to remember is a promise to remember, to “..  .garder la mémoire, s’engager  a  même, se promettre, se her (Derrida, Mémoires 42).  a  garder la mémoire de lui—  la mémoire pour la mémoire  Nourbese Philip’s memory is  thought, a promise for the future, the promise of a revolution. It is a counter—memory, a radical memory, a form of local resistance combatting racism at each point that it manifests itself (Nourbese Philip, Frontiers 223). Brossard’s memory,  Like  it begins with a critical examination of  language: as a writer nurtured on the bile of a colonial language, whose only intent was imperialistic, I see no way around the language, only through it, challenging the mystification and half-truths at its core.... Instead of aid to Africa, let’s start talking about reparations to Africa” (Frontiers 77). Counter—memory then leads to semiotic invention, to “stimuler en nous une qualité d’émotion propice insertion dans l’histoire” “dreaming  -  a  notre  (Brossard, Picture Theory 85):  the imagination  the one faculty of the human  -  that can resist colonization.  To construct imaginative and  poetic worlds AS IF we were at the centre.  To design  imaginative and poetic scapes with us at the centre.  We  speak from the centre and are whole” (69—71). Looking for Livingstone speaks from the centre.  The  unnamed protagonist makes no explicit effort to mark herself by gender, race or sexuality  —  these are revealed in  118 process, by her identifications.  In the holomovement a  centre is necessarily always in motion.  Indigenous women  are her teachers and through them she appropriates the quest form, both from Greek myth and from Livingstone; she transforms it from a traditionally masculine plot of “discovery” and possession to a recuperation and re— indigenization.  Wholeness signifies the healing of the  wound, that of inflicted silence, and that of word. Wholeness is silence. David Bohm speaks, “...  it also means holistic: livingstone  waiting patient  embrace  everything  Livingstone 74).  And yet, like the wholeness of which  content  willing to  the Word even”  enfold  (Nourbese Philip,  119 CHAPTER 4  Typewriter as Trickster: Revisions of Beatrice Culleton’s In Search of April Raintree  I cannot be silent about the treatment of Natives. Their Silence ... has a grammar, and a poetics; can be parsed, and quantified and has spoken volumes to me.... What I will do ... is call attention and describe the silence I feel.... For me to say nothing, which is not the same as being silent, would be to collude in that silencing. (Nourbese Philip, Frontiers 260-1)  It is tempting to simply place a holographic memory grid” on a text by a First Nations author, to search for an 1 aboriginal example of earth-dwelling, one that presumably, because Native, would not be aborted like Atwood’s attempt. However, how could I do so without simply repeating Atwood’s appropriation of the Native sign?  Without, in the search  for livingstone, repeating Livingstone? How, then, to forge an alliance between a post— structural, feminist theory of memory and the politics of First Nations, without simply “forcing” a text to fit into my theory?  Taking the advice of Nourbese Philip, I will  attempt to parse one of the silences that I hear  —  a silence  that is likely unrelated, but is still similar to the cognitive strategies of each of the novels discussed so far. Brossard’s silence follows her re—examination of language;  120 the confusing swirl of dissemination leads to the extra liguistic “flash” of firing synapses, the hologram. Similarly, Atwood’s protagonist temporarily enters a period of silence, rejecting both the linearity and the mimetic effect of language; she invents a kind of rheomode that interacts with, rather than reflecting reality.  Silence for  Nourbese Philip is both the extra-linguistic silence of livingstone, of “earth—dwelling,” and a post-colonial study of the role of language in the silencing of indigenous peoples.  This strategic reading of Beatrice Culleton’s In  Search of April Raintree’ also constitutes a reexamination of language as representation, and focusses on the processual workings of language in interaction with reality. It explores a different means of “dwelling” in language and in the world, one which employs an intersection of oral and literate cultures to bypass the violence of representation. Just as David Bohm’s holographic paradigm is one basis for a non—mimetic epistemology, one in which language and knowledge interact with the world in a performance under constant revision, rather than describing the world, it is said that First Nations literature posits the word as a process of knowing, provisional and partial, rather than as revealed knowledge itself, and aims to produce texts in performance that would create truth as interpretation rather than those in the Western  ‘For a discussion of strategic readings of texts in the interests of specific political conviction, see Spivak, In Other Worlds 116; 205—211.  121 mimetic tradition that reveal truth as pre-established knowledge. (Lenore Keeshig-Tobias as paraphrased by Godard in “Politics” 221) As non—Native writers and scholars of Canadian literature recognize their involvement in the ethics of post— colonialism and allow their institutions to be questioned by the artistic and political productions of First Nations, they are finding that not only “Canadian” but also “literature” can become problematic terms.  As Margaret  Atwood’s post-colonial work indicates, aboriginal productions and perspectives must lead non—Native writers to question their use of Native images; perhaps Native writing also questions the “imaging” process, the process of Western mimetic representation and the process of evaluating those representations. In her “Politics of Representation: Some Native Canadian Women Writers,” Barbara Godard develops an analysis of one technique by which Native writers alter the process of representation.  She observes that many Native women  writers, in contrast to white women who use Native spirituality to facilitate a “strongly psychologized” quest narrative,  “have adopted entirely different formal  strategies, discontinuous tales rather than coherently plotted quests, symbolic events rather than psychologized reactions....  [as well as] hybrid genres...” (190).  These  strategies are attempts to counteract white writers’ images  122 which often come to replace the self—representations of Native women and exclude them from the literary institution (Godard,  “Politics” 189).  While a novel such as In Search of April Raintree, with its obvious quest theme and its psychologized, even therapeutic use of the genre of autobiographical fiction, might at first appear to contradict Godard’s assertions with regard to Native women writers, it does support her on a thematic level.  Like the texts which Godard discusses  formally, this novel refuses to lead its reader into the earthy “green world”  (Godard,  protagonist visits.  Rather,  “Politics” 190) that Atwood’s it forcibly retains the reader  in a harsh, racist, urban reality, constantly reminding he/r of the current environment of many Native women.  More  important and interesting than the thematic link, however, are the epistemological workings of In Search of April Raintree which, unfolded, provide a complement to Godards formal analysis of works by Lee Maracle and Jeannette Armstrong.  Even as it participates in the identity-quest  theme and autobiographical genre, In Search of April Raintree subverts the epistemology upon which they are based.  Read as a performance in Keeshig—Tobias’ terms,  Beatrice Culleton’s novel achieves more complexity, and raises implications far more profound than critics have as yet recognized.  123 In Search of April Raintree is gradually making its way into the canon of Canadian literature as a thinly disguised autobiography (Grant 128).  The novel is recognized not so  much for its literary style, which has been judged flawed, uneven and didactic (Cameron l65), as for its powerful emotional effect as “one of the most scathing indictments of Canadian society that has ever been written” (Grant 129). This effect is said to be intensified precisely by its simple and straightforward narrative (Russell 192; Cameron 166).  According to one reviewer, it is a “story”  that “one cannot, in all fairness, review  ...  for its  literary style,” but for the value and effect of what it says (Russell 192).  Thus, ironically, this novel is being  silenced in its canonization. 3 Even as they acknowledge that it should be included on Canadian literature reading lists for its social significance, Canadianists concur that In Search of April Raintree is a very difficult novel both to teach and to treat critically, in part because of this perceived lack of “literariness”; instructors and students alike are at a loss as to what to do with it.  Students exhibit a reticence to  Cameron does not herself judge it as such, but predicts 2 that this will be the judgement of academic critics, thus distancing herself from such an evaluative critique even as she performs it. Two critics whose work counteracts that silencing are 3 Margery Fee and Julia Emberley.  124 analyse it and tend to wander off into emotional and 4 personal anecdote and paraphrase.  The novel appears to  encourage the most “naive” readings, shutting out the academic reader and rendering most literary critical approaches inappropriate (Emberley 69). If critics trained in a European literary tradition have such difficulties treating this text as a literary object, a “thing” that may be taken apart and analyzed, and yet wish to value it for its social and political significance, what methods might best be employed to approach this text?  If  the novel is written in a manner so “un—literate” that it causes one critic to comment that “Beatrice Culleton writes as she, and many people like her, speak” (Grant 129), if, stylistically, this novel resists assimilation into a literary canon, then one approach might be to ask in what ways it questions that canon, or the “literary” itself: to what extent does this text exhibit characteristics of a 5 residual orality?  In Search of April Raintree may be  This is my experience of teaching this text, as well as 4 that of four other instructors who have added it to their curriculum and with whom I have discussed the difficulties of doing so. Those who insist upon an intellectual, “literary” distancing of the text usually have little to say about it. I have adopted the terms orality (primary, residual and secondary) and literacy, as well as the characteristics of oral memory and production, primarily from Walter Ong’s Orality and Literacy. However it will become clear that I have found it necessary to alter them somewhat. More recent scholars in this area have pointed out the limitations of the deterministic and generalized nature of studies such as Ong’s. Orality and Literacy example, Ruth Finnegan’s For cites and oral/literate opposition the problematizes  125 difficult to analyze using conventional literary approaches because, like an oral text,  it is less an object than an  event, or a performance (Ong 99).. Yet the term “residual” is not quite appropriate either, suggesting as it does something vestigial that will disappear with time: a unidirectional development.  The  “oral” characteristics in this text are not merely characteristics left over from a primary oral culture. 6 of oral Rather, they form a complex mixture, a “braiding” and literate thought, a reading of the former through the latter that “gives voice” to print culture (Emberley 73). And what is most interesting about this mixture is that each aspect of the novel that might be considered a characteristic of oral performance or oral memory, an example of residual orality,  is exhibited specifically  through the act of writing, or the depiction of the written word.  Thus these characteristics might be said to  form an intersection between residual and secondary orality (Ong 135-6), an intersemiotic translation-in-process (or the  exceptions to almost every characteristic of oral production that Ong lists. However, Finnegan does agree that patterns may be identified and that these characteristics are commonly found in oral productions. Ong’s characteristics provide a provisional place to begin; my argument is that April Raintree complements Finnegan’s work in its problematization of that binary opposition. For a discussion of this metaphor, its use by native 6 feminists and its applicability to the kind of alliance I am attempting to establish, see Emberley 93.  126 impossibility of translation): a “plus d’une langue” (Derrida, Mémoires 38) that is an intersection not between languages, but between two different ways of conceiving of 79)7 language (see Ong 31-56; Ashcroft et. al.  To read  Culleton’s typewriter as Trickster is to perform a strategic, politically interested reading that finds in this intersection a conception of language that moves beyond the violent dualism of Western representation. This oscillation between oral and literate epistemologies necessitates a focus on process.  I will  argue that that process is similar to the process of a holographic memory in its rejection of dualistic thinking and of the illusion of representation, its collective memory (since a holographic memory as part of a holomoveiuent is necessarily collective) and its focus on the possibility of altering reality through invention.  Even as it participates in the identity-guest theme and the genre of autobiography, In Search of April Raintree  Emberley also refers to these “competing narratives 7 about the construction of knowledge whose difference is constituted by a political-social point of view: dominant or as The braiding of these narratives, oppressed” (142). Emberley says with reference to Jeannette Armstrong’s Slash, “is realigning the boundaries of what traditional Native oral storytelling means in the context of the written work as the most powerful legitimator of a Eurocentric notion of history” (147) and, I would add, of reality. See also Chapter 2 n6.  127 subverts the epistemology upon which they are based.  For if  it is true that in oral conceptions of language, names convey power over things, control reality rather than reflecting it (Ong 32—3;  46), and “posit the word as a  process of knowing, an interpretation rather than as revealed knowledge itself...” by Godard,  “Politics”  (Keeshig—Tobias as paraphrased  221), then this novel’s deconstruction  of an opposition between oral and literate culture engages an epistemological process that, by focussing on a provisional, partial and local truth as unfolding in narrative (Godard,  “Politics” 221), disrupts any claims for  8 a universalized pre—existing Truth.  In doing so it offers  the possibility of re-interpreting, and thus changing, social reality: an aboriginal (or even more appropriately, a Métis) version of a semiotic invention. The intense emotional impact of In Search of April Raintree is based at least in part on its “truth value” as a thinly veiled autobiography.  But is this truth as  interpretation or as pre-established knowledge? constitutes that veil and just how thin is it?  What The first  part of this analysis, rather than making an attempt at unveiling, will look at the folds in that veil.  In this  instance the veil is the text surrounding the “story”  ‘Emberley reads orality in Jeannette Armstrong’s Slash in which as knowledge—as—interpretation a similar manner, explodes European perceptions of and myths about Native culture (138-150).  128 itself, the text of the signature: the information on the back cover, the dedication, the foreword, the acknowledgements and the biographical information about the author; how does all this paratext read into the narrative itself?  And what happens when it is revised, and In Search  of April Raintree is republished a year later as April 9 Raintree?  Finally, what are the implications of this veil  for the role of autobiography in constructing subjectivity? Does “April,” as the title of the second novel would appear to suggest, find herself? The second part of this analysis entails a consideration of the use of memory in the construction of subjectivity. Memory in this novel is not simply autobiographical; it is also residually oral, and thus the subject it constructs is not the traditional autonomous self of the autobiographical genre in which the novel participates.  Further, memory is  not the only aspect of the text that slides from one side to the other of an oral/literate opposition.  Beginning with  the characteristics of orality as described by Walter Ong, I will show how the novel’s deconstruction of an opposition between orality and literacy draws the reader into an  Is this one novel or two? One slides into the other as neither has been established as the definitive text. Some critics have dealt exclusively with In Search of April Raintree; others have focussed on April Raintree. Only Cameron remarks upon the differences between the two (commenting that the second is better written, 165). To avoid confusion, where there is no discrepancy between the texts, references are to the first novel.  129 epistemological process that resists the dominant dualist mode which permits a book to be treated as an object.  I  will argue that this episteinological process is similar to the function of a holographic memory.  As in Brossard’s  Picture Theory, but in a very different manner, it is the process of reading, rather than the “story” itself, that creates the intense impact of In Search of April Raintree. Culleton employs a traditional (European) form in her psychologized use of the genre of autobiographical fiction. Written in the first person, In Search of April Raintree chronicles the life of a young Métis woman and her sister Cheryl.  Both are taken from their alcoholic parents at a  young age and put in separate foster homes.  They keep in  touch, and Cheryl’s letters and school reports form part of the text.  However, different milieux lead to different  attitudes towards their racial and cultural background; Cheryl, who is dark-skinned, learns pride in her Métis heritage and as a young adult devotes herself to helping the less fortunate among her people.  April, having suffered  abuse by a racist foster family, but able to pass for white, attempts to reject her Native side.  She marries into a  wealthy white family, and the sisters grow apart.  Racism  eventually takes its toll on April’s marriage and when she divorces her husband and returns to her native Winnipeg, she finds Cheryl all but defeated by the oppression that she sees around her and following in her parents’ footsteps.  In  130 her attempts to help Cheryl change her lifestyle, April is ironically mistaken for her sister and violently raped.  The  novel concludes with Cheryl’s suicide; she leaves April her diary (also included in the narrative) and her young son: together these help April to find acceptance of and pride in her Métis heritage. Margery Fee has pointed out that this novel’s use of a first—person narrative, which traditionally presents the illusion of a free, unified autonomous subject, is a subversive strategy since it is employed by a member of a group that has traditionally been othered or fragmented by the dominant society (“Upsetting Fake Ideas” 171-2).  Henry  Louis Gates, Jr. also discusses this strategy with specific reference to autobiographical writing; however, he warns that participation in the illusion of such a humanist subject carries with it its own limitations (11-12); by becoming a subject, the “I” is also subjected to the ideology in which it participates.  Fee’s assertion is  valid: April’s “I,” her affirmation of her own and other Métis and Native people’s humanity, is a powerful and necessary act.  Moreover, the fragments of text written by  Cheryl signal the specific fragmentation of people of mixed race; they are integrated at the conclusion, when April accepts her Native half and attains a “whole” identity. However, as well as working to produce such a reading, the  131 (at least two) voices in this text also offer an alternative 0 to the unified autonomy of humanist subjectivity.’ The revision and republication of In Search of April Raintree caused what might be seen as a fluttering of the veils that “disguise” the autobiographical nature of this novel.  A consideration of the extensive revisions to the  peripheral text will perhaps provide an answer to the question as to whether or not “April” “finds” “herself”.  Revising Beatrice Culleton”  In Search of April Raintree is first surrounded by review comments: immediately following the title page and on the back cover.  These quotations function as endorsements  for the novel, but also for the author; reviews establish the authorial subject: “It is hard cool autobiographical fiction that will make you want to remember the name, Beatrice Culleton” (Torgrud, back cover). The author writes in her own voice in the acknowledgements (vi) and in the dedication of the novel to the memory of her sisters (vii). On the last page of the book, the biographical information about the author informs us that these sisters, like April  ‘°For a similar reading of Culleton’s disruption of the notion of the humanist subject, and her creation of a ‘dialogic” subject, see Emberley 162.  132 Raintree’s sister Cheryl, committed suicide.  This short  biography draws on several similarities between the life of the author and the construction of the protagonist and yet insists upon the differences between them: April Raintree of this story,  “unlike the  [Beatrice Culleton’s)  experience in foster homes was generally positive...” (228). It further stresses the separation between author and protagonist by repeating the disclaimer already printed on the publication page:  “the characters in this novel are  fictional and any resemblance to people living or dead is purely coincidental”  (228).  And yet both of these  disclaimers are contradicted again by an excerpt from a letter immediately preceding the first chapter, addressed to the author by Maria Campbell.  Campbell endorses the novel  as a supplement to government reports on the issue of the foster care of First Nations children.  In doing so she  contends that the truth—value of this novel, because the author “lived through such an experience” of foster care, is greater than that of the perhaps more factually precise sociological reports (viii).  Rather than obscuring or  confirming the autobiographical nature of the “story,” these veils, or the contradictions within their folds, challenge the distinction between autobiography and fiction.” women’s especially autobiography, “Researchers on autobiography, have questioned this distinction, repeatedly expanding the borders of an essentially male—defined genre. See, for example, Shirley Neuman, ed. Autobiography and questions of Gender (London: Cass. 1992); Sidonie Smith,  133 April Raintree juggles the peripheral text and in doing so signals an interesting change in the identity not of April, as the title would suggest, but of Beatrice Culleton. First, the excerpt from the letter from Maria Campbell is turned into a review and printed on the back cover; losing the trappings of a personal letter, endorsement.  it becomes a more public  However in the process, one of the letter’s  functions in the first edition, that of enhancing the identity of the author as an author (eg., writer,” viii), is deleted.  “you are a fine  In addition, the biographical  notice repeats much of the notice in the earlier text word for word, but omits both disclaimers; it no longer stresses the separation between author and protagonist.  Perhaps the  first novel, having gained recognition, has developed from a “story” to a work of “literature”; since it is common knowledge that the author must be separated from a “literary text,” it is no longer necessary to stress the separation between the two.  This may in fact be the case, as the  second novel adds another paragraph on the professional life of the author and other works in her name.  These revisions  Poetics of Women’s Autobiography: Marginality and the Fictions of Self-Representation (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1987); as well as her Subjectivity. Identity and the Body: Women’s Autobiographical Practices in the Twentieth Century (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1993); Estelle C. Jelinek, ed. Women’s Autobiography: Essays in Criticism (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1980); Domna Stanton, The Female Autograph: Theory and Practice of Autobiography from the Tenth to the Twentieth Century (Chicago: U of Chicago P) 1987.  134 indicate that it is not April Raintree who has necessarily been “found,” but Beatrice Culleton who no longer needs to search for her identity as an author. Clearly, In Search of April Raintree has established Culleton.  In fact, the other major additions to the second  novel entail a rewriting of the acknowledgements and the addition of a “Foreward”  [sic) to explain the publication of  the second novel; commissioned by the Native Education Branch of Manitoba Education, April Raintree is to be taught 2 in elementary and high schools in Manitoba.’  In this  achievement alone, Culleton has disrupted the dominant literary institution; she has avoided the imposition of academic editing by publishing with Pemmican, a small Native press, and yet she has still gained a certain amount of acceptance into the literary canon (see Godard,  “Politics”  204-206 on the disruptive role of Native presses). However,  just as she attains authorial status, Culleton  challenges the subject of author-ity.  The changes in the  biographical notice may also be read as a further blurring of the boundary between autobiography and fiction, author and characters.  The deletion of the fact that the author’s  experiences in foster homes (unlike the character’s) were  ‘ A 2 s expected, the revisions to the narrative itself simplify vocabulary, make some grammatical and stylistic “corrections” and, of course, especially in the powerfully shocking rape scene, cut most of the obscenities and all explicit references to sexual anatomy.  135 generally positive causes the biography to resemble the narrative more closely than it did in In Search of April Raintree; it either reads better into the fiction or renders the novel more autobiographical.  However, any attempt to  equate the first person narrator with the author, an equation that may be naive in reading a fictional text but is encouraged to the extent that the novel is autobiographical (and, I will argue, it is the latter reading that permits the novel to attain its most effective emotional and political impact), cannot help but confuse the characters.  Beatrice, the “I,” the writer in the family,  should not be April, but Cheryl, the younger one who went to stay in a foster home with her older sister, but did not commit suicide.  But if the author were the youngest, she  should be “baby Anna,” the youngest child who then should not have died shortly after birth!  Any attempt to structure  a one—to—one correspondence between identities leads to a slippage from Beatrice Beatrice  =  =  April to Beatrice  Anna (impossible).  =  Cheryl to  Thus, surprisingly, it is the  autobiographical rather than the fictional reading that most questions the uniqueness and autonomy of the subject. A one—to—one correspondence between identities is also resisted thematically, as at one point Cheryl combats racism by refusing a label that she would otherwise have worn with pride and stressing similarities between herself and those who “subject” her in order to exclude her (Fee 178—9):  136 “...but you’re not exactly Indians are you? What is the proper word for people like you?” [a white woman asks her at a party given by April’s husband]. “Women,” Cheryl replied instantly. “No no, I mean nationality?” “Oh, I’m sorry. We’re Canadians,” Cheryl smiled sweetly. (116) A clear and unproblematic conception of identity is again disrupted in the confusion as to who is the writer in the family: April gives Cheryl a typewriter for her birthday (124), which is not surprising, for although April has ostensibly written the narrative, it is Cheryl who is most often depicted writing (letters, school reports, speeches and her diary).  However, it is somewhat strange  that while April is rarely depicted writing, Cheryl questions the gift, claiming that it is April who has the writing talent (223).  Contrary to what the title suggests,  it is Cheryl, rather than April, who is actively in search of her Métis identity; April avoids that search as much as possible.  What at first appears to be a simple use of the  autobiographical genre to construct a “whole” subject becomes a confusion of different characters with the author so that none remains a unique and autonomous whole. The veils that confuse autobiography and fiction, along with the obvious didactic aims of the novel and its revision, serve an important function by setting up the question as to whether the novel is dealing with “truth” as pre-established knowledge (that is, the content is true because to a great degree it coincides with Culleton’s own  137 lived experience) or “truth” as interpretation.  With regard  to the first type of truth, to the extent that the novel is autobiographical, it participates in what Philippe Lejeune has called an “indirect autobiographical pact,” a contract in which the author’s signature guarantees the authenticity of the tale (Lejeune 13-46).  Despite the fact that a clear  autobiographical pact is not fulfilled because there is no identity between the names of author, narrator and protagonist, the novel’s emotional impact and didactic effect is based to a great extent on this referential aspect of truth; an autobiographical reading contract is in effect and this situates the novel within autobiographical space (Lejeune 4l-42).’  However the veiling effect, or the  disclaimers that go to such lengths to separate the author from the text, undermines that truth value and thus, one would expect, the contract and the impact of the novel. the latter is not the case.  Yet  Regardless of the novel’s claim  to “fictionality,” its claim to “truth” remains strong.  And  this is not simply a case of fiction being “true” in a general and symbolic sense.  First, because although the  referential pact is broken (the pact by which the content of  Nancy Miller has noted that Lejeune’s pact has 3 ‘ established an autobiographical canon that has excluded many women’s autobiographies (“Women’s Autobiography in France: For a Dialectics of Identification,” Women and Language in Literature and Society, eds. Sally Mcconnel-Ginet, Ruth Borker and Nelly Furman (New York: Praeger, 1980) 270-71. See also nil above.  138 an autobiography, unlike that of a fictional text, may be extratextually verified, Lejeune 36), the contract based on authenticity remains in effect, since Culleton’s name still functions as a signature; this novel would not have the same impact if its author were not Métis.’ 4  A second and related  reason is the concrete and situational nature of the narrative.  This novel does not ask the reader to generalize  its truth.  Nor is it merely the simplicity of its telling  that renders its effect so shocking, brutal and immediate. While the academic critic might be tempted to dismiss its realism as naive, there is something about it that causes the reader to almost experience the violence to which the characters are subjected, or at least makes it very difficult to distance he/rself from it. ’ is related to t I suggested earlier that this “something the autobiographical nature of the novel.  I am not simply  claiming a higher level of truth for autobiography and therefore a stronger emotional impact.  Yet the emotional  This statement is not based on a notion of authenticity 4 ‘ but on the manner in which the signs “author,” “Métis” and “autobiographical” circulate and function n their semiotic environment and the manner in which those signs are linked to material conditions, literary production and access to publishers. For other discussions of this issue see R. Radhakrishnan, “Ethnic Identity and Post—structural Différance,” Cultural Critique 6: The Nature and Content of Minority Discourse (spring 1987) 199-222; entries by Ann Cameron and Lee Maracle in Language in Her Eye: Views on Writing and Gender by Canadian Women Writing in English, eds. (Toronto: Coach House, 1990); and Libby Scheier et. al. Godard, “Politics” 185; 189—192.  139 impact is in part created precisely by the novels’ use of auto—bio—graphy: it is in the rape scene (139-145), as April’s body becomes the site of racist and sexist violence, that the emotional effect of the novel is the greatest. There is a difference between reading a depiction of a rape when there is the suggestion that it really happened as opposed to reading a purely fictional rape.  Because of the  manner in which this scene is written, that difference is felt in a (female—gendered) reader’s body,’ 5 even if her mind claims that theoretically there should be no difference. The graphic details and the violent, yet commonplace obscenities which form this scene are those which sexism often employs to construct women’s bodies as objects; the similarities between women’s bodies and the language used to describe them enhance the identification.’ 6  The reader is  ‘ 1 5 n Alice Doesn’t, de Lauretis maintains that the spectator of film is constructed as male; thus female spectators have the option of identifying with either the (male) hero or the (female) space, boundary, or obstacle (13849). I suggest that this scene constructs its reader as female; she is thus asked to identify with both subject and object. However, to what extent male readers have the necessary preparation or conditioning for such a “double identification” (144), and can thus identify with April, is a complex question that, for now, I must leave unanswered. 1n 6 ‘ an extremely interesting feminist—vegetarian dissertation on torture in the novel, Linda Pashka (UBC) is in the process of developing a theory of sympathy which analyzes how depictions of violence employ narratological, tropological, generic and grammatical devices to construct a sympathetic and even empathetic model reader. Her theory—in process has been helpful in this analysis of the emotional impact of In Search of April Raintree.  140 asked to identify as simultaneously subject and object: a familiar request, at least to women readers.  It is this  process of identification that produces the strong emotional impact of the scene.  And again it is the revision of the  text that makes this effect more apparent, at least for the non-Native academic reader.  Once the first novel has  actively engaged its non—Native, female—gendered reader, the second reveals how it actively engaged her by partially disengaging her.  As the obscenities are censored in April  Raintree, virtually every reference to April’s body is censored, and thus her gender is deleted from the scene; only her race renains. “squaw.”  No longer is a “woman” raped, but a  And as Lee Maracle has shown, as sexism and racism  interrelate, “squaw” is excluded from the man/woman opposition; she has not as yet even attained object-hood, let alone subject—hood (Maracle 16).  Thus for a non—Native  reader, much of the violence disappears in part because the violent words against all women’s bodies disappear; many of the similarities disappear.  The immediate effect of this  revision is multi-fold: first it may expose to a non-Native woman reader her own racism on a very gut—level manner (Nourbese Philip describes racism as, precisely, a “gut issue,” Frontiers 212); second, it exposes the racism inherent in Western feminism by making a Native woman’s body the linguistic site of both racism and sexism, and then all but removing the sexism, to claim (ironically in this case  141 as April is raped because she is “mistaken” for a Native), that rape is not only a gender issue, but also a racial issue.  Third, the bodily reactions to this graphic scene  suggest that the novel resists literary description because it is not simply a description; it is a participatory performance.  The “truth” of this novel becomes not only  that of the “pre-established knowledge” of autobiography, but also that of interpretation, “a process of knowing, provisional and partial” (Godard, “Politics” 221).  An  identification takes place that threatens the illusion of the autonomy of the reader’s identity.  Just as there is a  confusion of characters and author, so too the reader is drawn into that confusion.  And what permits this to happen  is a rewriting of print epistemology by orality.  Orality, literacy, holography  The peripheral text and the rape scene are not the only elements of this novel which question the autonomy of the . 7 autobiographical, authorial and reading subjects’  A  consideration of the manner in which memory structures this novel reveals orality to be a disruption, not only of the autobiographical subject, but of the epistemology upon which  For a discussion of the relationships between these 7 ‘ subjects, see Paul de Nan, “Autobiography as De—facement.”  142 that subject is based.  Such a consideration also points to  the similarities between an oral epistemology and a holographic memory. To the extent that memory in this text is autobio graphical, it chronicles the process of revising childhood memories in order to find a new vision for the protagonist’s life. elusive  The novel begins with “{m]emories. ...  Some memories are  others are haunting.... I think it’s best to go  back in my life before I go forward” (9).  Autobiographical  memory is a specific kind of memory; it is traditionally linear, with the intention of constructing or reaffirming the coherence of the subject (see Gusdorf).  Print itself  had a role in the individualization and interiorization of thought (Ong 132).  Oral memory, in contrast, is collective  Cong 54), and oral thought is likely to be communicative, working itself out in dialogue.  A holographic memory is  also collective, as part of the holomovement, and exists in a communicative interaction between subject—in—process and environment—in—process.  What begins as individualized  autobiographical memory in In Search of April Raintree concludes as collective, oral memory.  Through the written  texts of Cheryl’s letters, speeches and diary, the voices of April and Cheryl (not to mention those of author, reviewers and publishers, as discussed above) interweave in dialogue, often in argument; sometimes they complement each other, as Cheryl’s history reports are contrasted to April’s magazines  143 in the two halves of Métis-ness; at other times they repeat each other, as Cheryl’s diary overlaps with events narrated by April.  Such a communicative, agonistic form is  characteristic of oral production (Ong 43) and yet in this instance that form is a product specifically of written texts; as in the confusion between April and Cheryl, the Native spiritual figure of the Trickster takes the form of the typewriter (124; 223).18  It is perhaps not surprising,  then, that as the conclusion of the narrative circles back to memory and April reads Cheryl’s diary after the latter’s suicide, she remembers:  “[m]emories came back, memories of  her voice, the memory of her reciting her powerful message at the Pow Wow. memories”  . .“  and then, “I was overwhelmed by her  (226, emphasis mine): not “by memories of her.”  Memory in this novel functions collectively, as does identity when April finds her self in “our people,” in the collectivity of an oral culture. Just as oral memory is collective,  it is also said to  forget or eliminate facts that are no longer useful for contemporary needs (Ashcroft et al.  81).  Literacy,  in  contrast, is supposed to fix the past, record facts. However,  In Search of April Raintree points out that both  For an account of Trickster as an agonistic figure, see 8 ‘ Gerald Vizenor, “Trickster Discourse: Comic Holotropes and Language Games,” Narrative Chance: Postmodern Discourse on ed. Gerald Vizenor Native American Indian Literatures, (Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1989) 187-212.  144 oral memory and history “enfold” facts that are not immediately seen to be relevant or useful.  In oral memory,  as in a holographic memory, forgetting can be temporary. History is not quite as fixed as it appears either. Cheryl’s confrontations with history lessons in school (57-58) are part of a revision of history.  First she demonstrates that  written memory does in fact “forget” or enfold out of sight facts that are not useful to those writing the history books; forgetting is actually a common practice of colonizers.  Second, the implications of her school reports  are evidence that, although the process is slower, the revision of written history, the recovery or unfolding of those facts and the altering of bias is possible. Revisions themselves are different in oral and literate productions.  Oral performance is necessarily more fluid  than a written text; each performance is a revision of previous ones, tailoring the telling to the specific telling situation and audience (Ong 60).  This is precisely the  reasoning for the revision of In Search of April Raintree. Once again, however, this oral characteristic is manifested in writing; April Raintree is revised, its vocabulary simplified and censored in order to make it more appropriate for a young audience.  This revision also renders the second  novel more collective than the first, in that it was commissioned by the representative of the collective, the  145 government, specifically for collective classroom audiences; its reading is no longer a private, individualized activity. The form which revisions or corrections take in oral performance is very different from those made in print. spoken word cannot be erased.  The  Corrections or revisions are  avoided in oral performances and mistakes are incorporated into the telling, rendered part of it Cong 104).  In  contrast, written mistakes are erasable, they can disappear completely.  When it comes to revising a work already  published, the revision usually replaces the former edition This is not the case  as being more up—to—date, or improved. with April Raintree.  The two editions are different  performances for different audiences.  However they can be  compared, as they have been in this analysis, which makes it possible for the original, the emjstakes,li to remain enfolded in the telling of the revision. The revision of this text might also be said to revise its subjects.  As semiotic subjects, April and Cheryl enact  the process of identification referred to by de Lauretis (Alice Doesn’t 141), as the novel is the narrative of their subject formation; each sister identifies with a different group and attempts to construct her self in that image. In this they must both deal with the overdetermination of their subjectivity, since, as de Lauretis would warn, expectations can create reality; the social worker’s warning about tithe native girl syndrome” (66-67) shapes Cheryl’s  146 identifications, and April’s as well in her reaction to it. However, the open—ended conclusion suggests a possibility of different identifications: April’s identity is not fixed. The reading subject is also revised by the revision of the novel.  The movement from In Search of to April  Raintree, which causes an oscillation between literate and oral production, constructs its reader as a “co—participant” in its performance (Godard, “Voicing Differences” 92).  It  is also a movement from a humanist to a semiotic subject, as the text develops from a private to a public experience, from psychology to performance, and each time April Raintree is taught, she is performed differently with the explicit intention of forming new habits and inventions by suggesting a new mode of cognition, that which functions between orality and literacy. Oral performance is situational rather than abstract (Ong 49), empathetic or participatory rather than objectively distanced (Ong 45).  Yet as discussed above,  this written text is almost impossible to analyze with anything resembling objectivity it treats complex issues of the interrelationships between racism and sexism, their causes and the possibilities for resistance, but in such a concrete and situational context that the novel is often mistaken for simplistic. Finally, according to Ong it was print that led to the possibility of scientific observation: “a new noetic world  147 [was] opened by exactly repeatable visual statement and correspondingly exact verbal description of physical reality” (127).  That world is mimetic, a world in which  there is a one—to—one correspondence between object and label.  In contrast, “oral and residually oral verbalization  directs its attention to action, not to visual appearance of objects or scenes or persons” (Ong 127).  Oral thought, like  a holographic memory, is performative and non—mimetic.  It  “posits the word as a process of knowing, provisional and partial, rather than as revealed knowledge itself” (Lenore Keeshig-Tobias as paraphrased by Godard 815).  The  undecidability of the identity of “April Raintree” as subject, as genre, as oral or literary text, draws the reader onto the hinge between these “truths,” between the exact description of pre—established knowledge and a performance that creates truth as interpretation. In Search of April Raintree is not as simple a novel as it at first appears.  It is a complex interchange between  two cultural and semiotic systems that works toward social change not only through its didactic content, but through its  epistemological process.  It is not necessary to  dismiss the “style” of the novel in order to laud its contents.  It is precisely that style which, through its  literate manipulation of an oral epistemology, creates the emotional and political impact of the novel: not through its simplicity, but through a subtlety that is by its nature  148 resistant to literary analysis.  It alters both the reading  subject and the process of representation, and offers participation in a non—mimetic epistemology.  This  epistemology is similar to that of a holographic memory.  To  recognize and attempt to work with such epistemologies, whether they stem from an unconventional scientific approach, post-structural feminist theorizing or aboriginal oral residuality, is to move away from the violence of representation, to attempt to think differently.  149 CHAPTER 5  The wandering memory of Regine Robin’s La Ouébécoite  ...puisque pour Jabès, le livre n’est pas dans le monde, mais le monde dans le livre.... Etre, c’est être—dans— le—livre, même Si l’être n’est pas cette nature créée que le Moyen Age appelait souvent le Livre de Dieu.... Mais Si le Livre n’était ... qu’une epoque de l’être Si la forme du livre ne devait plus être le modèle du sens? (Derrida, “Edmond Jabès et la question du livre” 113-14)  I am proposing the notion that we are here in the presence of something like a mutation in built space itself. My implication is that we ourselves, the human subjects who happen into this new space, have not kept pace with that evolution; there has been a mutation in the object unaccompanied as yet by any equivalent mutation in the subject. We do not yet possess the perceptual equipment to match this new hyperspace.... (Jameson 38-39)  Régine Robin’s La Ouébécoite leads this dissertation back to Montréal, where once again a window frames a snowstorm that becomes a metaphor for the dissemination of meaning across a text (188).  Like Nicole Brossard’s Picture  Theory, this is a text of memory, of writing, of cognitive mapping,  identifications and semiotic inventions that  simultaneously alter both the subject and the city.  The  narrative is non—linear and non—local, yet relates the desire to dwell the future.  —  in a site that can only be in a memory of  150 The autobiographical protagonist of La Ouébécoite is an Ashicenaze Jew, born in Paris, who immigrates to Québec.  The  novel begins with epigraphs from Franz Kafka and Edmond Jabès which posit Jewish people in a specific relation to the problem of dwelling.  For Kafka, it is a problem of  dwelling in language, and the protagonist, a francophone, finds herself excluded from the French of Québec, teaching Jewish Studies in English at McGill University, writing poetry in Yiddish and feeling at home only in Hebrew. She repeatedly asks herself “.pour qui écrire? et dans quelle langue?” (197).  For Jabès, the impossibility of  dwelling takes the form of the dream of a book which would contain the world, “Un livre  ...  qui ne se livrerait que  par fragments dont chacun serait le commencement d’un livre” (11).  However, as Jacques Derrida suggests in an  article on Jabès, perhaps that book is no longer a book.  A  book without borders, which, fragmented, produces as many books as fragments, could be a hologram. La Ouébécoite lends itself well to a holographic reading, perhaps because of its structural and thematic similarities, and even intertextual relationship, to Picture Theory.  And yet it is not a text which one would at first  glance compare to Brossard’s novel.  Whereas Brossard’s  politics rest on the impossibility of being lesbian in a (hetero)sexist society, the identifications of the protagonist of La Ouébécoite are always linked to a  151 heterosexual relationship.  Although she experiments with  different ethnic identities and political causes, this gender identification remains constant and unquestioned. Secondly, and more important to this analysis, La Ouébécoite is non—linear in a very different way from Picture Theory. The interruptions to Robin’s narrative take the form of lists, menus, excerpts from history books, television and hockey schedules, which are much more jarring than Brossard’s poetic digressions.  In a sense, it is a much Finally, the  more pragmatic text than Picture Theory.  materiality of La Ouébécoite, while it incorporates the feminist materiality of the body and the post-structural materiality of language, adds to these a more marxist materialism. Like Robin, Teresa de Lauretis employs these three kinds of materiality in her semiotic theory.  As yet I have  focussed primarily on the materiality of language, the manner in which it shapes thought, and filters and constructs reality.  Robin now demands a return to the  materialism of systems of production, consumerism, capitalism and its multinational effects.  Therefore, once I  have established the manner in which the memory of this text is holographic, I will focus on that materialism to argue that, like each of the texts studied here, this novel adds another dimension to the theory of a holographic memory.  152 Robin touches very briefly and critically on holography in another study of memory, in which she voices concerns about the dangers of the post—structural blurring of divisions among reality, memory, history and fiction: Puisque tout est langage, et que tout se donne dans des traces, en particulier des traces discursives, comment distinguer le reel du faux, le récit de ce qui s’est réellement passé? P.V. Naquet {Les assassins de la Mémoire (Paris, La Découverte, 1987)) a montré, a propos de ceux gui remettent en question l’existence des chambres a gaz, lors du genocide des juifs pendant la dernière guerre iuondiale, qu’aucune marque langagiere ne pouvait établir la preuve, que celle-ci n’était pas de l’ordre du langage, mais de l’ordre d’un reel gui laisse ou ne laisse pas de traces, non seulement dans les mémoires, mais sur le sol, dans l’environnement et dans les documents de l’époque. En l’absence de traces, et avec la dsparition par l’âge des derniers témoins de la tragedie, tout relève de la façon dont une société établit son régime du croyable, son système de ce qui tient lieu de preuves ou de traces. Ii n’y a pas, en histoire et dans l’histoire de détecteur discursif de mensonges. Ce gui est effrayant, c’est gu’on peut très bien imaginer un événement tragique gui, pour une raison ou une autre, ne laisserait pas de traces, pas de preuves, un événement gui ne serait pas couvert par les médias, et dont les survivants seraient tous devenus muets, par infirmité, terreur ou traumatisme. L’événement, tel un hollogramme [sic] ne pourrait pas s’inscrire dans la mémoire et serait perdu a jamais, transparent dans son existence—inexistence même. (Robin, Le Roman mémoriel 23-24) Robin suggests here that the notion of altering the social construct of reality can also be employed to increase oppression.  However, if it has already been employed for  oppressive purposes, as Brossard refers to “l’hantise de l’H omme” (98), as Nourbese Philip points out with regard to the  “fact”  that Livingstone “discovered” much of Africa, and  as Culleton points out with regard to the revision of  153 history by colonizers, then to expose reality as a construct at least upsets the imbalance of power and offers the possibility of resistance.  (This is, I think, the argument  of most writers who attempt to employ post—structural theory for political purposes.) I will return to this relationship between memory, history and reality, as it is the major concern of L. Ouébécoite.  However, first I would like to take a moment to  reconcile Robin’s fleeting reference to holography in this quotation with my own use of it.  She employs holography as  a metaphor, and when she asserts that it is transparent in its existence—inexistence, she s actually referring to the virtual image, the image that is visual, but intangible. Her metaphor points to the discursive construction of reality, the abstraction without which we have no proof of the existence of anything.  My focus is on the hologram  itself as it appears on the holographic plate: the inscription of light-waves, which, according to Pribram, is similar (if not identical) to the inscription of memory. Even if it cannot be accessed at a certain moment due to traumatism, that inscription remains and it may unfold at a later time.  And, as I hope to show, the process of  inscription, and the subsequent possibility of a holographic memory altering a holographic reality, are implicitly at work in La Québécoite.  154 In Le Roman mémoriel, Robin describes La Ouébécoite as a confrontation between different kinds of memories: national memory, which functions in epic time and remembers dates and heroes (49), such as the Conquest on the Plains of Abraham; scholarly memory, that of historians, which is unfailingly chronological and strives to be scientific, precise and objective (50); collective memory, which is cyclic and epic, selective and affective (for example that of the sovereignty movement in Québec)  (51); and finally cultural memory,  “une contre—mémoire fragmentaire” which exists only in potentiality and which alternates between the “bricolage” of a private narrative and “la dispersion de souvenirs— flashes” (56-7).  As collective memory constructs identity,  cultural memory transforms it into a poetic and critical memory (101).  La Ouébécoite is a novel of memories and of  histories, in which cultural memory is brought to bear on the other forms in order to destabilize them (Robin, j. Roman mémoriel 130). Robin notes that each of these memories works in a different temporal mode: epic, chronological, cyclical and potential.  I will here be focussing on cultural memory,  which might be said to function in space-time: potential, future—oriented, imaginary.  In many ways, this “mémoire  culturelle” corresponds to a holographic memory.  Robin even  adopts Foucault’s terminology, although she takes advantage of its loose and open—ended definition,  just as I have done.  155 As “bricolage,” this memory is also invention, and the flash of memory which she describes as critical or poetic insight is Brossard’s hologram and Bohm’s perception. A closer look at La Ouébécoit will illustrate how its cultural memory is holographic.  Like Brossard’s Picture  Theory, this novel employs a future—oriented memory to integrate formerly excluded subjects into their environment, the city of Montréal.  Like all of the writers discussed n  this dissertation, she focusses on the act of writing itself as a means to alter perceptions of reality and thus eventually reality itself: the narrator-protagonist of this novel writes a novel of a protagonist who immigrates to Montréal and writes a novel about an aging historian of Jewish culture.  The multiple levels of self-reflexivity  result in a confusion of “realities.”  More clearly than  Picture Theory, this novel employs strategies of cognitive mapping as the protagonist attempts to find a place for herself in the city and its culture: lists of metro stations, street signs, business signs, restaurant menus, hockey schedules, television listings and excerpts from history books and historical documents serve to “map” the city while simultaneously (and ironically) dislocating the reader within the narrative.  This novel also clearly traces  the process of identification.  It is divided into three  sections corresponding to different neighbourhoods and ethnic communities in Montréal.  In each section the writer  156 re—constructs her protagonist, attempting to make her fit in, belong, or dwell, first in predominantly Jewish “Snowdon,” then in upwardly mobile franco-Québécois “Outremont,” and finally in the multi—ethnic neighbourhood around the “Marché Jean—Talon.” aborted and she returns to Paris. some measure of dwelling.  Each attempt is eventually However, she does achieve  And the attempt itself, the  process, as for Brossard and Nourbese Philip, already promises to alter reality.  The novel achieves a kind of  non—local dwelling in a site of counter—memory.  As in the works already considered, memory functions in this novel as thought rather than as nostalgia.  It  functions as a form of free association, an ancient Jewish form of meditation: “le ‘saut’ ou le ‘bond’ d’une conception  a  une autre” guided by certain rules, but with a great deal  of freedom within the limits of those rules (Robin, Ouébécoite 42).  Both the narrative and the protagonist  follow a repetitive pattern which is to “perdre la ligne de mémoire et recommencer sur une autre” (42).  Mortre  Himmelfarb, the historian about whom she writes, attempts to force chronology on his own thought processes, finding it repeatedly necessary to remind himself to keep “1648 avant 1666” (44).  The protagonist makes no such efforts, and  permits her cultural raemory to meld with this Jewish memory:  157 to wander.  And eventually, even Mortre Himmelfarb’s History  becomes “des histoires” (189).  The protagonist’s memory  becomes a spatial memory as she herself wanders through the different neighbourhoods, or “ghettos” as she refers to them in a translation of “Shtetl” (which does not have the negative connotations of the English word), of the city of Montréal (67). Jew (61).’  She thus refers to herself as the wandering  Non-local, wandering, writing, thinking: the  narrator—protagonis writes a novel, employing the conditional form, imagining her protagonist writing a novel on Mortre Himmelfarb who writes history (130): “le udaIsme et l’écriture ne sont qu’une même attente, un même espoir, une même usure’” (Jabès cited in Derrida, “Ediuond Jabès” 100). Or in other words, the protagonist’s aunt Mime Yente insists on keeping the Sabbath, and tells a story of the loss of religious rituals over generations until finally all that was left was the story of the loss, “mais on connaissait l’histoire et le récit tenait lieu d’action plus  ‘This appellation is the first of several ironic links between Jewish and Québécois history and identity. “Un Canadien errant” is the title of an 1839 Québec song of exile by Antoine Gerin—Lajoie, which mourns the failure of the cause of the Patriots and which became a symbol for French—Canadians who felt themselves to be exiles in their own land. (See John Hare, Les Patriotes: 1830—1839 (Québec: Liberation, 1971) 7, 173.) In indicating similarities between the two cultures, Robin effects a double irony, critiquing both Québec’s history of anti—semitism and her own apparent insistence on an essential Jewish identity.  158 exactement le récit était un acte. un acte”  (132-3).  La mémoire chez nous est  In its remembering, waiting, writing and  hoping, that memory is future-oriented.  “Récit” is rhymed  with “messie” (87—88) and the utopian desire for the Promised Land is the focus of that memory. 3 The only thing that can stop this wandering memory is also that which keeps it going.  In Le Roman mémoriel, Robin  explains that La Ouébécoite is structured according to the stations of the Parisian metro (130).  The wandering thus  takes place along these lines which are then superimposed upon the streets and metro lines of Montréal.  The past, in  spatial form, is enfolded into the present, which is non local.  All of the metro lines lead to one station, the  point where, in 1942, French Jews were held before being sent to Auschwitz.  Thus the metro line leads only to  “WURDEN VERGAST” (71).  It is always at this point that “la  ligne se perd dans [s)a mémoire” (70) and must begin again on another line. It is this wandering memory that takes precedence over any attempt at linearity in the narrative of “cette yule collage, cette ville—livre, cette vi1le—Hstoire” (140):  This statement is of course another ironic reference to 2 the Québécois’ struggle to retain their own identity, which is expressed in the motto, “je me souviens.” For a discussion of messianism in Québec culture, see 3 Réjean Beaudoin, Naissance d’une littérature: Essai sur le messianisme et les debuts de la littérature canadienne— francaise (1850-1890 (Montréal: Boréal, 1989).  159 Mémoire fêlée Mémoire f endue Ii n’y aura pas de récit pas de debut, pas de milieu, pas de fin pas d’histoire. confondus Entre Elle, je et tu pas d’ordre. Ni chronologique, ni logique, ni logis. (86) Two of these lines are repeatedly intoned throughout the novel.  The first is “pas d’ordre. Ni chronologique, ni  logique, ni logis.”  The relation between order, time, logic  and place of dwelling, none of which is attainable, links history to narrative, to language, to meaning, to memory, to dwelling.  This dissemination of/in space-time is also the  “state” of being “a relatively autonomous subtotality” in the holomovement; it is the state of wandering.  And yet  this wandering does eventually become a form of dwelling, of dwelling in movement, of dwelling as action. First, space and time must meld.  “Ii n’y aura pas de  récit” is the second phrase that is constantly repeated; narrative and history are impossible.  “S’ils croient  que c’est si simple, raconter une histoire, raconter l’Histoire” (36).  Without access to the collective memory  or the national memory, both of which are informed by and give meaning, affect, and identification to history (scholarly memory)  (Le Roman mémoriel 53), the immigrant  narrative can only be non—linear: il n’aurait pas de récit tout juste une voix plurielle une voix carref our la parole immigrante. (88)  160 “Aucun récit n’aura lieu (30) and in effect no narrative does take place because the narrator—protagonist writes in the conditional form, thus denying presence to her protagonist and her story and displacing both onto a future, provisional plane. However, in another sense, the narrative and the memory do take place, or become spatial, as the protagonist wanders through the city, attempting to “tout noter” (64), “étaler tous les signes de la difference, fixer cette etrangeté avant qu’elle ne devienne familière” (15), “essayer de trouver une position dans le langage, un point d’appui” (16), and as she tries to find a place to dwell. She does this through a detailed process of cognitive mapping, of situating herself in her surroundings.  As she  wanders up one street and down the other, she writes the city by its signs, the names of banks, of stores, streets, metro stations, detailed descriptions of apartments: tides regards le long de ses travellings urbains” (15).  On one  level these lists are supposed to “donner plus de corps cette existence  ...  a  [donner] l’épaisseur d’une vie” (18), to  add a third dimension to the text.  Like the spinning of  signs effected by Brossard in Picture Theory, but in a much more direct and “realistic” manner, these lists are supposed to give volume to a two dimensional text; if the protagonist is able to “noter toutes les differences, tout cela finirait bien par donner de la réalité, tout cela finirait bien par  161 lui faire comprendre le Québec..  .“  (185).  Brossard’s spiral  eventually creates the hologram which achieves volume, thus producing a more precise, because three—dimensional, form of realism.  And yet Brossard also radically alters the meaning  of realism, because the hologram is not mimetic; what is depicted is not what the text describes but the effect that it causes.  Robin takes a more direct route, but one that is  equally far from conventional realism because, ironically, although these lists of signs ostensibly aid the protagonist in situating herself, they tend to dislocate the reader in the text, interrupting the narrative and losing any referent; they render the city “{i]rrepresentable” (15). The multilingual signs and the puns that the author creates with them add to the confusion; like the snowflakes seen outside both M.V.’s and Mortre Himmelfarb’s window, they become signs disseminated across the city—text—history. the end, although the process of marking all of the differences may not (as hoped) transmit reality, nor increase her understanding of Québec, by transforming the conventional system of representation,  “...  tout cela  finirait bien par prendre la configuration d’une nouvelle existence”  (185).  That new existence is based on a new mode of representation.  The repeated dislocation of the reader  within the text through lists, multiple self-reflexivity, and word—association renders the process of reading  In  162 analogous to that of the wandering Jew: reading as a form of meditation through memory association: une ville[—livre).  “[l)a rencontre avec  Tu te perdais souvent, revenant mule  fols au méme endroittl (17).  To dwell, that is, to dwell on  a subject, to think about it, becomes a form of wandering. As with Picture Theory, and each of the other novels studied here, the plot and its content are less important than their effect on the reader’s memory, their attempt to alter he/r mode of cognition.  As the protagonist wanders, she traces precisely the pattern of identifications described by de Lauretis: “[e]lle se serait constituée pour elle—même des analogies, des reperes, des événements avec lesquels ici elle pourrait s’identifier. commun” (116).  Des luttes qu’elle comprendrait, un langage She seeks identifications with socialist,  feminist, nationalist and immigrant causes (124).  However,  she is constantly reminded that “ON NE DEVIENT JAMAIS VRAIMENT QUEBECOIS” (36). And yet although the novel concludes with her return to Paris, the possibility of some form of dwelling is suggested, not in any one part of the city, but in a more holographic, non—local sense as she wanders in the city. That dwelling is also found in the image of a porous or  163 permeable body exchanging elements with its surroundings 4 and thus becoming part of its surroundings.  She realizes  how she should have entered the country, that is, appropriately, through an image that both includes and reverses Northrop Frye’s description of entering Canada: 5 Ii t’aura fallu laisser parler le langage du corps Tu auras été pénétrée par ce pays, par sa lumière, sucée par sa langue gui n’est pas tout a fait la tienne, ni tout a fait une autre, fouettée par ses vents du Nord et ses poudreries .... Tu auras été portée, happée, dévorée a la va—comme—je—te—pousse. tejetée la plupart du temps, refusée défaite, refaite la porosité des lieux a t’envahir sans ordre, ni chronologique, ni logique. la porosité des lieux t’habitait. Ils étaient en toi. Ta seule identité. (50;56) -  -  -  —  “...[S]ans ordre, ni chronologique, ni logique...”: it is significant that the word “logis” is now missing from the list of impossibilities.  The book is in the world, the  world is in the book: the body is incorporated into the country and the country into the body: a holographic memory <--in-—> the holomovement.  Dwelling is impossible  only because for the protagonist (elle) it has entailed fixing her (linguistic or physical) surroundings, or rendering them immobile and immutable.  As in the case of  the melting boulders in Surfacing, it is “impossible  a  For a discussion of a permeable body and its subversion 4 of identity, see Butler 132—34. ”The traveller from Europe edges into it like a tiny 5 Jonah entering an inconceivably large whale, slipping past the Straits of Belle Isle into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where five Canadian provinces surround him, for the most part invisible. ... {T]o enter Canada is a matter of being silently swallowed by an alien continent.” (Frye 217)  164 fixer dans cette geographie urbaine, dans cet espace mouvant” (134). The protagonIst’s mistake has been to attempt, through language, to “fixer tous les signes de la difference” (18). However it is precisely la différance (and la dissemination or la poudrerie) that prohibits this.  Even as the  protagonist attempts to fix reality and language, she must question:  “[s]erait—il possible de trouver une position dans  le langage, un point d’appui, un repère fixe, un point stable, quelque chose qui aricre la parole?” (18)  Both de  Lauretis and Bohm would respond that it is possible, but that such an anchor can only be temporary. A similar movement to the exchange between self and environment takes place on the level of the writing of the novel.  The already blurred distinction between the  narrator—protagonist and her protagonist begins to disappear as the first remarks that {c)e personnage fantôme m’échappe. Impossible de fixer dans cette géographie urbaine, dans cet espace mouvant. Des qu’elle est installée, intégrée, elle s’enfuit, deménage, et m’oblige a casser le récit alors que je commençais a m’y installer moi—même.... (134) And then: Le texte m’échappe. Je le sens glisser.... Ce personnage encore une fois m’échappe. Je finis par me laisser prendre a son histoire. Je finis par croire a la réalité de Mime Yente.... fJje finis par vouloir suivre une intrigue, un semblant d’histoire avec un debut et une fin. Je finis par vouloir un brin d’ordre, de logique, un lieu quoi.... Je finis par avoir la nostalgie du récit.... Elle finit par me prendre par la main, par me guider.... Elle veut sa place, toute sa place. Elle sort (180—181) du papier. Elle s’installe.  165 A chiasmic exchange occurs as the writer begins to install herself in the book and the protagonist installs herself in the world.  The quest to fix chronology, narrative and place  can only end in writing (and here we return to Derrida and the wandering, writing Jew), in textuality, but a textuality that is nonetheless material: “[rien qu’un désir d’écriture et cette proliferation d’existence  ...  du language jouissant  tout seul, du corps sans sujet” (15). It is only in that writing, in her Jewish identity, that the protagonist finds a sense of belonging or dwelling, even if that dwelling is by nature nomadic.  Just as her memory  functions as the wandering Jew, when she gives up the project of “fixing” reality she finds a form of dwelling in constant movement and transformation: she and her partner “ne se sentiraient totalement eux—mêmes qu’en marchant, en traversant les différents quartiers” (184). in which she has never been:  And in a site  “[lej Shtetl son vrai pays  qu’elle n’aurait jamais connu” (100). Even as she wanders between the French of France, that of Québec, English, Yiddish and Spanish, she dwells in Hebrew: “dans le fond tu as toujours habité un langage,” a language “carrefour, errant connie tol” (135).  In his  discussion of the rheoniode, Bohm refers to Hebrew as one language which is based on the verb, on movement and change, rather than on the noun (Bohm 30).  And for the protagonist,  Hebraic letters are alive; they have feet, they run, they  166 move, they shift and transform themselves from one letter to another (135).  Hebrew is material in a manner that others  are not; it resists the process of signification (87). reads these letters for themselves,  a  She  la lettre; she reads  “{cjes lettres finement dessinées” (135) for their shapes Hebrew, more clearly than any  and for their taste (87).  other language, achieves for her a textuality/materiality by which it incorporates and acts on reality (136). “une image graphique gui est tout un paysage.  Un langage  sang, mort, blessure, un langage pogrom et peur. mémoire” (135).  Hebrew is  Un langage  Hebrew is a place, a memory of the future,  a place which becomes becoming itself (135; see also Derrida, “Edmond Jabès” 101—102). Gradually, Québec will also be transformed by memory. The attempt to fix differences through writing paradoxically leads to the transformation of those differences: “{l]a parole immigrante derange.... insituable, intenable...  Elle n’a pas de lieu  [e)lle deplace, transforme,  travaille le tissu même de cette ville éclatée” (197).  The  materiality of language, of semiotic invention, alters the fabric of the city itself.  167 From the materiality of language to a marxist materiality  In the first part of this chapter, as in each of the preceding ones, I have attempted to elucidate how a holographic memory may form a politically useful cognitive strategy that can alter social reality.  At the same time,  each of the texts discussed has, like a fragment of a hologram, revealed another perspective on that holographic memory.  This is also true for La Ouébécoite.  As this text  inscribes itself holographically, it also inscribes another possible political agenda into the hologram, while expanding upon its episteinological implications.  One important  thematic line through this text is the search for leftist causes with which to identify, and a lamentation of the lack of a socialist movement in Québec (124).  As I have already  noted, the lists of banks, stores and menus produce the semiotic environment while dislocating the reader and formally creating a holographic memory.  Those lists also  comment on the effect of multinational capitalism on Québec and its culture.  The protagonist contrasts her own leftist  politics with un Quebec un Quebec un Quebec  [sic]  coke french fries avec des rôties, de la relish et du ketchup des oeufs retournés et du bacon carte de credits [sic] un Quebec American Express Chargex Master Charge Diner’s Club  168 un Quebec Texaco Shell Esso Gulf Oil un Québec un Québec un Québec  multinationales du Pétrole  Molson Labatt Pepsi colonie (83—4)  By depicting Québécois as “Pepsis,” derided by an anglophone majority, and as colonized by Pepsi, Robin explores the relationships between nationality and class.  Thus as she  describes Sherbrooke, she wanders further east where “le tissu se déchire.  Le Sherbrooke des pauvres de la mélasse,  du bas de la yule, du pétrole, des usines. Le Sherbrooke ou l’on ne va jamais, ou l’on ne parle que le français” (79). Robin then expands this culturally-based class system to include new immigrants.  The protagonist’s partner in the  third section of the novel, who immigrated from Paraguay and who lives above the Marché Jean Talon, works in a cardboard box factory.  He is one of those who would benefit most by a  class upheaval.  However,  [i]l ne se plaindrait pas sachant que dans ce pays, ii les resterait éternellement un citoyen de seconde zone on aurait refuse immigrants ne font pas de politigue de lui donner la citoyenneté parce que trop marqué, subversif, dangereux pour la sécurité nationale. (177) —  —  The cognitive dissonance created by those lists, the difficulty experienced in cognitive mapping this text/city may also be lInked to what Fredric Jameson has termed a “postmodern hyperspace.”  Without entering into a discussion  169 on periodization, I would like to draw out some of the similarities between this hyperspace and the holographic spaces discussed in this dissertation.  Because of the  thematic link, I will begin with the points of correlation between this hyperspace and La Ouébécoite before moving on to the holomovement in general and suggesting that this holographic paradigm might offer the beginnings of an aesthetic of cognitive mapping: what Jameson suggests may provide a capacity to effect political change in this new space. In Postmodernism. or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Fredric Jameson, like Teresa de Lauretis, utilizes the notion of cognitive mapping to suggest a political project.  Employing architectural and literary  examples to support his theory of postmodernism, he proposes that one of the key indicators of postmodern culture is a mutation in, or a transformation of built space.  Jameson  asserts that “we do not yet possess the perceptual equipment to match this new hyperspace, as I will call it, in part because our perceptual habits were formed in that older kind of space I have called the space of high modernism” (38-39). He claims that the human body lacks the perceptual apparatus to locate itself and to cognitively map its own position in its urban environment, and draws an analogy to “the incapacity of our minds, at least at present, to map the great global multinational and decentered communicational  170 network in which we find ourselves caught as individual subjects” (44). This postmodern hyperspace is characterized in architecture by an attempt to create a new totality within urban space, a miniature city within a city, a replacement or substitute (40) for the city itself.  Jameson describes  the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles to illustrate the manner in which the postmodern building downplays its entrance to create a disjunction between itself and its surroundings; it refuses to be a part of the city. In addition, a reflective glass exterior repels the city, turning it back on itself and refusing it entry.  Finally,  this space has no volume: it is filled with decorative structures that suffuse this empty space in such a way as to distract systematically and deliberately from whatever form it might be supposed to have, while a constant business gives the feeling that emptiness is here absolutely packed, that it is an element within which you yourself are immersed, without any of that distance that formerly enabled the perception of perspective of volume (42). In addition to an architectural example, Jameson performs a literary analysis of Kevin Lynch’s The Image of the City, in which he suggests that “the alienated city is above all a space in which people are unable to map (in their minds) either their own positions or the urban totality in which they find themselves” (51).  The  resolution to this predicament would then entail the practical reconquest of a sense of place and the construction or reconstruction of an articulated  171 ensemble which can be retained in memory and which the individual subject can map and remap along the moments of mobile, alternative trajectories. (51) The space of La Ouébécoite is not at all unlike the “La Québécoite” replaces  hyperspace described by Jameson.  une Ouébécoise; in its multi-ethnic character, it also replaces la Ouébécitude that Québec literature has for so long attempted to define.  The reflective exterior of the  Bonaventure Hotel that repels the city corresponds to the multiple self-reflexivity of the text: the autobiographical novel of a writer writing a novel of a writer writing a novel of a writer of history.  The distinction between what  is written and what is written about is blurred and confused by these repeated reflections.  The entrance into L.  Ouébécoite is as confused and convoluted as the entrance into the Bonaventure Hotel, which, as Jameson writes, takes one through back doors and long passageways which end up on the sixth floor, from which one has to walk down one flight of stairs before reaching an elevator to the lobby.  The  title of Robin’s novel itself is designed to be enigmatic and on the cover of the book it is juxtaposed with a picture of an Eastern European Gypsy camp.  After the epigraphs from  Jabès and Kafka, the first section, “Snowdon,” begins with: “Pas d’ordre.  Ni chronologique, ni logique, ni logis” (15).  There is no order nor logic to the short sentence fragments that follow; they take on meaning only as one advances through the text.  (Like Picture Theory, this text is an  172 example of an innovative use of spatial form.)  Suddenly  these thought—fragments mutate into fragments of overheard conversations in a café, resulting in extreme pronominal confusion.  Then the reader encounters the first image of  getting lost in a city, and the lists begin (15-17).  As  discussed above, the metro lines, like the passageways into the hotel Jameson describes (but for a very different reason) lead nowhere; the protagonist only gets so far and then, because of a memory, t1a ligne se perd dans [s]a mémoire” (70). As for the lack of volume and perspective, and the busy ness of the space, the ostensible attempt to create volume in La Québécoite fills the novel with so many lists that the reader is dislocated and finds it difficult to situate he/rself.  A holographic memory within a holomovement is the  epitome of immersion; there is no possibility whatsoever for distanciation.  Robin, even more clearly than Jameson,  illustrates how it is possible to project the difficulty of cognitively mapping physical, urban space onto larger national and global spaces. a global market.  Montréal is depicted as part of  However, with her reference to Québec as  colonized by Pepsi and her assertion that “les immigrants ne font pas de politique” (177), Robin increases the complexity of that global space by adding the dimension of ethnicity in its relation to class.  173 Yet even with this added complexity, there remains the possibility for what Jameson calls “disalienation” (51). Gradually the protagonist becomes familiar with the city and feels most at home walking through its different neighbourhoods (184).  Similarly, in the process of reading,  of learning the rules of this memory—association process, and memorizing the text, the reader comes to be able to “map and remap along the moments of mobile, alternative trajectories” (Jameson 51) of the text itself.  The space which Jameson describes is different from the holomovement; whereas Bohm refers to a transformation of the perception of space, Jameson writes of a mutation in space itself, and deals exclusively with built space.  And  although the notion of quantum reality as built space is an intriguing one, it is certainly beyond the bounds of this dissertation.  In addition, Jameson retains the notion of  individual subjects as separate from their environment (44); complete immersion is part of the problem (42).  He also  writes of the necessity of a “reconquest of a sense of place” (51).  A holographic memory-space is absolute  immersion; it allows only very temporary separations into individual subjects, as well as temporary transformations of  174 space into place. 6  However, there are some similarities  between postmodern alienation, as defined by Jameson, and the feminist and post—colonial alienations discussed in this dissertation, and it is possible that these differences are part of a transformation of the relation between self and space that is necessary to an aesthetic of cognitive mapping. Jameson points out that the process of cognitive mapping, while representational, is not exactly mimetic: “the theoretical issues it poses allow us to renew the analysis of representation on a higher and much more complex level” (51).  The complexities based on expectations and  sensory organ limitations discussed in the first chapter of this dissertation with reference to Blakemore are one example of why a cognitive map is not mimetic.  Jameson also  points out the differences between cognitive mapping and cartography; a cognitive map is more of an itinerary than a map (52): a map constantly in process.  Added to this is the  complexity of the mental equivalent of the “unresolvable (well—nigh Heisenbergian) dilemma of the transfer of curved space to flat charts” (52). This dilemma was discussed in different terms at the beginning of this study and reiterated at the beginning of this chapter in the question, posed by Derrida, of what  For a discussIon of the relation between space and 6 place, see Edward Reiph, Place and Placelessness, 63—78.  175 happens when two—dimensional writing ceases to be the model for meaning.  Since a holographic memory is merely one  frequency of a holomovement, this theory takes the concept of cognitive mapping even further away from mimetic representation.  Brossard’s Picture Theory is one attempt at  a three—dimensional cognitive map, an attempt to resolve that “Heisenbergian dilemma” of the transfer of three dimensional space to a book.  As such it explores a  different mode of representation, reproducing not a “thing” but the process of knowing that thing. this as well, with its wandering memory.  La Ouébécoite does What Jameson  says of postmodern hyperspace may be said of the space of both Picture Theory and La Ouébécoite: “ft)his space cannot represent motion but can only be represented in motion” (44). Jameson, like de Lauretis, uses Aithusser and Lacan to transfer the basic notion of the cognitive map situating a subject in physical space to its correlative in social space.  He does so by tracing the history of cartography  from the precartographic cognitive map (which situates the subject in its immediate surroundings) to the itinerary (which adds movement) to the use of a compass (which situates the subject by coordinating “existential data (the empirical position of the subject) with unlived, abstract conceptions of the geographic totality” (52).  He then  employs Aithusser to transfer the process of cognitive  176 mapping to social space, through the notion of interpellation and Althusser’s (and Lacan’s) definition of ideology as “the representation of the subject’s Imaginary relationship to his or her Real conditions of existence” (Althusser cited by Jameson 51).  This transfer “enable[s)  a situational representation on the part of the individual subject to that vaster and properly unrepresentable totality which is the ensemble of society’s structure as a whole” (51), for example, to “social class and national or international context, in terms of the ways in which we all necessarily also cognitively map our individual social relationship to local, national, and international class realities” (52). According to Jameson, the present crisis, that of postmodern hyperspace, stems from the inability to map our present position in that space.  He suggests that the way  out of this crisis is to develop [a]n aesthetic of cognitive mapping a pedagogical political culture which seeks to endow the individual subject with some new heightened sense of its place in the global system [which]- will necessarily have to respect this now enormously complex representational dialectic and invent radically new forms in order to do it justice. This is not then, clearly, a call for a return to some older kind of machinery, some older and more transparent national space, or some more traditional and reassuring perspectival or mimetic enclave: the new political art (if it is possible at all) will have to hold to the truth of postmodernism, the world that is to say, to its fundamental object at the same time at space of multinational capital which it achieves a breakthrough to some as yet unimaginable new mode of representing this last, in which we may again begin to grasp our positioning as individual and collective subjects and regain a capacity -  -  —  177 to act and struggle which is at present neutralized by our spatial as well as our social confusion. The political form of postiuodernism, if there ever is any, will have as its vocation the invention and projection of a global cognitive mapping, on a social as well as a spatial scale. (54) La Ouébécoite, a text that is clearly dealing with the world space of multinational capital, reads through a holographic memory to at least begin to elucidate an aesthetic of cognitive mapping.  The manner in which it does  so indicates that the notion of a holographic memory, as it has here been outlined, might offer some manner of dealing with Jameson’s theory of postmodern hyperspace.  To test  this hypothesis conclusively would, of course, entail a great deal of further research and analysis.  However, the  holographic memory does, I think, suggest a new mode of cognitive mapping, of “knowing” space and of (temporarily) positioning the processual subject within it in a manner which provides that subject with the capacity to interact with it.  In/conclusion: a writIng that is never whole  To point towards Fredric Jameson’s suggestions regarding the cognitive mapping of postmodern hyperspace is to open up an entirely new possible area of relevance for the holographic theory discussed here.  During the course of my  178 analyses I have indicated other possible avenues of research, such as the relation between the holoinovement and chaos theory, theories of virtual reality and possible alliances between a holographic theory and First Nations epistemologies.  By employing Derridean terms and operations  such as dissemination and deconstruction, I have also implied that it may be possible to read Derrida through this holographic memory.  To attempt to do so would necessitate a  tracing of the historical and philosophical development of Derrida’s “iuémoires,” another task that is beyond the bounds of this study.  It is impossible to predict whether or not  any of these possibilities could lead to further inventions. What I have proposed here is only a beginning. This dissertation has been an attempt to integrate theory and literary textual analysis, 7 theoretical and scientific “abstractions” and political practices.  I have  argued that more radical changes in habitual modes of thought are necessary in order to effectuate the social and political changes desired by feminist, anti-racist and antiimperialist activists.  If, as theorists such as de Lauretis  have argued, subjects and their environments are in a constant process of mutual construction, then one strategy of political art is to attempt to change the “map” of social  One might respond that the two are always already 7 integrated, and I would agree; but more often than not they are treated separately, atomistically, in that theory is separated from and applied (or not) to literary texts.  179 reality through processes such as that of semiotic invention.  However, to change that map can, like redrawing  the humanist line, simply result in a shift of subject positions within an identical power structure.  A change in  the mode of mapping itself, while apparently a more abstract and theoretical task, may lead to more profound changes in that map. This study has suggested an alternative iaode of mapping through a holographic theory, but also through the manner in which that theory was developed.  Nicole Brossard’s Picture  Theory provided a means to do this since it functions simultaneously as theory and novel.  It produces a  holographic memory which Bohm’s theory expands into an epistemological process.  Each of the subsequent chapters  attempted to draw more of the holographic theory out of the novels under consideration, employing the theory to analyze them and then asking in what way they alter or add to the theory.  Scientists such as Pribram and Bohm, and theorists  such as flerrida, were read less as “theory,” which is often treated as somehow more rigorous or closer to “truth,” than as intertext. I began with a semiotics of subjectivity, which Teresa de Lauretis employs to trace the interaction between a subject—in—process and he/r environment—in—process.  She  combines notions of cognitive and semiotic mapping in order to suggest that by altering the mode of mapping,  180 re-organizing that process and shifting the relationships among map, mapper and mapped, a subject can produce an invention which can eventually alter he/r semiotic environment (Alice 55).  Memory is implicit in de Lauretis’  semiotics; it is necessary to both the notion of a cognitive map and that of subjectivity.  Nicole Brossard’s holographic  memory suggests how memory might function in the process of invention, as Picture Theory attempts to alter mimetic representation by indirectly representing cognition itself. When read in conjunction with Bohm’s theory of the holomovement, that cognition becomes a form of cognitive mapping, of situating self in its environment.  However,  this holographic theory also transforms the process of cognitive mapping, because self and environment conflate; as both subjects and objects are constructed as temporary anchorings, habits or relatively autonomous subtotalities, the possibilities for invention are increased and expanded. To introduce this holographic theory in conjunction with de Lauretis’ semiotics enables further development of her project on the politics of self-representation, not only by expanding it beyond her concern with gender, but also by altering the notions of self and representation which she employs. It is not surprising that Bohm’s holographic theory works in conjunction with Picture Theory.  However, to be  able to expand that hologram in a manner that furthers the  181 political projects of a variety of other unrelated texts is to suggest that it may be significant to the work of minority politics in general.  Like the semiotics of Teresa  de Lauretis, this holographic cognitive strategy appears to be “transportable”; it is not limited to the context in which it was developed, but may be deployed structurally in a variety of situations.  At a time of fragmentation between  different political groups, a holographic theory may form the ground for alliances.  By encouraging different  perspectives on the hologram, the hologram acknowledges differences.  By its very fluidity and its refusal to set  itself up as “truth” or as a true representation of reality, it also avoids establishing itself as a dominant discourse. It both encourages difference and alters itself to accommodate difference. For example, Brossard’s political program seeks to integrate women into historical and social reality.  She  attempts to alter the process of cognition in order to modify language in such a manner as to integrate women into that language.  By focussing on thought as a hologram, she  “invents” a form of cognition that bypasses mimetic representation and thus also bypasses the “violence of writing.”  Bohm’s notion of the holomovement theorizes a  reality which also resists representation.  To read  Brossard’s holographic memory as a frequency of Bohm’s holomovement is to imagine a form of cognitive mapping that  182 is highly conducive to invention.  Margaret Atwood’s  Surfacing also strives for a form of integration: a sense of “dwelling.”  A holographic memory in a holomovement  conflates subject and object and thus offers one possibility of “dwelling” that is an alternative to the shamanic transformation undergone by Atwood’s protagonist.  However,  it avoids attempting to elevate itself to the status of a sacred text because it makes no claim to be a “true” description of reality; it is only one possibility, but one that encourages invention.  At the same time, Surfacing  produces another perspective on this holographic theory.  It  adds a post-colonial politics, expands the notion of integration to include space (physical and/or national) as well as time or history and adds resolution to the notion of holographic cognitive mapping. On one level, Marlene Nourbese Philip’s Looking for Livingstone also seeks to “dwell”; however, in this case that dwelling signifies a recuperation of indigeneity. However, “Livingstone” is also livingstone, part of a holomovement.  As such it bypasses the transcendent term of  Silence, and points towards the process of attaining that term.  This shift in focus is also holographic; like the  hologram of Picture Theory, it pays attention not to atomistic terms, particle-like signifiers and signifieds and utopian teleologies, but to the process of cognition that is required to imagine those utopias.  183 Post-colonial politics suggest that non-Natives reject a technique of indigenization such as that of Atwood. Therefore, rather than attempting to establish a relationship between the holographic theory and Beatrice Culleton’s In Search of April Raintree, I have drawn out a parallel tendency between the two.  Focussing on the orality  of Culleton’s text and the epistemology of oral culture, I have begun to demonstrate that there are similarities between that epistemology and a holographic one.  Although  much more work needs to be done in this area, the similarities promise at least the possibility of a political and philosophical alliance.  And that alliance would add to  the theory precisely by not adding to it; it supplements the hologram, showing that it is not whole, that it cannot attain closure. Because of its structural and thematic resemblance to Picture Theory and its explicit use of semiotics, Regine Robin’s La Ouébécoite is easily read in terms of a holographic memory.  It also synthesizes the different  desires to dwell that are the impetus of each of the novels discussed: linguistic, historical, national, spatial and cultural.  In addition, it adds a multinational, global  element that connects this holographic theory to Fredric Jameson’s notion of an aesthetic of cognitive mapping. Despite its apparent claim to be a holos gramma, and the wide relevance for which I have argued, a holographic theory  184 makes no claims to universality.  The holos is offset by the  inherent incompleteness of “writing”: its participation in the logic of the supplement (Derrida, Of Grammatology 7). Although its process is holistic, it resists closure by refusing any claim to “truth.”  Because it alters the  relationship between map and terrain, it makes no territorial claims.  It is merely a suggestion of a  provisional and potentially strategic construct with which to think, one means of mapping reality that may induce a frame of mind that is capable of altering that reality. To combine Brossard’s holographic memory with Bohm’s holomovement and to read them semiotically is to suggest a cognitive strategy that employs memory as process.  As the  textual analyses performed in this study indicate by their additions to the theory, that cognitive strategy itself is always in process: it can never be complete.  Because memory  is that which both contains and works knowledge, this concept of memory may develop into an epistemological strategy, a strategy that would alter the meaning of knowledge, of what it means to know.  A holographic memory  transforms both the method of knowing, as it is conventionally represented, and the ground of that knowledge.  In a holographic theory, both method and ground  become fluid interaction. thing.  Knowing replaces knowledge of any  What becomes important are the “significant effects”  of signs as they pass through each consciousness/body and  185 produce an effect or an action upon the world Technologies of Gender 42).  (de Lauretis,  As David Bohm puts it,  Thought is play. And you have to play with thought and discover to what extent it has any significance [strategic, political, culturall rather than to say you’re grasping truth. (Bohm 363)  186 Bibliography Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiff in. Th Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures. New York: Routledge, 1989. Atwood, Margaret. The Journals of Susanna Moodie. Oxford UP, 1970. ———.  Toronto:  Survival: a Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature. Toronto: Anansi, 1972. 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