Advertisement

Chiasmus, Artificial Memory, and the Arts of Arrangement

  • Donald Kunze
Part of the Nexus Network Journal book series (NNJ, volume 12,3)

Abstract

Few figures of classical rhetoric can claim more spatial relevance than “chiasmus,” the figure of symmetrical convergence used by poets, novelists, rhetoricians, mnemonicists and others. Is chiasmus a tool of literati who appropriate spatial forms to pull their plots to closure, or is there an independent architectural tradition of chiasmus? If one pulls together the clues about metonymy, the logic of arrangement, one can discover an intriguing link to Jacques Lacan’s similar design of the human psyche and his topological investigations. The Vitruvian sequence of venustas, utilitas and firmatas may suggest to some nothing more than an arbitrary division of architectural interests. Ritually, however, the relation of firmitas not just to material stability but to the traditional rituals required to secure buildings from both collapse and curse, even if figurative, offers connections to the chiastic design of foundation rites, where sacrifice secures the life and security of structure.

Keywords

acoustics allegory Giulio Camillo chiasmus design theory Kabbala Jacques Lacan meaning memory theaters metonymy psychoanalysis Simonides topology symmetry 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bayer, Thora Ilin and Donald Phillip Verene, eds. 2009. Giambattista Vico: Keys to the New Science, Translations, Commentaries, and Essays. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Cassirer, Ernst. 1957. Towards a Pathology of the Symbolic Consciousness. Part 2, Chapter 6 in The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, Vol. 3, The Phenomenology of Knowledge, trans. Ralph Manheim. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Clément, Catherine. 1983. The Lives and Legends of Jacques Lacan, trans. Arthur Goldhammer. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Ellmann, Richard. 1977. The Consciousness of Joyce. Toronto and New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Foster, Hal. 1996. The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century. Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Kunze, Donald and Wesley Wei. 1986. The Vanity of Architecture: Topical Thinking and the Practice of Discontinuity. VIA 8: 54–69.Google Scholar
  7. Lacan, Jacques. 1998. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XI, trans. Alan Sheridan. New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  8. Nagel, Ernest and James R. Newman. 1958. Gödel’s Proof. New York: New York University Press.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. Pluth, Ed. 2007. Signifiers and Acts: Freedom in Lacan’s Theory of the Subject. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  10. Ragland-Sullivan, Ellie. 1986. Jacques Lacan and the Philosophy of Psychoanalysis. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Vico, Giambattista. 1984. The New Science of Giambattista Vico. Max Harold Fisch and Thomas Godard Bergin, trans. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Wenneker, Lu Beery. 1970. An Examination of L’Idea del Theatro of Giulio Camillo, including an Annotated Translation, with Special Attention to His Influence on Emblem Literature and Iconography. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.Google Scholar
  13. Wheeler, Linda. 2000. Common Objects Are an Uncommon Find; Extensive Collection of African American Hoodoo Artifacts Uncovered in Annapolis. The Washington Post, Metro Edition (February 16, 2000): B03.Google Scholar
  14. Yates, Frances. 1966. The Art of Memory. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald Kunze
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ArchitecturePenn State UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations