A - H


The following works, although not cited, have contributed to my reflection on matters sensory and reproductive. 
Many yield a bon mot. 


Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill and Bryan S. Turner. The Dominant Ideology Thesis. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1980.

Abrams, M.H. The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1953.

"The endemic disease of analogical thinking, however, is hardening of the categories."

Ackerman, Diane. A Natural History of the Senses. New York, Random House, 1990; Vintage, 1991.

"Our senses, which feel so personal and impromptu, and seem at times to divorce us from other people, reach far beyond us. They're an extension of the genetic chain that connects us to everyone who has ever lived; they bind us to other people and to animals, across time and country and happenstance."



Bal, Mieke. Reading "Rembrandt" Beyond the Word- Image Opposition. The Northrop Frye Lectures in Literary Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

"The work no longer stands alone; now the viewer must acknowledge that he or she makes it work, and that the surface is no longer still but tells the story of its making. That is what narrativity does to a work of art, be it visual or literary."

Barfield, Owen. Saving the Appearances: a Study of Idolatry. London: Faber & Faber 1957. NY: Hartcourt Brace Jovanovich [1965]. 2nd ed. Middleton, Conn: Wesleyan U.P. 1988.

"I do not perceive any thing with my sense- organs alone, but with a great part of my whole human being. [...] with all sorts of other things like mental habits, memory, imagination, feeling and (to the extent at least that the act of attention involve it) will."

Bateson, Gregory. Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology. Northvale, N.J., London: Jason Aronson, 1972, rpt 1987.

"The royal road to consciousness and objectivity is through language and tools."

Black, Max. Models and Metaphors: Studies in Language and Philosophy. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1962.

"Perhaps every science must start with metaphor and end with algebra; and perhaps without metaphor there would never have been an algebra."

Boone, Elizabeth Hill and Walter D. Mignolo, eds. Writing Without Words: Alternative Literacies in Mesoamerica and the Andes. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1994.

Bruce, Donald David. De l'intertexutalité à l'interdiscursivité: évolution d'un concept théorique Diss. University of Toronto, 1987.

There is something puzzling about the use Bruce makes of feedback system. He does so in the context of discussing Ricoeur's distinction between reference in oral and written contexts. [Ricoeur, "The Model of the Text: Meaningful action considered as text." John B. Thompson, ed./trans. Hermeneutics and the Social Sciences. Cambridge and Paris: Éditions de la maison des sciences de l'homme/Cambridge University Press, 1981, 1997-221.]
Bruce assigns feedback to oral context:

Ces mécanismes verbaux et non-verbaux fonctionnent comme une sorte de "mécanisme de contrôle en retour" (angl.: feedback system), car les locuteurs peuvent, à tout moment, revenir sur les propos déjà énoncés.

I think such attributions of feedback to oral situations without similar attribution to written situations resides in a presupposition of body to body communication, that is encased consciousness.
Group mind applied to oral situations would complicate the application of a point-to-point telegraphic model to communication situations.
Broad band broadcasting as an other model changes the relation between noise and message.

Butler, Octavia O. Adulthood Rites. New York: Warner, 1988. Second volume of the Xenogenesis trilogy.

As in much of Butler's work, this volume thematizes the organisation of sensory modalities and reproductive models.



Colie, Rosalie L. Paradoxica Epidemica: The Renaissance Tradition of Paradox. Princeton, NJ.: Princeton University Press, 1966.

"In most situations of ordinary life, words are by convention regarded as adequate, are taken as "matching" reality, and verbal language is usually regarded as the proper medium into which experience is to be translated or transliterated. Love questions all these assumptions: love forces us back upon the fundamental autonomy of experience, subject to its own rules and inexpressible in any other medium."

Colilli, Paul. Signs of the Hermetic Imagination. Monograph Series of the Toronto Semiotic Circle Number 12. Toronto: Toronto Semiotic Circle, 1993.

Chatwin, Bruce. The Songlines. London: Penguin, 1987.

Chaytor, Henry John. From Script to Print: An Introduction to Medieval Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1945. Reprinted in 1950 under the title From Script to Print: An Introduction to Medieval Vernacular Literature.

"[T]he sirventes was a poetical form constructed as the love song, and concerned with social or political satire; these songs broadcasted by jongleurs were passed from mouth to mouth, and, as what we call "news" was scarce and slow in transit, exercised a considerable influence upon general opinion. The political sirventes of Bertran de Born are well known; the personal sirventes of Guillem de Berguedan rival the best efforts of Dr. Goebbels."

Interesting to juxtapose these remarks against McLuhan's on Hitler and radio.

Coste, Didier. Narrative as Communication. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989.

Introducing his section on "Narrative through Non-linguistic Media" he writes

"Although our operational theorization cannot proceed pictorially or musically, it does acknowledge that operations of pictorial and musical narrative cognition are not the same as linguistic operations and are not necessarily mere preliminaries; they share certain structures and processes of dissociation, association, comparison, transfer, and so forth, that permit transposition up to a point, but require a particularly careful comparative approach."

Going from narrative to communication Coste clings to sensory divisions which would be impossible if the syntagm were reversed:
theorize from communication to narrative.



Davidson, Mark. Uncommon Sense: The Life and Thought of Ludgwig von Bertalanffy Father of General Systems Theory. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, 1983.

"A system is a manifestation of something intangible, but quite real, called organization. A system, like a work of art, is a pattern rather than a pile. Like a piece of music, it's an arrangement rather than an aggregate. Like a marriage, it's a relationship rather than an encounter."

Davidson pushes his dichotomy a bit far. Organization, pattern, arrangement and encounter can all be similar. Encounters can be and usually are systematic.

Delany, Samuel R. The Mad Man. New York: Richard Kasak, 1994.

"Thoughts are never not clothed in language --- or, rather, that's not the relation between thought and words: the relation between a body and a suit of clothes. Thought is part of language. But everything we perceive, either through our senses, or through our bodily feelings, or through sitting in the dark with our eyes closed, remembering or thinking or figuring, is the "meaning" part of language. So a thought doesn't come "without words." It comes first as simple language --- simple meanings, if you will. Then, what we call "thinking about it" is just the arrival of more complex language that elaborates on it --- that's all. Once the elaborated language has come, we remember the simpler language as somehow prelinguistic."

Delany, Samuel R. Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand. New York, Bantam Books, 1984.

For a peculiar problematization of the couple and perception, see especially the chapter entitled "A Dragon Hunt" where two characters, Rat Korga and Mark Dyeth, project themselves into the phenomenological space of an other species and the whole interaction is witnessed by a third.

Dissanayake, Ellen. Homo Aestheticus. Where Art Comes From and Why. New York: The Free Press, 1992.

Driven by a narrative of evolution as a story of seeking greater control over uncertainty, she neglects the aspects of creativity related to the generation of problems or the making of uncertainty.
Her argument is almost ruined by this onesideness.
Such a narrative also influences her take on orality/literacy questions.

"Writers cannot presume shared knowledge, so they must be explict where a speaker is implicit; precise and careful where a speaker can be careless; streamlined and sparse where a speaker can be redundant."

François Rabelais and Thomas Pynchon spring to mind as counter examples. There are also some odd genderings of the word/image dichotomy. She claims

"traditional women's arts tend to be diagrammatic and geometric, showing the networks of social relationships in which women participate, while men's arts are narrative and descriptive, showing their roles as warriors, hunters and adventurers."
(236, n. 21)



Eagleton, Terry. Walter Benjamin or Towards a Revolutionary Criticism. London: NLB, 1981.

He notes that Eliot and Leavis cast a contrast between Donne and Milton in terms of an auditory and visual dichotomy.

Eco, Umberto. The Limits of Interpretation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990.

"[t]he double metaphor of the world as a text and a text as a world has a venerable history. To interpret means to react to the text of the world or to the world of a text by producing other texts."

Or I might add to react by refusing to produce other texts.
See de Lauretis on action versus disposition for action.

Erasmus, Desiderius. Patristic Scholarship: The Edition of St. Jerome. Collected Works of Erasmus V. 61. Edited and translated by James F. Brady and John C. Olin Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992.

From the preface to Volume II of Erasmus's edition of St. Jerome (1516)

"[...] style is at once an imaging of the mind in its every facet. It is like physical propagation, where parental features appear in the offspring."

Thanks to Matt DeCoursey for this reference.
Is there a correlation between mimesis, poesis and the range of reproductive models that accompany them?



Frankel, Hans F. "Poetry and Painting: Chinese and Western Views of their Convertability." Comparative Literature 9:4 (Fall 1957). 289-307.

"Naturally, the arduous technical training required in calligraphy, with its disciplined control of brush strokes and lines, was also an excellent preparation for painting."

Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and its discontents. Trans. J. Strachey. New York: Norton, 1961.

"With every tool man is perfecting his own organs, or removing the limits to their functioning ... Man has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic God."



Gifford, Don. The Farther Shore. A Natural History of Perception, 1798-1984. New York, Vintage, 1991.

Full of wonderful anecdotes. Of which,

"And there is always the story of the child who preferred the radio to television because he could see the picture so much more clearly."

Gonsalez-Crussi, F. The Five Senses. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989; rpt. New York: Vintage, 1991.

"I believe that the autonomy of the senses would not be so dear a concept to us if our scheme of perception had been derived from Huichole sources. But Huicholes are not neurophysiologists. Peyote to them is a sacrament, not a botanical specimen belonging to a system thick with species, classes, and genera. Consequently, our theoretical scheme of sense perception was entirely built by somewhat jejune whites, skeptical in outlook, rational, distrustful of the senses, and systematically suspicious of any experience that could not be reduced to words and abstractions. Which is why we have been living by a watered- down idea of the life of the senses: a scientific-rational formula that cannot recognize the intercommunicating nature of perceptions [...]"

Whatever the origin of the compartmentalized senses, there is no doubt about the consequences for cross-cultural communication.

Grimsted, D. "The Purple Rose of Popular Culture Theory: An Exploration of Intellectual Kitsch" American Quarterly 43(4) 541-578.

Sharp aphorisms such as

"The opposite sides of intellectual coins commonly tend to be equally flat"

would have pleased the media guru but perhaps not the edge of satire

"No one has done more to call attention to the mass media than Marshall McLuhan. But McLuhan's cleverness has led him toward such heavy-handed and -headed put-ons as The Medium is the Massage --- and [Woody] Allen to his amusing put- down of the media sage's pundity in Annie Hall."

Others might miss the bite.



Halverson, John. "Goody and the implosion of the literacy thesis." Man 27 (June 1992) 301-317.

"Only if a conversational model is presupposed for the oral medium is immediacy distinctive, but such a model is hardly justified since a great deal of important oral discourse (such as story, myth and ritual) is not in that mode."

"Goody's view conflates what we think about and how we think; only the later is the concern of cognitive theory."

"One unassaiblable point emerges, and this is that reading can radically alter one's thoughts, emotions and behaviour."

Haraway, Donna. "A Manifesto for Cyborgs" in Coming to Terms: Feminism, Theory, Politics. ed. by Elizabeth Weed (London, New York: Routledge, 1989).

"Cyborg imagery can suggest a way out of the maze of dualisms in which we have explained our bodies and our tools to ourselves. This is a dream not of a common language, but of a powerful infidel heteroglossia."

Hewitt, Marsha. "Is Sexism Genetic?" Our Generation 16:2 (Spring 1984), 7-14.

A critique of Mary O'Brien.

"What is wrong here is that O'Brien assumes time- consciousness to be linear; yet there are cultures which do not and never have understood time in this way. So then how can time- consciousness said to be determined by biology?"

"Families create women and men who view each other in terms of dualistic antagonisms, a necessary fiction which the social order fosters in order to maintain itself."

Hiss, Tony. The Experience of Place. New York: Knopf, 1990.

"While normal waking consciousness works to simplify perception, allowing us to act quickly and flexibly by helping us remain seemingly oblivious to almost everything except the task in front of us; simultaneous perception is more like an extra, or a sixth, sense: It broadens and diffuses the beam of attention evenhandedly across all the senses so we can take in whatever is around us -- which means sensations of touch and balance, for instance, in addition to all sights, sounds, and smells."

Holub, Robert C. Crossing Borders: Reception Theory, Poststructuralism, Deconstruction. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992.

For a succinct statement of the stakes in policing the question of which objects are to be perceived by whom.

"The issue separating them here is thus really one of epistemology as much as of literary theory. Perception of any sort is for Fish a mediated activity; it is never "innocent of assumptions," while for Iser, it would appear, there are some things that simply exist and must be perceived by all viewers."

And for a gorgeous phrase,

"the sophistry of the radically skeptical antitheoretical position"

Huxley, Aldous. The Doors of Perception. London: Chatto and Windus, 1954; London: Grafton Books, 1977.

"We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcending; in vain."


wake bridge prow

© François Lachance, 1996