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Material Contexts

Material Contexts

The Means of Production

Chapter:
(p.113) 5 Material Contexts
Source:
Plotting Gothic
Author(s):
Stephen Murray
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226191942.003.0006

Remaining within the same mnemonic space or plot, this chapter explores the material contexts of the cathedral. It is with the testimony of Gervase of Canterbury that we have learned most about material production: the role of the master mason, the procurement of raw materials, the shaping of those materials through the use of templates, the challenges of day-to-day construction. The interlocutor may look to evidential signs in order to tease out the story of construction; however, the same evidence, construed as conventional signs or language, may lead us to begin to unscramble meaning.

Keywords:   material contexts, means of production, master mason, raw materials, evidential signs

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