chapter  2
23 Pages

Textual precedents and seventeenth-century cryptography manuals

This chapter explores the relationship between ciphers as attempts to communicate the inexpressible wounds of collective and individual trauma and the pedagogical manuals' teachings of multimodal literacy. Harold Bayley cites Rossetti in his A New Light on the Renaissance: Displayed in Contemporary Emblems contains an interesting chapter on Renaissance typography. The chapter examines the diagrams used in cryptography manuals, as well as the physical and generic structure of each of the manuals grounding this study, all of which require readers to be aware of the peripheries of the page and books as objects to cross-examine every splotch of ink, stain, page number, and deformity against the content of the teaching. Trithemius, like Wilkins and Morland was fascinated by communication that took advantage of multiple media. Cryptographers encouraged cross-dimensional literacy across the "liberal arts" and Wilkins's words: a strategy for reading attentive to a broad field of vision and fields of sound and taste, including paratext and the "tactile manipulation of things".