In her book Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing, philosopher Catherine Malabou tells a story about the historical end of reading and writing and their reinvention in a new form. The new mode is seen most vividly, suggests Malabou, in the cerebral plasticity of the brain, but also holds sway in philosophy and literature. The concept of the plastic—which she defines, using the image of plastic explosive, as the capacity to give form and the capacity to take form—refers to mutability, change, exchange, morphing, metamorphosis, and transformation. Plastic reading is a structural approach that aims to document the “structure of philosophy” that remains after a text has been subjected to certain analyses. This essay describes Malabou's vision of plastic reading as a living relation to texts in which metamorphosis regulates the metabolism between stasis and aleatory change.

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