What does it mean to be an engaged writer? How do writers create, move, and change themselves and the world by cooperating with things and beings around them? In The Animal Who Writes, one of the most treasured visionaries in our field demonstrates just how much writing has to do with being earnestly alive.
Writing begins with unconscious feelings of something that insistently demands to be responded to, acted upon, or elaborated into a new entity. Writers make things that matter—treaties, new species, software, and letters to the editor—as they interact with other humans of all kinds. As they write, they also continually remake themselves. In The Animal Who Writes, Cooper considers writing as a social practice and as an embodied behavior that is particularly important to human animals. The author argues that writing is an act of composing enmeshed in nature-cultures and is homologous with technology as a mode of making.
The Animal Who Writes presents an ‘enchantment ontology’ that demonstrates how writing remakes writers and the world in a complexly creative and ecological manner. Using elements of posthumanism, new materialism, complexity theory, and Whitehead’s process theory, the book achieves a much-needed new synthesis, one that connects many of the moving parts of recent advances across the sciences and humanities. Cooper’s holistic approach is particularly welcome in our emerging world of media saturation and deep interconnection.