The Production of the Margin — Velasco
By Jesús R. Velasco | Published on January 18, 2022
The cognitive intuition of the importance of the margin in the process of studying texts, empirically demonstrated by psychologists and pedagogues cited in the attached article, explains the reasons why the margin of books is a coveted space. It is not enough to occupy that space. It is necessary, also, to produce it, to give it a new life as an epistemological artifact. It is necessary to turn the margin into an institution.
It would not be enough, however, for the marginal institution to have an industrial presence. It did have one, as the ordinary gloss to the Bible or the ordinary gloss to the Civil or the Canon Law bear witness to. This institution is an object of desire on the part of individuals who, even if they practice one of the disciplines that partake in the industrial productions of the gloss, nevertheless see the opportunity to build this marginal intervention outside that discipline.
It is convenient to study some of these cognitive and political endeavors from the perspective of the production of the space for the articulation of textual glosses in medieval manuscripts. By production of space I mean, then, individual movements in which the process of writing and study consists of a multidimensional search to organize the location and use of cultural products on the surface of the page. It is a production of space because those individuals who seek to create their presence in the universe of the intellectual sphere, do so precisely through the redefinition of a given space that allows them to transform the the terms in which interaction with the system of authorities and with the doctrinal system takes place Those systems where the ones, also, that allowed the creation of the book in the first place.
I propose, then, to analyze how the manufacture of manuscripts with glosses and their elements of design allow us to understand the cognitive circumstances in which intellectual vocabularies related to the political and cultural needs of the 15th century vernacular culture were shaped and put into use.