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Blood and Tears as Ink: Writing the Pictorial Sense of the Text

Blood and Tears as Ink: Writing the Pictorial Sense of the Text Blood and Tears as Ink: Writing the Pictorial Sense of the Text martha rust In the world of medieval manuscripts, where specimens of intimate intermingling between pictures and written words already abound, perhaps the clearest challenges to the boundary between the domains of text and image are presented by instances of written words taking on the guise of pictures and the inverse: pictures functioning in the manner of words. The boundaryshifting effect of these phenomena is apparent in their restructurings of the very territories of the page. Rebus-like "word-pictures" in the margins of Psalter manuscripts, which represent single words or syllables in the scriptural text, increase the acreage of the page given to words and the decoding practices associated with reading.1 A marginal figure in the Luttrell Psalter, for instance, pointing an arrow at the word conspecto (from conspicere, "to behold") points out, as Lucy Freeman Sandler has observed, that the word also contains the first syllable of the word for the point of an arrow, spiculum.2 Such "visual syllabifications," as Sandler has called them, appropriate the margin as a parallel reading space whose picture-texts are sometimes entirely unrelated to the written text at center page.3 Conversely, the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Chaucer Review Penn State University Press

Blood and Tears as Ink: Writing the Pictorial Sense of the Text

The Chaucer Review , Volume 47 (4) – Apr 5, 2013

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © The Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
1528-4204
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Abstract

Blood and Tears as Ink: Writing the Pictorial Sense of the Text martha rust In the world of medieval manuscripts, where specimens of intimate intermingling between pictures and written words already abound, perhaps the clearest challenges to the boundary between the domains of text and image are presented by instances of written words taking on the guise of pictures and the inverse: pictures functioning in the manner of words. The boundaryshifting effect of these phenomena is apparent in their restructurings of the very territories of the page. Rebus-like "word-pictures" in the margins of Psalter manuscripts, which represent single words or syllables in the scriptural text, increase the acreage of the page given to words and the decoding practices associated with reading.1 A marginal figure in the Luttrell Psalter, for instance, pointing an arrow at the word conspecto (from conspicere, "to behold") points out, as Lucy Freeman Sandler has observed, that the word also contains the first syllable of the word for the point of an arrow, spiculum.2 Such "visual syllabifications," as Sandler has called them, appropriate the margin as a parallel reading space whose picture-texts are sometimes entirely unrelated to the written text at center page.3 Conversely, the

Journal

The Chaucer ReviewPenn State University Press

Published: Apr 5, 2013

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