Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A unique refraction of a shared experience

Impure Thought from by N Pepperell ...the ways in which my “own” work has been influenced in profound ways by my connections and contacts with others.
I’ve so often been struck by the disjoint between the notion of academic production as an “original” and “individual” effort, and my experience of “my” work as always refracting interactions with others, perpetually deflected by the shock of interaction. So much of my current writing is shaped by the problems that condense and crystallise only from dialogue, the dislocated insights made possible by sliding into perspectives of whose existence I would never have learned, except through others. I view intellectual work - not as necessarily collective, in the sense of a consciously-shared joint project (although it might under certain circumstances be that, as well - but as transcendent of individuals who generate, not a lonely, isolated knowledge, but a unique refraction of a shared experience that each can only partially and incompletely express.

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