A Conversation on the Art of Writing with Emmanuele Coccia

A Conversation on the Art of Writing with Emmanuele Coccia application/pdf icon

Held at La maison de la Poésie in Paris with Emmanuele Coccia, introduced and translated by Stephen Muecke and published on the web by Asymptote the French video is accessible here


This is the first time that the philosopher, social scientist, 2013 Holberg Prizewinner, and, as of last month, recipient of a Kyoto Prize Bruno Latour has spoken extensively about his writing practices while denying that he is a ‘writer’ in the strictly literary sense. Drawn out sensitively and expertly by Emanuele Coccia, himself a writer on ecologies, we discover much more about Latour, the writer of networks. He has become such an active ‘agent’ in literary and scholarly networks that he is now perhaps this century’s most cited intellectual. There must be something about what and how he writes that attracts citations, that makes people want to repeat what he says, paraphrase it or comment on it, creating in the end a huge literary network in which the author’s name is centrally suspended. It would be too easy to put it down to genius, or to a passionate engagement with ‘matters of concern’. These no doubt are factors, but what he and his friend Emanuele explore here is a different kind of environment for the writer to inhabit and flourish in, a kind of political ecology that is of planetary significance, but one that is nonetheless firmly grounded and practically negotiable.