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Writing Without Bodies: Telegrams from My Grandfather and Other Notes

Kristensen, J C. 2014. 'Writing Without Bodies: Telegrams from My Grandfather and Other Notes'. In: Making Letters Making Meaning. Institute of Historical Research, University of London, United Kingdom 24 June 2014. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

In this paper, I draw on three sets of material - a set of telegrams sent by my grandfather in the late 1950s/early 1960s; Alan Turing's 1950 paper 'Computing Machinery and Intelligence' from the journal Mind; and a photograph of the philosopher Martin Heidegger writing at his desk - to explore the philosophical and theoretical relationship between presence, bodies, space, machines and writing.

It concludes with a meditation on the distinction between the practice of writing and of a text having been written, closing with the following lines:

"... writing has always been as much about networks of hands, tongues, fingers, inks, media and mediums so much so that when we look at these telegrams, they foreground the network status of writing that so often lays occluded by the trace of the hand in handwriting, by the techniques of writing and its claim to uniqueness, a uniqueness only born in 1868, the same year that the first commercially successful typewriter was patented. But that is another story."

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

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Telegrams, Writing, Meaning. Practice, Absence, Presence, Ghosts, Turing, Heidegger

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24 June 2014Completed

Event Location:

Institute of Historical Research, University of London, United Kingdom

Date range:

24 June 2014

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Date Deposited:

13 Nov 2019 14:47

Last Modified:

13 Nov 2019 14:47


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