Included in this file are a series of six moves (and 2 reflective notes) made by Jerome McGann and 8 moves (plus some reflective notes) by Johanna Drucker. They played the first round of the Ivanhoe Game before any of the game rules had been made explicit.
The Ivanhoe Game: (Played in the Penguin Classics Edition)
MOVE 1 (jjm): insert the following text at p. 84, line 6up after the sentence ending "to make place for Isaac and Rebecca". [NOTE: this is chapter 7, paragraph toward the end that opens the final scene, paragraph beginning "It was to this person".
The Prior observed these events with a smile that concealed both his purposes and his concerns. "One day your Grace may need these Saxon brutes." He said this quietly to the Prince alone, leaning with casual ease toward him and covering his words with a series of small laughs, as if sharing with the Prince a private jest. His manner did not escape the attention of Bois Guilbert, who despised the monk's unctuous and self-serving hypocrisies. The knight's hatred seemed indeed to pierce the space between them.
Intent on his own purpose, however, Aylmer saw nothing of this and continued his private discourse with the Prince. AWhy insult these Saxons thus before their people. I live among them, Sire, and know whereof I speak. Like beasts they harbor their resentments. My prince were wise to keep the scales in balance nor favor so these wretched murderers of Our Savior. Fair as Susannah those this Jewess be, do not forget the Elders. We want the wisdom of a different testament my Lord."
It mattered nothing that the Norman knight could make out nothing of what the monk was saying to Prince John. His ferocity seemed to feed upon such double privacies, the one he made and the one he was constrained to watch apart. What escaped the monk's attention for the moment did not escape Rebecca, who gasped inwardly as she read the lines of that hard face. All the more appalled was she when Bois Guilbert unexpectedly turned his gaze upon her own, as if demanding that she see and judge him exactly as he was. At first shrinking in horror before this naked show of pride, Rebecca recovered herself, ashamed at her own shame before this haughty man. As she raised her own cold eyes to his, the figure of the Norman seemed to lose some of its sharpness and clarity, like a figure in a tapestry set briefly wavering by a random breeze rising in the great hall of some northern castle. He appeared to her like a man suspended in a dream who, hearing an unexpected signal to awaken, hangs listening uncertainly for instruction or some ungiven clue.
As the Prior continued his private converse with the Prince, Bois Guilbert's attention shook itself free of Rebecca's fantastic gaze. Following his character's more habitual courses, his face once again grew hard and fixed. "Your Reverence is more merry than my Lord, it seems," said Bois Guilbert, addressing the Prior. "Perhaps a priestly wit leaves something regal wanting."
The monk's amiable mask seemed undisturbed as he replied, "High spirits and festive scenes like this bring pleasant thoughts even to a cloistered mind like mine."
"Do convent comedies then get played in whispers?"
"Ah, my Lord, our immurements do perhaps school us into modesty and quiet, even in our jestings. Our games of wit seem trivial enough beside the spectacles of force you men at arms have known."
"Men kill as well with daggers as with swords."
"Your tongue is dagger-deft, my Lord."
"Seeks only peace and quiet."
"Is it then so? They say that serpents' tongues betray themselves in hissing. But it is false. I've spent as many years in desarts as you in churches and have watched these serpents' ways. They are quiet and retiring creatures and strike with scarce a sound."
Clearly displeased at this outbreak of polite hostilities among his company, Prince John turned his gaze sharply upon Athelstane. The monk calculated at once that the Prince's purposes only grew more fixed by what was passing between himself and the dangerous Norman. The Prior thus moved to give way before Isaac and his beautiful daughter. As he smiled at her and offered his hand to help her to a seat, Rebecca lowered her eyes and glided past the obsequious monk, clutching her dress with her right hand and helping her father with her left. Bois Guilbert observed this new event with open if unexpressed fury. As Rebecca glanced up to make certain of her way, she caught a view of that remarkable countenance and once again recoiled to see such inhuman darkness made so visible among ordinary men. Aylmer himself seemed to fall back from this knotted group, as if repelled from the force field of the double planet of Rebecca and Bois Guilbert. And it would be a deep mind that could say whether the monk was more undone by Rebecca's firm and generous beauty, steady as the morning star, or by the darkling presence of the Norman stranger, proud as Lucifer.
Athelstane appeared to register none of these events, corporal or spiritual. They were indeed subsidiary, if not inconsequential, to the actions of Prince John and so passed beyond the general awareness of nearly everyone present except these few intense protagonists. Utterly confounded at the Prince=s order which the manners and the feelings of the times rendered so injuriously insulting, Althestane opposed only his vis inertiae to the will of John. . . .
MOVE 1 (jd): p.227 Everyman's Library Edition (1906 edition, reprinted 1977)
"Thou art keen-witted, Jewess," replied the Templar, well aware of the truth of what she spoke, and that the rules of his Order condemned in the most positive manner, and under high penalities, such intrigues as he now prosecuted, and that, in some instances, even degradation had followed upon it -- "thou are sharp-witted," he said; "but loud must be thy voice of complaint, if it is heard beyond the iron walls of this castle; within these, murmurs, laments, appeals to justice, and screams for help, die alike silent away. One thing only can save thee, Rebecca. Submit to thy fate --"
The words echoed in the chambers of her heart, uncannily and without her least imagining their immediate import. Fate and faith, those noble companions of rhyme, tricked her reason for a moment into an exchange of one for the other. Faith had been taught into her, but fate was another order altogether. For a moment there glimmered, at the horizon of her understanding, a sense that she might chose the one and not embrace the other. But which was the option held in suspense? A light brushed against the cheek of the Templar, showing the hard edge of his jaw. Rebecca trembled in spite of herself, aware that the man was not other than the Knight.
"Ignoble creature! forsworn priest! I spit at thee and I defy thee." The words almost unwittingly ran outward from her tongue, striking the air with the harsh impact of breath upon flesh. The Templar recoiled, his craven interests taken aback by the aggressive impact of the maiden upon his courtly code. His suit was unlikely to assume less eagerness as a result, but the shock that shuddered his stalwart frame was not unwelcome, only unfamiliar, in its peculiar intensity.
The Jewess, noting the pallor that her words had streaked upon the countenance of her aggressor, had a moment's pause. There were no easy categories into which she might place the streaks of lightning that importuned her own being in that moment, so she let them go, sensations to be cast upon the winds of better judgment. As he offered to advance she exclaimed, "Remain where thy arts are well-contained within a boundary of propriety!"
The slight cast of cynicism that distorted his features also threw them into voluptuous highlight. His lips swelled as their shadowed form was put into relief. Rebecca observed that he plunged his face downward in response to her reproof. What this might mean she could not fathom in that instant, but it was also in that moment that her breath caught itself inward. The slightest doubt, but a substantive one, threw its shadow across the resoluteness of her spirit. Some unknown but still potent quality softened the edges of her vision. Sea and sky became less clearly demarcated in her view than heretofore. She was able, without intervention of sorcery of any kind, to look forward to page two hundred and sixty-three of this same edition, and see that the characterization of this identical knight as an "unprincipled voluptuary" was in fact a typo. If the prefix were abandoned, she was ready to engage in at least some measure of exchange. Though what that might be she could not, within the scope of her current awareness, have articulated.
MOVE 2 (jjm): chap. 43 p. 503: insert after AYavoid thee, in the name of God.@
"What God do you call upon, Rebecca? The God of these Christians who prepare a cruel death for thee because thou art a Jew? Nor am I, as thou sayst, thy deadliest enemy B nor even are these fearful and self-righteous monks who lust to add one more victim to their wicked holocaust. Thy deadliest enemy, Rebecca, is thyself."
"What perversity of thought leads you thus to mock me in this hour of trial? I know thee, Bois-Guilbert, and I know thy devious ways. Tempt me not nor blaspheme the Lord thy God."
"Neither my God nor my Lord nor thine, Rebecca! What didst thou once say to me -- not one of thy words have I forgotten, my Queen, though thou forgetst thyself and all thy majesty! `I spit at thee and I defy thee.' Thou hast said it, and now I say before thee of this demon thou callst God: `I spit at thee and I defy thee.'"
Rebecca blanched and staggered slightly at the Templar's shocking speech. His yellow eyes burned upon her own, [so that her hazel-brown orbs]/[which] shot back at them a fire cold and fierce and silver blue, like a blade of Toledo steel. The knight=s eyes fell shut as if suddenly struck with a fatal blow, but he continued to speak. His voice had lost all its insistence and ferocity, however, and he droned at her like a corpse from the grave.
"It is thy fear that conjures up that word and plunges thee within the dream thou treadst in now. Rebecca, look within thyself. Dost thou in truth mean to give up thy soul to this Christian God and his Christian mockery of justice, this Trial by Combat. What didst thou once call these cruel and splendid travesties? `The fantastic chivalry of the Nazarenes!'"
Now it was Rebecca's turn to suffer a visible collapse from her own intensities. "In faith, thou fearful man -- where didst thou learn to quote these words to me? Thou wert not present when I uttered them."
"Rebecca, here art thou, doomed to death for a witch, and thou askst me how I know thy words? From the first moment I saw thee I knew thee, my heart, better than thou knewst thyself. Loving thy father and forced to make thy way through this evil and demented world, thou hast been like one choosing to sleep and move in dream rather than confront these monstrous machineries of rule. It is time to waken, Rebecca. `What is writ, is writ', and that is true. But who will author what is not yet written? These demonic men?"
But Rebecca repeated her question, slowly and as if she only half heard what he was saying to her: "Templar, where didst thou learn my words?"
"Everything thou sayst has been a treasure to me. And if a man learns a treasure lies secreted somewhere, should he not move all heaven and earth to seek it out? Should he not pull down heaven and earth if needs must be? You know of what I speak, Rebecca, as I have studied all that you have said. The imagination of your sleeping heart believes it loves the wretched and pathetic Saxon knight -- is it not so? Wake up, my queen, this is the dream within your dream, the inner keep that prisons you from home."
"From home? What home, I have no home."
"And so thou sayst the truth. But there is the desart, do you remember, the land of a people wandering forever? A land of vision and fire and ceaseless thirsts, a land stripped of all illusions of possession. There if you do not live deliberately, you cannot live at all. It is the absolute, eternity, what the eastern sages call `the emptiness'. There
is your home, my heart, and although perhaps thou knowst it not as yet, there thou art reigning even now, making the desart bloom."
Albert Malvoisin, alarmed and impatient at the duration of their conference. . . .
EXPLANATORY NOTE (jjm): All the moves I've made are executed on the premise that nothing in the text B none of its words or the placement of its words B need be changed to accommodate the new texts.* The argument (implicit) is that this "other" tale is already "present in" the original tale, only it has been forbidden, as it were, to be Areleased@ into public view and response. Some critical exegesis of certain crucial passages in the original text would be useful, once these new passages are introduced, in order to elucidate meanings in them that would have been other wise unapparent.
So, along that exegetical line, see (Penguin p. 505, chapter 43) paragraph beginning "`I do,' she said, `I do'...fluttered by an emotion". Given the new additions, and not least Move 5 (below), one wants to see that the "emotion" here is not exactly what one might imagine -- that, eg, as the "Victorian reader" imagined, Rebecca is registering her love for Ivanhoe. The emotion is far more complex and involves her sympathy for Ivanhoe and his high minded purposes, her awareness of the absurdity and wickedness which that highmindedness has itself involved with, her recently awakened awareness of the character of B-G and her "true" feelings for him, and finally her desire to find a way to resolve this tense set of psychic and psycho-political contradictions.
*[but the insertions do not forbid any "countermoves" that might be of a very different character -- countermoves that might rewrite the text or whatever]
MOVE 2 (jd): This can go directly after your Move 3. As an insert. Into Chapter 43. p.503 of Penguin edition; Chapter 43, p.435 of my Everyman's edition.
The effect of these words upon Rebecca was more startling than she could have anticipated. The scene around her receded. Her sensations, rushed with the colors of the dismal pageant in which she played so unwitting a part, loosed their grip upon the threatening reality to which she had determined so wilful a resolution. She floated free for a moment on phrases of the Templar's that unexpectedly caressed her ear, awakening chambers within her soul that rose, as if recollected, to his invitation. The glimpse he offered in his speech was not of an unknown land, but of one she realized she had an uncanny foreknowledge of within her understanding. The crowd around her faded. The malevolent face of Malvoisin and his cohort shrank into a pale background tapestry while before her rose the figures of a dream beyond imagining.
The face of Bois-Guilbert hovered only inches from her own, too close for propriety, but too close also for deceit. As once before, she felt a sensation of the absolute within her congress with this man.* His darkness, usually so repugnant, turned richly luxuriant to her perception, promising depth within the vocabulary of his sentient voluptuousness. And, maiden though she was, her blood pulsed with sufficient sensual intuition to respond to that promise, deeply buried though it was within her chaste flesh. She pressed her palms together and exiled the blood from her lips in an attempt at control.
"-- all heaven and earth --?" she echoed. Her condition appeared almost trancelike as a wave of sublime consciousness suffused her spirit. The corporeal sensation that followed as a natural effect was no less powerful, but rendered her momentarily transfixed. Her eyes, though still fierce beneath her raven brows following her efforts to reply to the knight's insistent query, had focused on a distant point, somewhere between the real horizon and the desart he had invoked.
But as Bois-Guilbert moved to respond, taking up the question posed in her parroted words, the restive crowd raised their voices in regard to events in the arena. A figure broke free from the group clustered around Malvoisin.
"-- and earth???" Rebecca cried, suddenly brought back to the grim reality that constrained their circumstances. Whether prompted by the momentary fear of her situation or by some deeper sympathy to his suit she could not have said in that moment. But her former resolution to resist him melted with her angry riposte. Even as he reoriented himself to meet the oncoming confrontation with the orchestrated events of the day he could feel the impact of her voice upon his soul as she continued. As every word she spoke etched itself against his heart, his gaze engaged with the sights of the trial, scanning the still-empty lists. Rarely had he felt so completely the split between desire and frustration as in those instants. He longed to turn back to the Jewess and tear her words from her lips even before they met the air, and yet, if there were any hope at all of saving them both, he must attend to the details of their circumstances in that instant.
Still, she continued -- head thrown back with a daring dangerously close to pride. "Show me, then, how we may live 'deliberately' as you propose!" Though a note of awful a scorn showed for the impotence of the knight and herself, a stronger tone came through her cry -- that of a desperate, almost inadvertent, response that quickened her pulse.
Bois-Guilbert, rearing his horse at the approach of the emissary from the Grand Master, felt her voice cut through him to the core. The glance he returned to her was rapid as the blink of a newt's eye under the steady gaze of an owl. In that instant she met his glance, unmasked and unguarded, her head thrown back, her smooth white throat rising from the rough edge of the gown that was meant to be both sacrificial robe and shroud. The bareness of her neck revealed the vital strength beneath the shuddering fear that repossessed her. But having heard her heart's reply to his, he knew, from that moment, that there opened before them a possibility from which there could be no turning back. He pulled around to face the horseman, and the crowd.
As he did so, he passed his eyes again across Rebecca's blazing countenance. The flush of recognition that crossed between them peirced their souls. What connection was there made bears no recounting. But the inevitable circumstances that must unwind as a result? Bois-Guilbert pledged a troth to uncovering their certainty as he turned back to face his challenger.
[NOTE (jd): the above To be written into the tower scene in Chapter XXXI, where, I think, she experiences her first release from censorship against her own desires.
MOVE 3 (jjm): insert the following at top of 506, chap. 43, after Athe fatal words Laissez aller.
Raised on her dark throne above this scene, Rebecca turned her eyes toward the combatants. Her glance seemed lit with a new intensity, and poured itself forth as if preparing to set aflame the entire spectacle unfolding before her. Although she exhibited none of the maniac ferocity of the tormented Ulrica, no one who witnessed that apocalyptic figure presiding over the conflagration of Coningsburgh Castle and her own passage to another world could have failed to register the resemblance between the two.,
But Rebecca sat above the assembly like some invisible spirit, for all eyes were now focused on the desperate and violent scene about to unfold in the tiltyard. So it was that as the glove moved through the air and fell to the ground, drawing the attention of the crowd to that single arc of vision, no one saw Rebecca=s right hand make what, to a keen observer, would have appeared a corresponding arc before her breast, her index finger pointed gracefully toward the glove, as if she were directing its flight. At the same moment her left hard was passing through a similar but vertical movement. Starting at the beautiful agraffe in her turban, her hand moved swiftly up and down, touching each of the pearl studded gold clasps of her simarre in a strange but unmistakably deliberate sequence. She might have been playing the stops on some unknown musical instrument whose unheard melodies could only be known by their power to translate themselves into other coded forms.
Rebecca's face appeared now the keynote and radiant center of that viewless music, if such it was. But these presences went unheard as well as unseen, for at this moment as [t]he trumpets sounded, and the knights charged. . .[pick up text at p. 506 and carry on to "returned no answer." "His visored head lay still in the dust, turned awkwardly to the left and tilted slightly back and upward toward where Rebecca was seated. Falling as he had, Bois-Guilbert's body made an odd defeated figure, distorted to a shape that might have been a sign or glyph from some unknown, barbaric alphabet. His body was turned away from the astonished crowd, his head twisted back, his arms spread away and open, like a pair of broken wings. Had an artist been present he might have noted the curious fact that between the center of the Templar's helmet and Rebecca's face, fixed still upon that scene, ran a line straight and true as a geometer's dream. And had some greater and still more observant sage studied that remarkable place, he might have noticed that this straight line formed one side of an equilateral triangle whose third apex was the blazing sun, just now marking the ninth hour of a day beginning its now unmistakable westward decline.
MOVE 3 (jd): (note: I see this move as a "Leap" -- a free-floating point, outside the "book" and "story" - towards which the narrative can aim, but disconnected temporally and spatially from the pre-existing text and structure.)
As the vigilant chronicler of Rebecca's determined -- if still sometimes modestly reserved --course towards understanding her own latent capabilities, I offer, dearest text, this reading of a moment which I observe with (perhaps) an absence of absolute propriety.
Passion momentarily sated, Rebecca lay beside his outstretched form, including him in her gaze without filling her eyes with his figure entirely. The space into which she stared past his angular profile mirrored the peculiar distance between her fantasy of lovemaking and its reality. In her imaginings they endured endlessly artful passages of exchange, drawing each other taut with expectation, into a climax that broke the tension according to the pleading exigencies of cruelly extended anticipation. But there was such a furious immediacy in every instant that followed from their actual touch that there had never opened yet such a space for artifice. She almost recoiled at entertaining these thoughts, as if such calculated contrivances seemed illsuited to the enflamed actuality of love's erotic manifestation. Still, she had not ruled out entirely that this contrived domain might be one of the territories of experience offered to them to explore. The very anticipation thrilled her frame, which contracted in a mild spasm as desire, never long quiescent in her body when charged with awareness of his, began to creep again through the nervous fibers of perception. He sensed her attention, and gave her a sidelong glance, quick, intimate, but inexplicit. She felt a momentary qualm, the ghost of a maiden's shame, which she had never learned to inhabit any more than she had learned to wear the constraining courtly clothes of those odd European races among whom she had experienced exclusion. Unwelcome, that ghost still hung between her and certain possibilities -- though she glimpsed them, too, hovering on the threshold waiting to unleash their own appetites, which, like her own, had been whetted by the recent embrace. She looked along the line of her lover's face, trying to discern in it the question to which her glyphic reading gave rise. If she returned an embrace as a querying answer, then what textual intercourses might ensue?
[EXPLANATORY NOTE Jjm's notes on MOVE 3 and on JD's critical reflections thereon:
ok. I think it is an ELEGANT move. Really. In execution and conception. BUT, here's my question. How do you reconcile it with your note? I mean, are you going to have BG DIE??? Do we open a hole in time and have them escape through it in sorcery mode so that the original narrative remains intact? Or does this move suggest that everything that follows has to be rewritten? I'm not sure you can simply gloss over this by saying nothing has to be changed to accommodate the new texts.
AND, here's the other question. Do you consider that your explanatory note is MORE of an author-identification than my brief pre-statement was? It seems even more completely bound up with logistics and textual critical practice and less revealing/participatory. It's not clear to me the extent to which you see that "outer" space being articulated through subjectivities and to what extent you see it articulated through these logistics/commentaries. Or both. I'm not suggesting that you necessarily _have_ rules about this, but rather that I can see several -- at least these two -- distinct possibilities for the author/person. the "author note" isn't really "legal", i just threw it in for you,to give you an idea about what i'm thinking IF i decide to make a move into the outer space of the game and start glossing. and also to cue YOU on where these moves are coming from. it's interesting that as yet the pairs of moves don't either mesh or conflict, i mean yours v. mine. this suggests something about the rules that have to be set down, doesn't it, and the "relation" of players. i mean we began with a tacit agreement to get r and bg together -- but suppose 2 players began with no such agreement, or with an inertia to oppose whatever the other person was doing? really, this is a serious matter.
i really haven't quite decided whether bg is "dead" or not. if he's dead then he has to be brought back to life by r's magic -- a move not out of order in a story that has another, comic resurrection -- it would be interesting to have a serious one. but my inclination is to reveal that he wasn't dead after all (again the athelstane parallel), and then to have his body claimed by r and so forth and so forth. witch or not, she has her magic nurse's certificate and she's cured one dead man -- nearly dead is good enough, esp. if bg is only nearly dead -- already, the ever insipid I. (i have in my mind another game, to make I adorable -- now THAT would be a feat!)
(these notes to Move 5)
MOVE 4 (jd): (this is another digressive move involving a figure/character not in the novel itself; it tests out what we were talking about when we theorized about the "space" of critical play:Historical Role/Fictional Role; Historical Space/Fictional Space)
With Father gone, we are much on our own, and left to our slim resources to find amusement among the barest essentials. But this is no great matter to us since we have long had the habit of providing each other entertainment with the riches provided by our human imaginations. In the evening, yesterday, Margaret and I prepared the parlor (not the front parlor, which is always kept for the most special occasions and is, in spite of its glories, rather more cold and formal than we all truly like, but the back parlor in which we have spent so many harmonious afternoons) for our game while Mother and the little ones put up the dinner things. There was more to this scant preparation than might be imagined, however, for in addition to scrambling for two (! the luxury) usable copies of the text, we were determined to find at least some elementary props with which to enrich the evening's activity. We were successful beyond our expectations in this regard, having come across a small cache of scraps Mother had put by to make a coverlet for the baby's crib. I had never had so much cause to bless the generosity of Aunt Bacon, since it was only her unanticipated bounty that had eliminated the need for Mother to use those precious bits to keep poor baby from the wicked chilling draughts that will find their way into our house in winter, however strong our determination to keep them chained like dogs in their place outside howling with wanton wildness all the night long.
But I digress, and must hasten to set the scene for our engaging pasttime, if I am to be able to pull the curtain back with all necessary dramatic force upon the scene. For surely, even as I spin out the details of this preliminary to our exercise, the characters themselves are impatient to begin and will not wait upon my tedious accounts of our domestic economy when there are hearts to win and battles to fight, virtue to protect, and valor waiting to rise with virile grace to the occasion of a lady's modest appetites.
Penguin ed.Ch.XLIII; p.506 -- this is an intratextual move to amend and extend Scott's text; it accompanies the role-change move just played)
The flush passed from his brown, and gave way to the pallid hue that lent his visage the appearance of death. Unscathed by the lance of his enemy, he seemed to have died a victim to the violence of his own contending passions.
"This is indeed the judgment of God," said the Grand Master, looking upwards--"Fiat voluntas tua!"
Rebecca kept countenance as a ripple of perturbation ran through the assembly. There were those among the gathered throng who had long sought to have Bois-Gilbert brought down to the measure of his mortal stature, but there were equally among them those who harbored deep attachment to the knight and held his valor and estimable qualities in high esteem. There were even those who felt his character had been wrongly judged by the mere conventions of a dullard bunch, many of whom lacked all conviction to proceed according to the dictates of the spirited forces that possessed the Templar. Rebecca, waiting to. . . [more to follow!]
MOVE 5 (jd): (This is a second historical role and it can be wrapped around the first one). This historical character-role has the name Miriam H.) The text is Miriam's email to her friend Jane at Stanford:
Finally had time to do some research on L so that I can correct this historical errors in my passage of last week. Well, or at least turn the vague references into something more concrete. My advisor seems to think no dissertation can be written as a fictional intervention/invention of one historical author into the work of another. This is one of the problems with doing doctoral work at Columbia -- the faculty have this pretense of radicality but it turns orthodox as soon as you suggest the least bit of tampering with the supposed authority of the historical discourse. Well, at least YOU can appreciate where this is going, I think -- sharing my enthusiasm for both the literary personages and the glossed texts.
EXPLANATORY NOTE (jd) On this character Miriam: I would push Rebecca here, make her the vehicle through which L can articulate the full breadth of her fantasies about women's capability, but I think my dear authoress, if she is still as young as she seems to be in the passage above, is still finding her way towards roles that can accommodate a fierce and independent spirit in a young woman without putting her outside the limits of polite society. So, here's how she's going to complete this passage:
see how these unexpected events might turn the course of the day's proceedings, sat with beating heart forcing her countenance to retain its composure. Her champion, flushed with the effort he had mustered in his still-invalid condition, seemed barely able to maintain his upright stance. Rebecca's heart longed to embrace him -- as nurse, as helpmate, as -- did she even dare admit this to herself? -- as a companion!
The sunlight struck through the crowd, touching on bits of arms and armor, filtering its errant shafts through the dusty afternoon light. Rebecca felt one of those shafts of brilliance pierce her mind, as a ray of illumination does upon entering even the darkest of chambers, passing its benefits through every corner to reveal form and detail where formerly there has been nought but vague confusion.
"Yes, as companion --" the words barely moved her lips as she uttered them to herself, possessed by a revelation that welled up from the very core of her young frame. How she longed, in that instant, to feel the power of a horse's flank against her own, to sport the mail and visor, tunic and breastplate, that were the hallmarks of a knight's attire. Her vigorous limbs, so well-formed through the active life she had always led, were adequately suited to the challenge, she knew. And looking at her hero and protector she saw him anew. As if for the first time she compared herself to him and in this category of capacity for action and valor, realized she would not be found wanting in any account of the contrast. She thrilled to the thought of adventure, her spirit carried off in soaring transport above the restless crowd, as she rode her vision into a vivid daydream. Ivanhoe was at her side, their faces whipped by the speed of their coursing steeds, as they rode in swift defense of noble principles and towards accomplishment of valiant deeds.
It was the darkly glaring visage of the Grand Master that dispelled this wondrous image, and brought her back into the circumstances that still possessed her. Was she yet captive to this unkind court? Or free to leave its grim proceedings behind her? And what future lay ahead?
MOVE 4 (jjm): Add an Editor's note at Chapter 44, p. 519 penguin edn. (append to sentence ending "as if a vision had passed before her".
The author here alludes to a curious passage in the Wardour MS. Departing from his regular narrative, the chronicler tells the tale of the Sheykha of Shabkhat al Muhj, the fabulous nomadic queen and her consort Zeyd, also known as the Giaour of Qu al Jafr. In the late twelfth and early thirteenth-centuries, this fearless pair roamed all the territory from Damascus to Medina. They ranged, apparently at will and without ostensible purpose, across the Syrian desart and the An Nafud and would appear miraculously at any moment or place in that vast and inhospitable land. Bands of Bedouin and Ageyl brought fabulous tales of this strange pair, whom they would encounter by chance in places both remote and inhabited. Except for a small group of servants who attended upon them, they traveled alone, their accoutrements, dress, and entourage bespeaking wealth beyond imagining. Strange to tell, however, the Sheykha herself was never seen wearing any sort of jewelry, though all her garments were richly decorated in a strikingly limited set of colors B always, according to legend, arrangements of white, black, silver, gold, and purple. The Giaour set no such constraints upon his attire, which was much more variously, if a trifle more severely, ornamented. Both were said to be apostates from the faiths of their birth, she a Jew, he a monk. The native inhabitants of the region, both settled and nomadic, referred to them always as Saiehh, that is (in Mohammedan countries), "God's wanderers". Normally reserved for contemplative desart nomads, the term seems to have attached itself to this remarkable pair because "they wander where they list in the wilderness of the Beduw, gliding into the desert haze like a vision passing before them". The Sheykha was an adept of the healing arts, which she exercised frequently in the tents of the Bedouin and the Ageyl camps, and even in the settled towns. The merchants of Maan tell tales of cures that are nothing short of miraculous. As for the Giaour, he was both feared and respected. Rich merchants sometimes reviled his name and accused him of dreadful crimes, and he was hated by nearly all religious leaders of each of the three great faiths of the region. But among the poor of that empty and forbidding land he, like his dark and beautiful companion, was celebrated in song in many tents and coffee houses.
One legend in particular is perhaps worth quotation here since it speaks both to the remarkable wealth of these wanderers and, apparently, to the place where they may at last have found a final rest. It is a tale told, according to our chronicle, by Tollog, the poet of the Beny Atieh and famed as a maker of ribald lays. Unless sophisticated irony were among this primitive singer's gifts, his tale in this case seems very different, both in tone and import, from his usual entertainments. "The poor merrymaker reported the fable of Geryeh, which is a day's journey to the north of Tebuk. There one will come upon the ruined ground of a small walled village, lying in such heaps as the Khreyby. Great treasures are fabled to be buried there, and it is said that every Friday pieces of gold roll from the ground and run of themselves over the desart plain till sunset." Bedouins ask with grave curiosity, ACan this be sooth?" Bedouins are clear-sighted in their short natural horizon, and they easily incline to incredulity in matters of worldly report. According to another Beny Atieh man, "In the neighborhood is a sandstone cliff and therein a gateway, and beyond that a gallery hewn in the rock, in whose walls are side-chambers, wellah, like the shops in the bazaar, and a great treasure lies there behind an impenetrable door which is kept by a black man with a drawn sword. Come thou! say the Beduwy, where all is enchantment, and take up the treasures, and they shall be freely thine, so thou wilt show us the hidden waters!"
MOVE 5 (jjm): Add to the previous note.
Such fabulous tales, scarcely believable, seem to have proliferated in what we might call, in this case, the desert of reliable facts that descend to us. As Rochefoucault has wisely observed, ARomance is Truth in masquerade B and vice versa@.
One account representing itself as first-hand report is perhaps worth recording here. Its trustworthiness rests on the fact that its author, Massimo Bugiardo, wrote it in his (now celebrated) Diario, which he kept religiously for more than 30 years, and which has only recently begun to be published. The editors have issued 4 volumes thus far and 10 more are promised. Bugiardo=s report comes near the end of volume 4.
In his long career as a successful and intrepid rug and spice merchant, Bugiardo traveled extensively from his bottega in Venice across the whole of the East. On one such journey -- according to the Diario, in the fall of 1202 -- Bugiardo's train was caught in a fierce simoom as he was travelling south from Turayf to Tebuk across the northwestern edge of the An Nafud. The storm swept down upon Bugiardo and his men suddenly on the evening of All Saints Day just as they were nearing the well that was the object of that day's trek. Having been en route for a week without replenishing his water supplies, Bugiardo decided to press forward to the oasis -- which was scarce an hour ahead -- despite the storm. The consequence of this decision was, as might be expected, that they lost their way and finally had to stop and hope for the storm to abate. But it raged on for another eight days, wreaking havoc on the travelers. On the fourth day their Bedouin guide fell ill with fever and died two days later. When the storm finally ceased, therefore, the merchant and his men faced a desperate situation. They did not know where they were and they realized, should they begin moving and fail to locate the well, they would certainly perish in a short time, being all now weakened in body, several seriously so.
At this point we transcribe Bugiardo's own report of the next three days, "among the most remarkable days of my life."
"As I was weighing our wretched condition and dismal prospects, I heard a clamor of voices just outside my tent. `Master, come quickly, look!' It was the voice of Azzih [the hetman of Bugiardo's Arab attendants]. Stepping into the sunlight I immediately saw the cause of the excitement gliding out of the desert haze like a vision passing before us. . . ."
MOVE 6 (jd): [this move is a drawing of Rebecca]
MOVE 7 (jd): [this comprises a series of critical glosses and notes on Move 4 made by jjm]
Such fabulous tales, scarcely believable, seem to have proliferated in what we might call, in this case, the desert of reliable facts that descend to us.(1) As Rochefoucault has wisely observed, "Romance is Truth in masquerade - and vice versa".(2)
One account representing itself as first-hand report is perhaps worth recording here.(3) Its trustworthiness rests on the fact that its author, Massimo Bugiardo, wrote it in his (now celebrated) Diario, which he kept religiously for more than 30 years, and which has only recently begun to be published.(4) The editors have issued 4 volumes thus far and 10 more are promised. Bugiardo's report comes near the end of volume 4.
In his long career as a successful and intrepid rug and spice merchant, Bugiardo traveled extensively from his bottega in Venice across the whole of the East.(5) On one such journey - according to the Diario, in the fall of 1202 - Bugiardo's train was caught in a fierce simoom as he was travelling south from Turayf to Tebuk across the northwestern edge of the An Nafud.(6) The storm swept down upon Bugiardo and his men suddenly on the evening of All Saints Day just as they were nearing the well that was the object of that day's trek.(7) Having been en route for a week without replenishing his water supplies, Bugiardo decided to press forward to the oasis - which was scarce an hour ahead - despite the storm.(8) The consequence of this decision was, as might be expected, that they lost their way and finally had to stop and hope for the storm to abate.(9) But it raged on for another eight days, wreaking havoc on the travelers. On the fourth day their Bedouin guide fell ill with fever and died two days later.(10) When the storm finally ceased, therefore, the merchant and his men faced a desperate situation.(11) They did not know where they were and they realized, should they begin moving and fail to locate the well, they would certainly perish in a short time, being all now weakened in body, several seriously so.(12)>/FONT>
At this point we transcribe Bugiardo's own report of the next three days, "among the most remarkable days of my life."(13)
"As I was weighing our wretched condition and dismal prospects, I heard a clamor of voices just outside my tent. 'Master, come quickly, look!" It was the voice of Azzih [the hetman of Bugiardo's Arab attendants]. Stepping into the sunlight I immediately saw the cause of the excitement gliding out of the desert haze like a vision passing before us."
MOVE 8 (jd): [this move is another character switch; jd played the move with the additional intention of posing a critical question to jjm, ie, "whose text is this?" the answer being, of course, Ulrica]
Cursed toads and slime-frothed vermin of inhuman base humanity your foul bespoiled and polluted flesh is nothing to the pus-infested brain of yr debased imaginations acting as they do - STOP, cease! Dark account. Hold back. Bite yr tongue woman. Witch. They call me rightly rightly nightly nightly as I steal the breath from living breathing things what stole from me the ancient right to dignity - I am their worst malignancy a thought the most hideous fulminating gargoyle of the fetid mind springing forth its unwanted unwelcome image of a self too rotten to contain the bitter dregs of its own vile understanding. NOTHING keeps the devils at bay, nothing keeps the putrid forces from penetrating the flesh of life and decaying the structure from within as if as if morality (ha! Spit here, I laugh to use the very word so gone lost is all relation to that inconsequential hedge against the raging floods of unbound greedy selfish lust for destruction joyful pleasurable force god knows god strike me not invoking Your name God but were there had there ever been there could not be except in the deftly turned inverted perverted hand of such supreme absolute darkness) had any fiber - YES I watched as that beast lay nay preyd upon her fair flesh and did I weep - not for her pain but for the aching angers nursed in this breast as a cancer to destroy itself in their faces - YES I saw that she was ruined under his touch her innocence befouled in ways that no beast would permit of its brethren but did I cry - only for the horror that was in me breeding its own offspring in constant acts of inhalation exhalation every breath every damnable spiteful gulp of wicked air that kept this tortured life awake within me - YES I heard the monstrous sounds of grinding bones and tearing mouth too tender to withstand the onslaught of a brutal conquest and - who smote their own chests then to protest? Not I. No, I swallowed again the clotted atmosphere of those impossibly blighted instants so as to better know them, familiar as the mouldy and corrupt corners of all humankind because the darkest cormorants of flighted fancy are nothing to the worm-rotted shreds of once-intact optimism - STOP, cease, woman thy tongue flaunts itself flagrantly in the face of all decorum who who whoooo cries the owl taking flight will listen to the ravings of such a willing unwilling unwitting witness in the shaded wood this cursed grove this corrupted gangrenous enslaved domain this earth this life -
MOVE 6 (jjm): this move involves the introduction of another order of text altogether, as well as a role change.
Wednesday Night, real late
Dear Professor Drucker,
I feel pretty stupid writing this note but I'm having some problems with the assignment on Ivanhoe -- I mean about those extra materials you handed out in class that you told us to "Assess, Evaluate, and Interpret". Maybe you can help me because I don=t know what to do.
I was having lots of fun with that new Appendix of excerpts from The Wardour MS until I came to the part with all those footnotes. At first I was just baffled, but then I figured these must be Rebecca's notes -- they didn't make sense any other way. And I thought, "Wow! What a thing, this real old document by some wild Italian traveler that's annotated by Walter Scott's character! Are we supposed to think -- to see -- that Rebecca's as real as Richard the Lion Hearted and his bad brother John?
I just got hooked and spent a day in the library looking up everything I could find that dealt with The Wardour MS. There's not much before around 1821, but from then on -- well, as my boyfriend says, the s--- h--- the f-- (oops, I hope that's ok, I'm so excited about all this and your class is so cool I figured, what the h---).
Anyhow, late last night when I thought I was about to crash totally I came on this thing -- I think it's by some kind of Iron Curtain scholar so probably it's totally brainwashed or something. But it really got me thinking. IS GOING ON HERE IN THIS BOOK?!!?
Here's the reference (I'm trying to put it in the MLA "style" you told us to follow and said you wouldn't accept anything without -- tell me if I got it right, ok? It's my first try so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE understand I've just declared my major!!):
Georg Mannejc, "Another Treason of the Clerics: Authenticity , The Wardour MS., and a Centuries-Old Folly," The Transylvanian Review of Middle Eastern Ethnography 22.7 (1937), 251-416.
You can see how LONG it is! -- but honestly, I read the WHOLE thing -- and now I don't know what to think about the book!?!
This Mannejc guy is TOTALLY mean, that's for sure. He just dumps left and right on all these famous scholars (I GUESS they're famous -- but what do I know?!) who've written about the Wardour MS. He says the whole thing's a ridiculous hoax! And when he gets to this section from the Appendix, well he goes into orbit. He's real sarcastic and calls the whole thing "a travesty of scholarship and a disgrace to an honorable institution". Listen to this!: "Talk of `fabulous tales' that are `scarcely believable'. For nearly two hundred years our gullible brethren (and sisters) have pursued and elucidated this ridiculous document as if it were Aristotle's lost treatise on comedy. It would be a comedy of the first order, itself, were it not so manifestly preposterous. `Rochefoucault' indeed. Wagonload and Drut lead a pack of fools in search of some pre-thirteenth century sage by that name when the truth stares them in the face for decade after decade. In fact there is no such person, any more than there ever was a Venetian merchant named Massimo Bugiardo except in the shameless imagination of some wiser fool who has led this ship of fools to their Sargasso Sea. And as for those footnotes or annotations to the supposed MS, the less said the better. `Bug and spice': even to point out this kind of nonsense sullies one's respectability.
And believe me, Professor Drucker, that passage isn't one of the meanest. I was really really shocked, I mean it, and maybe later I hope you'll let me come and talk with you during office hours. I'm not sure I want to be a Lit major any more at all. I had no clue professors could be so NASTY. Or so DUMB -- I mean, if what this guy says is true. I'm feeling real bad right now so I'll just end this and hope you can tell me what to do.
PS It's Thursday and after another morning in the library I'm more confused than ever. Turns out that Mannejc's essay was answered in the VERY NEXT year in the VERY SAME journal by a woman named Anne Mack. She says Mannejc is just the "latest in the very same line of fools that Mannejc reviles". She cites this obscure late nineteenth-century book, Ludic Learning. Memoirs of a Subterranean Scholar (London, 1893) written by a guy named Jay Rome in which he apparently confessed that EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE ON THE WARDOUR MS WRITTEN BETWEEN 1820 AND HIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN BY HIMSELF UNDER DIFFERENT PSEUDONYMS!!!! I give up, I mean REALLY. Is this what you people DO?
NOTE: below are the footnotes for jd's critique, above, of jjm's Move 4.
i. Too apt that term desert in this use, for as the barren landscape is to the searching eye, so are the mere
bones of this terrible tale to the wealth of detail we encountered in the thickly threaded tapestry of narrative
from which they have been stripped.
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.
2.ii. This name troubles me, Rochefoucault, as there is none such among my familiars. Still, my outcries have been so strong of late that it is perhaps that Other I invoke to direct the course of my destiny with some measure of mercy that I will have to turn for enlightenment upon this mystery.
3.iii. Well indeed I remember the events of the week described here. The tattered edges of this document recall as if in cruel mimicry the condition of my fraught nerves during those dark days. The fierce simoom of which Bugiardo gives so brief an account had a memorable effect on one for whom there were no prior memories of such experiences available for comparison. The very mouth of hell seemed to open and seethe forth its multitudinous horrors, raining fire and ash, dust and abrasive wind upon the land. No single abuse of flesh and spirit would cease without being replaced by a more hideous combination of elements so artfully contrived in their agreement to erode the very matter in which our spirits were encased as to appear the work of some jealous devil eager to possess our mortal souls. Though our party had ample shelter, and none suffered beyond the blemishing of fragile skin and equally tender sensibilities, the howling fury was ample testimonial to the existence of unmitigated malevolence as a power in our universe.
4.iv. By what blasphemy do those words "religiously" and Bugiardo appear in such proximity? If ever there were a man set upon the torment of a maiden or the trial of a lady, it were he. Modesty forbids, and virtue prohibits, the details of his character or actions pass into description by my art, but whatever there was remaining of a chaste nature in my breast was wrought impure from the first contact with that vile creature whose very breath had the capacity to bespoil the desert atmosphere through even a single exhalation.
5.v. This as an emendment: "bug and spice" that phrase should read. In "truth" (though the mind quails at the attempt to put such a phrase in any relation to that pestilential hypocrite) vermin and putrid artifacts, stolen goods and rotting flesh torn from the soiled pots of open markets that trade in the most repulsive of all goods, humankind - these were the real cargo that the winds of that raging desert sought to snatch from the entangling clutches of his fetid caravan.
6.vi. His brothers, controlling the territory just to the south, had sworn an oath against his life. Even that band of cutthroats, renowned for their cruel brutality, were sickened by a degree of treachery against the meagre shreds of morality their heathen souls held sacred. Thus the path he followed was not from convenience. A better route, that which intersected his and was, in fact, our own, dipped into the fertile valley that lay between the ridges of the Al-Nufah and the crescent Wadi Mujah in which we had idly lingered three days earlier and happened, by good fortune, to have been sheltered from the full brunt of that ghastly storm.
7.vii. A date he would hardly have noted by that name, not having the least acquaintance with the Christian calendar or the rituals of that faith.
8.viii. The pathetic carcasses of several of his suffering beasts gave ample evidence of the intensity with which he pressed toward this goal. He might have abandoned the effort had he had any inkling there was more to be lost in the damage to his cargo by such insistence than by remaining where he was. But the wicked lure of lucre, so close to uppermost in that craven soul, drove him as the lash compelled his innocent animals. In his spirit the pyramid of virtues was so inverted that the least sign of frailty in a creature or fellow-being caused his loathesome spirit to seethe with unmitigated cruelty. Foul as this was, it appeared a kind of virtue by contrast to the invidious debaucheries to which his devious imagination gave rise when unfettered to pursue the monstrous traits of his mad perversities.
9.ix. To what gods they prayed we shall never know, the sand sealed the dry lips of his leather-skinned companions with a glue fine as porcelain, coating their new corpses with an ancient powder so that they took on the appearance of ashen stone, more dead than they had ever been alive, and sealed into their skins that served as dull sarcophagi by that finely applied clay in a layer that hardened the epidermis.
10.x. The taint of poisons escaped as a noxious gas from that poor broken body to which death, gruesome and painful though it was, must have come as a relief from the pressures applied by the evil leader of that ill-fated caravan.
11.xi. We were ourselves more fortunate, having among our number a familiar of the region whose wise counsel had spared us the worst of those (un)natural events, keeping us within the deep ravines of the Wadi where we feasted on small game and such delicacies of flora that the fertile valley provided. It was a time of gentle curiosities, mind and spirit equally engaged in an experience once remote-seeming and quite strange. The social intercourse, no less than the dialogue of my eager eyes in their encounter with the exotic landscape, provided the reward of novelty that was quickly deepening into familiarity and knowledge. I began to see, in the pause we had made in our journey, that there might be some pleasures undreamt of in the geography of my rapidly receding maiden state. Herbs and arts hitherto unknown combined to produce effect and opportunity in surprising measure so that a veritable garden of delights sprung forth from which I anticipated no small future harvest.
12.xii. Of these, several responded to my ministrations, though among them were two so mutilated by the lash that no human art could repair the damage to flesh or spirit required to revive them. The fear alone in their dull eyes was eloquent testimony to their reluctance to pull back again from the brink into which they fell, as if in conviction that the relief they sought there held the promise of relief, if not salvation.
13.xiii. And here my courage almost fails me. Azzih, unwitting instrument of my hapless fate, did indeed call out to his master at that moment. We heard his voice and knew ourselves the object of attention, but what this might entail we hardly considered at that instant in which we had the first inklings of the wretched fate of this straggling group of what we, mistakenly, believed to be fellow human beings. No, there was nothing of the human left among them, for whatever there had been of such noble stuff, the spirit of Bugiardo had sucked out of them to serve the wicked purport of his damnable soul.
[Here follows the account of three days and two nights in which R is possessed by Bugiardo while B-G, drugged and bound, is helpless to defend her. He will, at last, by sheer power of wit and will, contrive to free them both and release their caravan from Bugiardo. R was unwilling to commit such memories or images to paper, but she recounted them to the trusted servant in their train, Ulrike, against whose own wretched log of experience no crime could produce a shock. Ulrike's peculiar transcript, odd jottings and invectives, delirious descriptive passages, ravings and vivid images, test the reader's power of belief.]