Found another message to one of my treasured interlocutors. This to Bridget Keegan in September of 1994. Very interesting to see this stuff in its “primitive” form before it got worked up in Sense in the chapter on “Storing and Sorting“. It appears that the reference to Genette via Lodge was a stepping stone — never made it in the chapter’s discussion of memory work, body and narrative.
found the reference in lodge’s anthology p. 68
genette still makes a difference in kind between narrative and description. for him narrative and description are two different systems that one can study at a higher level of generality.
this has help me understand that my notion of description like that of narrative must also have a non-verbal set. i guess the notion that i hope to deploy is that of “notation”
both verbal descriptions and narratives can be phenomena that arise out of the general activity of notation. i know this sounds awfully abstract without the anthropological examples like Nancy Munn’s work on Walbiri iconographic systems. the example that i give is of teaching a child how to count. one sets down tracks, acoustic (the voicing of the names of the numbers), visual (good number teachers make eye contact with the child and then direct their gaze to the finger) and tactile (the actual touching of the fingers) my contention is that complex concepts and activity like predication arise in multisensory settings because the body is thinking or rather more of the body is used as a site to store information and hence is easier to recall. now what did all this have to do with literary theory????!!!
thank you thank you
And again thanks. After all these years.
And so for day 878