Compiling an Index: More-than Names and Nouns

Last year Erin Manning hired me to compile the index for her now recently published book Always More Than One: Individuation’s Dance. (You can find a preview section of the book here.) I had never made an index for a book before but I knew the content of her book thoroughly, having read several of the chapters that had been previously published as articles. Manning’s book is amazingly complex, weaving several interconnecting concepts together, such as: spacetime, individuation, experience, perception, autistic perception, dance, movement, ecology, event, activity, process, relation, and so many more. However, this made my job of generating an index much more difficult. Because of the rich ecology of conceptual relations found in this book, I felt that a traditional index composed primarily of names, places and nouns would not give this book justice. The ideas simply flowed. Movement could be felt in the reading.

Always More Than One‘s index required more than names and nouns. It needed the addition of verbs and significant cross-referencing among the terms and concepts. There were few book indexes that I could use as reference and example. However, I did have two books at hand that I believe have the best indexes ever produced for philosophical works, the corrected edition of Alfred North Whitehead’s Process and Reality and Brian Massumi’s Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. The index for Whitehead’s book was the most helpful because it’s use of cross-referencing is so thorough, especially when considering that it was created in an era before word searches in pdf and other digital documents. It was the perfect example I needed in order to make Manning’s index. With my guiding examples and my intention of making the index more-than what is found usually seen, I started reading the final pdf proof of the book cover to cover. My laptop screen split in two – one side the book, the other my word processing program.

Reading a book in order to compile an index is not like reading one for pleasure or for research. It takes an incredible amount of concentration, memory, and time. You have to not only understand the terms and concepts being used but you have to remember where they are stated and how they connect to other concepts and terms. Generating an index forces you to conduct the closest and slowest reading of a text you may ever do. Doing a search for terms within the pdf will not suffice because there are times a word could be broken between lines or even across pages or there could be a word whose meaning is ambiguous unless you know the context it which it is placed. However, I would never rule out using word searches. I had to several times throughout producing Manning’s index because there would be a term that seemed unimportant early in the book, but later the term would take on increasing significance. This would force me to search for the term and re-read the book. The best advice I can give is careful reading makes for strong and useful indexes.

In the end I wanted to make an index I would find useful when reading it. It had to show how concepts related to others in an easily understood way. If you have not seen the book you can find some examples below and see how connected the terms were.

Body, 16, 31, 41-43, 46, 60, 66, 81, 83, 85, 89, 108-110, 119, 122-123, 129, 135-137, 147, 153, 159, 170, 177, 181, 184-186, 199, 208-210, 212, 215, 217, 219, 223 n. 1, 224 n. 9; and affect, 27-30; architectural, 104-105; and assemblage, 30, 31-32; and autism, 153; becoming and, 59-65, 78, 84, 140, 203; and choreography, 59, 76; and collective, 27, 114; and conscious, 103; and counterpoint, 103; dancing, 38-39, 105, 207; and emergence, 21; and ecology 17, 27, 31, 78, 84; and environment, 125; and exfoliation, 229 n. 8; and event, 18; and feeling, 22; as field of relation, 17, 31; and folding, 103; and form, 31; group, 122; human, 33, 50, 54, 72, 76, 107-108, 136, 146; and in-act, 25; and the individual, 20, 59, 100, 104, 134, 136, 207; inflection of, 87; and information, 19-20; and milieu, 26; and the more-than, 228 n. 1; and movement 13-15, 211, 237 n. 2; and an object, 32, 104; and one-many, 108; and perception, 80, 238 n. 8; precomposed, 76; as relational process, 19; sensing, 125; as society, 22-24; and space, 134, 140; and spacetime, 122; and surface, 111; and transindividuation, 29; and technique, 32-33; and worlding 2, 5, 9-10, 132, 154, 167-168, 170. Also see Bodying; Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix, on the body without organs.

Emergence/emerging, 2, 6-7, 10-12, 22, 28-29, 41, 44, 48, 58, 81, 83, 92, 108, 114-115, 133, 139, 143, 146-147, 152-154, 168, 179, 182, 195-196, 202, 210-211, 218, 225 n. 12, 247 n. 18, 248 n. 24; and affective tonalities, 210; of associated milieu, 9, 40; and the body, 17-18, 21, 42, 60; and choreography, 121; and collectivity, 111; and concepts, xiii; and concern, 106; and counterpoint, 213, 216; and the dance of attention, 141-142, 159; and the diagram, 144; and difference, 96; and ecology, 26; and events, 50, 75, 156, 171; and event-time, 80; and experience, 59, 205; and feeling, 60; and field, 104, 170, 219; force of, 174, 177; and improvisation, 35, 37, 213-214; and life, 45, 203; and life-forms, 199; and milieu, 27; and multiplicity, 134; and occasions, 25, 216; and propositions, 97; reemergence, 25, 101, 109, 201; and relational movement, 217; and relations, 200; and remarkable points, 47; and the self, 4-5; and spacetime, 137, 251 n. 8, 251 n. 10; and speciation, 187-188, 200; of thought, 249 n. 28; and tracings, 191, 193; and the transcendental field, 47; and vitality affects, xx, xxii-xxiii; of “we”, 195.

Individuation, x, xxiii, 2-3, 5, 8, 11-12, 16-19, 24, 26, 30, 37, 81, 134, 140-142, 147, 153, 156, 188, 224 n. 11; and affect, 27-28; and autism, 150; and the becoming-body, 60; and the body, 30, 122; and dance, 171; and dephasing, 22; field of, 114; and the individual xi, 24; infra-individuation, 146-147; and movement-moving, 87; and the preindividual, 24; process of, 24; and technicity, 34-35; and thought, 169; transcendental field of, xii. Also see Collective individuation; Individual, Preindividual; Simondon, Gilbert.

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