Ralph Knevet's Supplement of the Faery Queene (1635) is a narrative and allegorical work, which weaves together a complex collection of tales and episodes, featuring knights, ladies, sorcerers, monsters, vertiginous fortresses and deadly battles – a chivalric romp in Spenser's cod medieval style. The poem shadows recent English history, and the major military and political events of the Thirty Years War. But the Supplement is also an ambitiously intertextual poem, weaving together materials from mythic, literary, historical, scientific, theological, and many other kinds of written sources. Its encyclopaedic ambitions combine with Knevet's historical focus to produce an allegorical epic poem of considerable interest and power. This new edition of Knevet's Supplement, the first scholarly text of the poem ever published, situates it in its literary, historical, biographical, and intellectual contexts. An extensive introduction and copious critical commentary, positioned at the back of the book, will enable students and scholars alike to access Knevet's complicated and enigmatic meanings, structures, and allusions.
Another cut, still a cut, cut again: Encore une coupure . This phrase appears towards the close of Reveries of the Wild Woman: Primal Scenes (2000). 1 It epitomises a book that practises a more or less continuous art of epitome. (‘Epitome’ is from the ancient Greek ἐπιτέμνειν , ‘to make an incision into’, ‘to abridge’.) 2 Encore une coupure : it is a book of memories of childhood in Algeria cut, ‘up to the present’ (48), with images and figures of ‘amputation’, variously physical, emotional, conceptual and linguistic. I compute , therefore I am
, starting perhaps with this figure of interruption or ruptive force and how it relates to Derrida’s proposition (made more than twenty years earlier): ‘Telepathy is the interruption of the psychoanalysis of psychoanalysis.’ 33 Writing marks waking from the start, interrupting the aposiopesis of reveries that opens Reveries of the Wild Woman :
‘The whole time I was living in Algeria I would dream of one day arriving in Algeria, I would have done anything to get there, I had written, I never made it to Algeria, it is right now that I must explain what I mean by
attack or counter-attack, a peculiar outburst, Cixous’s writing is off, it’s away
Writing in ‘Sorties’ (1975) about Algeria, about her childhood and how she comes to writing, now in the away-present of writing, she evokes an imagined ‘elsewhere’:
everyone knows that to go somewhere else there are routes, signs, ‘maps’ – for an exploration, a trip. – That’s what books are. Everyone knows that a place exists which is not economically or politically indebted to all the vileness and compromise. That is not obliged to reproduce the system. That is writing
, in response to all the deathly horrors of nationalism and colonialism (across Europe and into Algeria), all the vileness of anti-semitism and ‘the odour of misogyny’ she encountered in her early years. 15 ‘Literary nationality’ is free to all. It has no borders. It breaks with all forms of nationalism while also reminding us that the word ‘nation’ comes from the Latin nāscī , to be born. ‘Literary nationality’ is about being born and giving birth. It affirms literary birth, writing and creation. The allegedly dead come back, in the black milk of dreams – and in
Algeria. Gradually it becomes evident, however, that the title-phrase is in fact ‘first’ to be heard in the voice of the mother’s mother. It is the narrator’s mother who wasn’t there the day the infant died: ‘This child, when did he go? The only day I leave the house. For one year I don’t go out. One day , I go out. And he goes. Without me. The day I am not there ’ (51). But of course the sound and vision of this title-phrase haunts everything and everyone in the text, including the chickens, as we have seen, and above all the narrator.
At the beginning
date of 19 February 1631 would have followed the old tradition of starting the year in March, so the corrected 1632 date is a case of hindsight and rumor (the Algerians never did return) instead of foresight and warning. 41 The Boyle map depicts two settlements at Baltimore Harbour, the little fishing village called the Cove and the town of Baltimore itself. E. J. Priestly, who discovered the map, observed that ‘the regular layout of the houses near the castle to its west, north and east suggests they comprise the planned recent English settlement, while the less