Chapter 4 Architectures of Memory
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“Architectures of Memory” examines the memorial spaces of the text of Melusine. While cultural narratives in patriarchal societies tend to celebrate the patriline, the tale of Melusine takes a different path, memorializing the mother and the horizontal connection between sisters. The memorial spaces in Melusine gesture toward the structures of learned monastic culture, particularly the architectural mnemonic. Drawing on Mary Carruthers’s work on medieval memory, Shaw argues that Melusine functions as a memory machine, requiring the audience to participate in the memory-making function. Contrary to prevailing cultural expectations, the memory the audience is asked to continually re-inscribe in their memory stores is a celebration of the matriline.