Monday, March 05, 2007

Chapter 41: The Lost Canon of Rhetoric

Dally is in Venice, dresses like a boy, and calls herself Beppo. She works as a sales agent and model for Hunter, a budding artist. Like Dally, who could be either a girl or a boy to the casual observer, Hunter has his own ambiguity of appearance—he could be either young or old.

Hunter speaks to Dally of Venice’s lack of knowledge of a great war. Dally is understandably confused:

“It’s so far away the news hasn’t reached here ‘yet’?” She let a breathy go by then. “Or it hasn’t happened ‘yet’?”

Bilocations in space and time—is he an Einsteinean time/space traveler? If energy and matter are one, are time and space one?

Hunter’s response to Dally’s questioning ties in yet another element here—memory, or memoria, the lost canon of rhetoric:

“I wish I could remember. Anything. Whatever the time—reversal of ‘remembering’ is…” (577).

He goes on, making connections reminiscent of Lefevre’s work on space:

“Political space has its neutral ground. But does Time? is there such a thing as a
neutral hour? one that goes neither forward nor back? is that too much to hope?” (577)

In Tancredi, an artist Dally lusts after, we get a brief introduction to Marinetti and futurism.


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