What is a Rhizome

A rhizome is an extension of a plant such as bamboo or grass which grows out from the original plant.  The grass in our yards are rhizomes, as the seeds grow the root system spreads in all directions.  If anyone has ever seen a lawn that was recently installed, there are bare spots throughout the lawn.  These bare spots are places where the rhizomes of the plants have not yet reached and sprouted.  After a few weeks or months these bare spots start to fill themselves in.  This is due to the root structure spreading throughout the ground like a spider web.  What is seen on the surface is the aerial shoot structure of the plant.

The Rhizome was used as the metaphor for the the way that non-linear works of literature are structured because as one navigates through these works, navigation would be going through the root system, while the chosen segment would be the reader potruding through the earth.  Then going back to the root system when navigating away from the page which was just finished only to find that you are at another said protrusion

Gary Hitchins

http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Rhizome

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~ by garyhitchins on March 3, 2010.

 
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