: shaping or having the power to shape disparate things into a unified whole
this word was actually coined by an English poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in need of a word to accurately describe the imagination's ability to shape disparate experiences into a unified whole. according to mirriam-webster he was describing "the poet's imaginative ability to communicate a variety of images, sensations, emotions, and experiences in the unifying framework of a poem." fair enough. i was thinking more along the lines of taking disparate experiences within one's memory to analytically form a theoretical meaning of one's life. because i do this all the time.
i view my memories as a timeline of sorts. i visualize them as spots along a horizontal line that represents my life, september 16th, 1980 - today. chronological. easy to reference. some memories are cited pretty frequently, polished, worn down to the softness of overuse. these form the backbone of meaning, the structure of self-definition—unrelated moments, self-sufficient, but ESEMPLASTIC in the idea that is "candace"—whatever that may be on any given day. but it is a totally conscious process. i have consciously chosen which memories define "candace" the way i want to be defined, the way that is most suitable to my taste. i have this entirely constructed idea of myself that is compiled of memories, anecdotes, objects, humiliating moments etc.
but what about the other memories? the less polished, the more obscure, the sad jar of jam someone gave you that sits unopened on your refrigerator door behind four kinds of mustard. aren't these just as relevant? just as definitive? should ESEMPLASTICISM include all the disparate parts? or does it imply the act of choosing which parts complete the whole, and which parts are excessive? by editing certain memories out of my self-construction, am i being less true to myself?
or am i just being an artist? after all, the term plastic suggests shaping, molding, forming. and the idea of "self" is in flux—constantly changing, shaping, molding, forming. plastic.
maybe i am a robot.