Reviews and comment from the Demon Crew - creative writers at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

All change for creative writers

Writers Alan Baker and Will Buckingham have both been prompted to write by the ancient Chinese text the I Ching, also known as The Book of Changes.

Will, began by explaining the mathematically-derived structure of the I Ching: how the 64 hexagrams are formed by either Yang (solid) or Yin (broken) lines stacked in sixes, to represent all the possible combinations. Each of these hexagrams is a statement that can be used for the purposes of divination, or taken and applied as a philosophical perspective.

Alan highlighted - and it really struck me - how contemporary the concepts of I Ching are.  He described it as similar to, and even influential on New Age spiritualism; as well as a key influence on the development of the binary system.

Both Will and Alan, read some of their own work directly inspired by their reading of the I Ching.  Although both started from the same place there were remarkable differences between Alan's 256-word prose poems and Will's short stories.  However both had similar elements, being in their own ways random, circular and cryptic.

Listening to Will and Alan's account of the I Ching, I couldn’t distinguish whether what I was hearing was a mass of convoluted nonsense, or a universal truth delivered with subtle poignancy. Sitting here reflecting, twenty wiki tabs deep, with tired eyes and a head full of whirling thoughts; I’m still not sure. In can at least conclude that the I Ching is a marvellous and seemingly inexhaustible source of food for thought.

Xavier Cranwell

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