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Breaking the alphabet

Breaking the alphabet

Little black cart, 2022

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£5.00

This small booklet is a reflection on the tyranny of writing as a rigid practice (from the act of writing to what we're allowed to write), and what it would mean for our way of writing to be as liberating as what we're trying to say. Pictographs! Breaking out of ruts! The text is reminiscent of some big anarchist names in its push to re-think things that we take for granted every day, but it's more fun and also more practical (in a playful, imaginative way) than other more theory-heavy essays.

Perhaps learning how to write letters is most openly and nakedly the point where iteration itself is at stake. Perhaps it points to the essential and primary movement from joyful exuberance to iterative drudgery. "The repetitive nature of patterns,"  with which children start to learn how to draw letters, "emphasizes the rhythmic movement which we aim for when writing," This tames the children's muscles, helping to "maintain the consistency of size."

Practical, provocative, poetic, this text points out one of the many ways that we are trained, and perpetuate, in our own subjugation, and then offers some ways to do things differently.

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