Analogical Writing and the Practices of Collective Life

Cameron McEwan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Abstract

The following text is an experiment in writing as a material practice, tentatively referred to as analogical writing. If analogical thinking is a process that uses what exists to order what is new, then what would be an analogical writing practice that uses existing texts and ideas as the material to create a new idea, a new text? It may be a way to rethink the drive for novelty, a form of critical production within and against the relations of cognitive capitalism and its knowledge industry, a type of associative thinking that transforms old ideas and practices into new ideas and practices, or an extrapolative practice that extends the individual and individual ideas into collective life. Nine texts are selected for this experiment and three statements from each text are used: a start, a middle, and an end. The statements are assembled with minimal adjustments, creating continuity through the rearrangement of associated ideas made adjacent to one another or through the substitution of key words. This process results in the use of words, texts, and ideas as material entities to be transformed, forging forms of association and disassociation. In assemblages, there is space for disorder, much like the disorder experienced in a city. Consequently, the writing retains a trace of the original voice and implies a sense of metropolitan life. The following begins with reflections on the city as an assemblage, then moves to paradigms that address assemblage as a concept and a practice. It concludes with a set of texts that resonate with the pressing issues of today: how to configure collective life under the pressure of the Anthropocene – the epoch that now envelopes the planet.
Original languageEnglish
No.2 Reassemblage
Specialist publicationNOIA.magazine
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Jul 2022

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