Week 2: Tracing The Invisible Threads of Life

Attempts to theorize the minutae of everyday life are destined to be problematic at best. Geater minds have tried and slipped but in the trying perhaps make the path for the next traveller a little surer. The search for something is often lauded as equal if not greater than the thing that is itself searched for and if this is true it were never more so than of the search for a standup, conclusive theory of everyday life. But where theory may stutter and falter under the weight of its own need to provide an all encompasing explanation creative writing may have the edge.  In its diversity, it polyphony, it ability to capture. convey, illuninate and engage. So as you consider Ben Highmore’s clear assimilation of the key theoretical approaches and perspectives on the subject in his Everyday Life and Cultural Theory:An Introduction or reflect on the primary source texts in his reader [highlights for me includes Barthes essay on Plastic] you can think about how this quest to find a way to render visible the invisible threads of our everyday existence – – might open up your own world. How you might [re]discover the mundane and passed over, the forgotten, the unnoticed and yet to be considered in your own life and that ofthose you see around you – unique yet familiar lives, full of ordinary extraordinariness and see what impact that illumination may have on your writing.

Debord ‘Alterations’ Extract – Discussion Questions

EL = Everyday Life

  1. What is the purpose of studying EL?
  2. What needs to be transformed and why?
  3. Why is Debord concerned with demomstrating EL is right here?
  4. Debord compares EL with the search for the Yeti. In what ways does this illuminate the problems of defining EL?
  5. EL is not..? What is it not?
  6. What connection does Debord see between the notion of EL and revolution?
  7. How does a denial of the existence of EL leads to a society of alienation?

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