Hitler deployed the first pilot-less flying bombs, the doodlebugs, as weapons of terror over London. “The drone of the planes,” Virginia Woolf related, is “like the sawing of a branch overhead. Round and round it goes, sawing and sawing.” It falls to the civilian under aerial attack to “fight with the mind” by “thinking against the current, not with it.” Thinking in darkness, thinking in bed, thinking with the unconscious—Woolf defends the supposedly “futile activity of idea-making” as a counterpoint to the drone of war.
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© 2014 October Magazine, Ltd. and Massachusetts Institute of Technology