The issue of subjectivity quickly turned up in the first book sprint. Mushon was about to write: “I am actually more interested in…” But since we decided to write in plural, he pulled his head out of the screen and asked: “How should I write this? Am I interested? Are WE interested?”
The following day this conflict was raised again, this time it was even more complex when Mushon wanted to refer to a personal anecdote. Both Michael and Mike have already done it in their own writing but they were able to quote themselves as they were indeed quoting previous published text. In this specific case, Mushon was recounting the grim memory from his army days that is mentioned in the chapter titled “Collaborationism”. This was the first time he has ever put it in writing.
Should he write “I”? Who is “I”? We're writing in plural, as “we”. Should he write “one of the authors”? That's pretty superficial, and even ridiculous. How many of “the authors” have served in the Israeli army? Should he quote himself? It doesn't really make sense, it is not like he is re-appropriating a quote from a previously published piece. He proposed to explicitly declare he is switching to first person for the sake of a personal anecdote, but that posed a stylistic problem.
It is just an anecdote, any writer will just write it as: “I remember…”. Is language just not equipped for collective writing? Will more experiments like this one force a new way of elegantly switching between group and individual identities?
It seems like for now we will leave it is as is—unstated. If in 30 years or so the English language finally catches up and will come up with new linguistic tools for collective writing, feel free to edit.
For specific fields, for expressing one's belonging, for translations. Enhance communication, questions, specificities, dialogue, and debates where things can be talked about. Think this book as a vocabulary!
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