Writing about embodiment is an act of compression: reducing the sensory complexity of someone else’s physical experience, or even one’s own, into written language that somebody else will understand through sight or sound. It is an act of abstraction, excerpting part of a narrative or a life and putting it to another purpose, where indeed one may – and possibly one always should – worry that it is overstepping into appropriation. It is also an act of translation, where recognizing the writer as an intermediary in the translator’s sense might help us be explicit about what it is we do when we write about bodies, and why writing about militarized embodiment might be so unnerving.
Baker, C. (2016). Writing about embodiment as an act of translation. Critical military studies, 2(1-2), 120-124. https://doi.org/10.1080/23337486.2016.1139314