Ian Heisters 297 Gestures Upon the Body, vue d'installation, The MilkBar, Richmond, 2016.
Photo : permission de l'artiste

The Shared Condition of Individual Thought

Valérie Félix
For masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice.9 9 - Virginia Woolf,A Room of One’s Own (London: Hogarth Press, [1929] 1935), 98. — Virginia Woolf

Beside delving into the role of women writers in literature that extolled the creative genius of a single (id)entity, Virginia Woolf’s writerly gesture here is a deconstruction of the glorifying vision of individualistic creativity and highlights the importance of emulated collective thought emanating from “the body of the people.” However, collective thought and being aware of the multiple intellectual heritage of our reflections (which are not wholly our own) are two very different notions. It is a matter, then, of opening a debate on the distinction between shared thought and collective thought.

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This article also appears in the issue 104 - Collectives
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