Tuesday 2 November 2010

Thinking and Writing

The relationship between what we think and the process of articulating thought through writing or speech is not linear or determined. We are all familiar with the process whereby thinking off the cuff or from the top of one's head doesn't just manifest thought but constructs thought. The process of writing or talking, therefore, doesn't necessarily communication prior thoughts but constructs them. I particularly like these two quotations:

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.
Seamus Heaney

How can I know what I think till I see what I say?
E. M. Forster

The implications of this for our sense of what people say or write about their experiences of dance (or art in general) is extremely complex. In this context, however, I think it is valid to suggest that the process of thought making cannot be simply dismissed as distorting an original experience that exists outside of thought. Rather the process of consciously digging with the pen or with our mind is what makes the experience an experience and the thought a thought.