Animism and the Alphabet
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Annotation’s made from David Abram Animism and the Alphabet
In Animism and the Alphabet, David Abram, founder and creative director of the Alliance for Wild Ethics, goes in depth about how writing and the alphabet developed over the years by various groups of people. After annotating the text, I was able to consider the arguments presented by David Abram and found myself questioning many of his viewpoints. As I was reading my annotations, one that jumped out at me was when I wrote “may not be “true” writing, but still has meaning behind each picture that can tell a story” (30). How does one actually determine what writing consists of? I feel as though writing does not solely consist of words, rather writing needs to communicate ones thoughts or convey a story. This communication can be demonstrated through pictures in addition to text. It’s true that not everything can be voiced through pictures, but that is why the alphabet was later created. After looking into my annotation even further, I realized even though David Abram looks at the positive and negatives aspects of everything, I felt as though he was trying to create a certain image of what writing should look like. Abram uses persuasive language and supporting information that pictures are not writing since “some researchers” said it was true (30). Readers usually buy into whatever the author says, like Chris McCandless from Into the Wild, so by putting the idea of what writing is into the reader’s head, limits how they think.
Not only did David Abram try to convince people that the only way of writing involves the alphabet, he also tried to create a link between the past to present. In another annotation of mine I questioned “what does he mean by “more-than-human”?” (31). Within the first eight pages, Abram mentions this “more-than-human” field, world and life-world. Unsure of what this meant to the text as a whole, I tried to look further into the meaning behind the text. I felt as though the “more-than-human” phrase was used to highlight the ideas of people of the past who were no longer in the world and how they were big influences in the writing world.
Why would David Abram use the phrase “more-than-human?” I feel as though he is using the phrase to create an image of something no one will ever understand or be able to reach. “More-than-human” gives the reader the idea
of a higher power that has control over the alphabet and a way in which everything was supposed to work out in the world. On the other hand, the “more-than-human” world could also represent the nature and landscape of the world. Some of Abram’s main ideas are based off of how humanity and nature can come together to create something that will allow people to convey how they feel without the use of pictures.
Each of these annotations helped me to look deeper into the text rather than read the text with out getting anything from it. After looking into my annotations I was able to see how the author tries to influence the reader with information from researchers, but also how certain aspects of the text are used to create a larger image. The phrase “more-than-human” really stuck out to me because the author continued to use it throughout the text, identifying its importance in the essay.