I offer a systematic account of the verbal-visual interaction on which presence depends in order to offer, in effect, a genealogy of presence. On the verbal side, I rely on linguistic and rhetorical analysis; on the visual, on Gestalt theory and Peirce's semiotics. To analyze verbal-visual interaction, I rely on Dual Coding Theory, borrowed from cognitive psychology. I contend that recourse to such a theory is essential if we are to explain the central mystery of Perelmanian presence, the transformation from the perceptual into the argumentative and narrative. I illustrate this transformation by analyzing a groundbreaking geological monograph.