century: the event comes to be knownnwith a biblical title, “the Hame Deluge”n(all quotations are from the BantamnBooks edition, 1961). The Deluge wasnfollowed by “the demons of the Fallout.”nMiller writes,nSo it was that, after the Deluge, thenFaUout, the plagues, the madness, thenconfusion of tongues, the rage, therenbegan the bloodletting of the Simplification,nwhen the remnants of mankindnhad torn the other remnantsnUmb from limb, killing rulers, scientists,nleaders, technicians, teachers,nand whatever persons the leaders ofnthe maddened mobs said deservedndeath for having helped to make thenEarth what it had become.nAs in the early history of EngUsh literature,nthe Church acts as an ark whereinnlearning is saved. In the immediate post-nDeluge period, one Isaac Edward Leibowitz,na former electrical engineer whonlost his wife in the war, became a priestnin the Southwest (the irony of the situationnand the threads of Judaism, Mormonism,nand Catholicism are themselvesnworth serious examination). He “wonnpermission from the Holy See to found annew community of religious, to bennamed after Albertus Magnus, teacher ofnSaint Thomas, and patron of men of science.nIts task… was to preserve humannhistory for the great-great-great-grandchildrennof the children of the simpletonsnwho wanted it destroyed.” Six centuriesnafter Leibowitz’s death at thenhands of a mob, the materials that remainnfrom him are known as the “MemorabiUa.”nThe monks preserved it, “smdiednit, copied and recopied it.” But theyndon’t know what it means. A memonbook they have includes notes to bringnhome pastrami, kraut, and bagels: thesenwords are signifiers without signifieds.nOne note reads: “Remember—pick upnForm 1040, Uncle Revenue.” The messagenis accompanied by some mathematicsn”followed by the word damn’.” Thenmonk who found the book “checked thenfigures; he could find no fault with thenarithmetic… although he said he couldn18nChronicles of Culturendeduce nothing about what the quantitiesnmight represent.” That the figuresnhad something to do with renderingnunto Caesar couldn’t be known to him.nThat monk comes to spend 15 yearsnmaking an illuminated copy of a Leibowitziannblueprint titled “TransistorizednControl System for Unit Stx-B.” What itnmeans is unknown: perhaps it’s a man-n*~”^X^vii?: ‘ndala of sorts. The monk sets out on anjourney to the New Rome with the originalnprint and his illuminated replica. Anrobber waylays him. The thief knowsnthat one is a tattered piece of materialnand that the other gleams with gold leaf.nHe takes the latter. The “contingentnknowledge” that Edgar Wind speaks ofnhas been lost, even by the monks. (It isneventually regained—^at great cost—nand then Vico’s cycle begins anew, signalednby the words “Lucifer Is Fallen.”)nThe artifacts from the days of Leibowitznmust be situated in history—theirnhistory—^if they are to have meaning.nHistory, primarily because of Hegel andnMarx, has become, for many, an inexorablenforce; man is nothing by comparisonnand his works are insignificant. Historynis thus ignored; only the present (or thenfuture) is taken as the ground and objectnof observation. This is quite clear in thenmajor trends of literary criticism of then20th centory. The Russian Formalistsnand the American New Critics set thennnstage. The former stressed the “autonomy”nof the given work; the latter talkednabout the “verbal icon.” What was givennwas given, period. There could be no recoursento authorial intention, nor couldnthe literary work be placed in its historicalncontext Thus, a poem written by anmadman 10 minutes before the analysisncould conceivably be considered on thensame level as a poem Pope wrote andnheld 10 years before release. While differingnin terms of method and results,npractitioners of subsequent -isms (e.g.,nstrucmralism, deconstruction) concentratednon the given words comprising anwork. History remains taboo. A feirlyncurrent example is the work of Paul denMan. The preface to his Allegories ofnReading (Yale University Press, 1979)nopens as follows:nAllegories of Reading started out as anhistorical study and ended up as antheory of reading. I began to readnRousseau seriously in preparation forna historical reflection on Romanticismnand found myself unable to progressnbeyond local diflSculties of interpretation.nIn trying to cope with this, I hadnto shift from historical definition tonthe problematics of reading. This shift,nwhich is typical of my generation…nThe emphasis on the “local” and thenahistorical is clear. The “shift” de Mannspeaks of leads to readings that are oftenninteresting in the same way that Chinesenboxes are interesting. Such critics producentexts that are similar to the worksnthat Robert Scholes thinks will lead ton”Uterary death.” In many cases, the criticalnworks are not fecimd but sterile. Thensituation of this type of critic is like thatnof the monk illuminating the manuscript.nWhen the monk is asked what it is thatnhe is illuminating, he can only respondn”Transistorized Control System for UnitnSix-B.” When he is asked what that is, hencan only repeat himself. The monk isnfrustrated; the critic seems satisfied.nXlowever, there is a trend towardnhumanizing criticism, tovrard putting thenwriter and his history, the interpretern