New Additions to the Literary Lexicon
Automatism B by Robert Motherwell from Yale Digital Commons

automatic writing– the act of writing through trance when the writer serves as medium for otherworldly spirits. William Butler Yeats’ wife, George Hyde Lees claimed to be possessed by automatic writing. Also defined in The Guardian’s “John Gray on humanity’s quest for immortality” published January 8, 2011, where Gray defines automatic writing as “texts produced without conscious awareness in which another mind seems to be guiding the pen, which became a vehicle for unresolved personal loss and secret love.”

bricoleur and bricolage – from French meaning fiddler or tinkler, often referring to visual arts; to construct from various items and resources available at hand. Claude Leví-Strauss made this idea popular in cultural criticism and Miguel Syjuco described his writing process for Ilustrado as a bricolage, which would make him a bricoleur, meaning one who practices the art of bricolage.

concord fictions – a term coined by critic Frank Kermode, in his The Sense of an Ending, 1967, and explained by Wolfgang Iser in his “The Significance of Fictionalizing” in Anthropoetics III no. 2 (Fall 1997/Winter 1998) published by UC Irvine: “This is the point at which literary fictions diverge from the fictions of our ordinary world. The latter are assumptions, hypotheses, presuppositions and, more often than not, the basis of world views, and may be said to complement reality. Frank Kermode calls them “concord fictions”(13) because they close off something which by its very nature is open.”

docu-fiction – the filmic relative to literary journalism, this is a neologism referring to the cinematographic mix of documentary and fiction.

negative education– from Virginia Woolf’s essay “Two Women” in Moments of Being and Other Essays: “that which decrees not what you may do but what you may not do, that cramped and stifled.” In reference to Miss Emily Davies and Lady Stephens, Woolf writes of them, ‘Do they go to school? No. Do they have governesses at home? No. They have lessons and get on as they can.’ But if their positive education had stopped at a little Latin, a little history, a little housework, it would not so much have mattered”

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