Winsome Spiller (Prosenchymatic reading)

Inspired by Telemachus.

Winsome’s work is based on my literary concept of Prosenchyma, which is defined in Appendix C (p.941).

It gives visual life to this (parodic) idea, taking it into new realms of meaning via representation. You can see more of her work on Instagram.

Prose/nchyma is a free-form literary term created to explore the impact of reading and influence (einfluss) on an author’s development. It’s a spin-off from Harold Bloom’s Transumptive Misreading and indebted to the Rhizome of Deleuze and Guattari.

The word itself is an otiose Botanical term for tissue consisting of elongated cells closely packed together with their ends interpenetrating and often with the terminal partitions obliterated so as to form ducts or vessels. It’s a very Shelleyan concept.

Metaphor offers the best way to understand Prosenchyma. Envisage walking along a yellowbrick road of paving tiles composed of books. Interlocking volumes have been fitted together. Spines are tucked into leaves. Slowly, they begin fanning out in an arc towards the horizon. The reader can proceed step-by-step, shimmy down a line, hop sideways, go tangentially, or even withdraw and start a new journey. The road begins folding back over itself over time, ultimately encasing the reader in a pedagogical capsule (see TMAC, C1, p.12) through which Life can be observed and interpreted like Heidegger’s SPHERE (see also Peter Sloterdijk on Bubbles). New books get placed into the field continuously. New layers are locked on top of original layers, making archaeological strata which alter the significance of past reading. Individual tiles can even be extracted and refitted back into the mosaic elsewhere, creating new effects. This leaves leaves touching leaves as per Goethe’s Die Urpflanze, in which the leaf (itself prosenchymatic) is represented as the basic structure/symbol of Nature.