The Multicursal and Rhizome Labyrinths as Metaphors for Detection Essay

The Multicursal and Rhizome Labyrinths as Metaphors for Detection Essay

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When referring to labyrinths, Kolter states that there are usually three types that are widely considered: The unicursal maze, the multicursal or mannerist maze, and the rhizome or network maze. The first type poses no challenge to the individual traversing its pathways because it consists of a single pathway that leads to a centre and then further on to an exit. The second type creates more of a challenge as it is made up of numerous pathways, many of which lead to dead ends, but there is only one correct pathway leading to the exit; however, this maze is one which can be successfully navigated through trial and error. The final type is formed by many pathways that are interconnected creating a potentially infinite number of pathways to any single point all of which can change as time passes. (Kolter 169) The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco presents the process of detection employed by William of Baskerville, as metaphorically parallel or opposite to the structure of the latter two labyrinth types; which brings into perspective the differing world views prevalent in the medieval setting in The Name of the Rose.
William’s deductive processes are representative of the typical multicursal labyrinth described by Kolter and at the onset of the fourth day after the murder of Berenger; William explains the approach to his method of deduction:
Solving a mystery is not the same as deducing from first principles. Nor does it amount simply to collecting a number of particular data from which to infer a general law. It means, rather, facing one or two or three particular data apparently with nothing in common, and trying to imagine whether they could represent so many instances of general law you don’t yet know, and which perhaps has neve...


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... 38.1 (1984): 181. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 7 Apr. 2014.
Halpern, Paul, and Felicia Hurewitz. "Eco's Symbolic Cosmos: Trapped in the Labyrinth of Metaphor." Ometeca 5-6 (2002): 326-328. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
Hernandez Martin, Jorge. “ Jorge of Bugos: Eco’s Minotaur.” Readers and Labyrinths: Detective Fiction in Borges, Bustos Domecq, and Eco. Ed. David William Foster. New York: Garland Pub., 1995. 163+. Print.
Kolter, Jody. "Abductive Reasoning as an Aesthetic of Interpretation and a Logic of Creativity in Umberto Eco’s 'The Name of the Rose'." Res Cogitans. 2.1 (2011): 169. Print.
Sibley, Rochelle. "Aspects of The Labyrinth in the Name of the Rose: Chaos and Order in the Abbey Library." Illuminating Eco: On the Boundaries of Interpretation. Ed. Charlotte Ross, and Rochelle Sibley. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004. 40. Print.


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