J3.12 Chain of Office

Annotations for Jerusalem by Alan Moore
Book 3 – Vernall’s Inquest – Afterlude – Chain of Office

Page 1201 – titled Afterlude

Page 1202 – blank

Page 1203– titled Chain of Office

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Page 1263-66 Acknowledgements

3 thoughts on “J3.12 Chain of Office”

  1. “A quarter-inch high Vesper scooter with one wheel off stood in Bullhead Lane propped by a yard-brush” – p.1148 (UK single hardback edition)

    Does anyone know if this is a specific reference to something from earlier in the novel?

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  2. The last chapter uses the technique of “mise en abyme” or Droste effect: Mise en abyme (French pronunciation: also mise en abîme) is a French term derived from heraldry, and literally means “placed into abyss”. The term has developed a number of particular senses in modern criticism since it was picked up from heraldry by the French author André Gide.
    A common sense of the phrase is the visual experience of standing between two mirrors, then seeing as a result an infinite reproduction of one’s image. Another is the Droste effect, in which a picture appears within itself, in a place where a similar picture would realistically be expected to appear. That is named after the 1904 Droste cocoa package, which depicts a woman holding a tray bearing a Droste cocoa package, which bears a smaller version of her image. The phrase has several other meanings, however, in the realms of the creative arts and literary theory. In Western art history, “mise en abyme” is a formal technique in which an image contains a smaller copy of itself, in a sequence appearing to recur infinitely; “recursive” is another term for this.
    The modern meaning of the phrase originates with the author André Gide who used it to describe self-reflexive embeddings in various art-forms and to describe what he sought in his own work. As examples, Gide cites both paintings such as Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez, and literary forms such as William Shakespeare’s use of the “play within a play” device in Hamlet, where a theatrical company presents a performance for the characters that illuminates a thematic aspect of the play itself. This use of the phrase mise en abyme was picked up by scholars and popularized in the 1977 book Le récit spéculaire. Essai sur la mise en abyme by Lucien Dällenbach.
    Mise-en-abîme occurs within a text when there is a reduplication of images or concepts referring to the textual whole. Mise-en-abîme is a play of signifiers within a text, of sub-texts mirroring each other. This mirroring can get to the point where meaning may be rendered unstable and, in this respect, may be seen as part of the process of deconstruction. (From Wikipedia)

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    1. Thanks! I was unaware that there was a term for this, though I have often seen it done.

      My own observation was that Jerusalem is much like a hologram, with each chapter (and the cover!) containing the whole of the book in some sense.

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