Coagula means to try and reassemble a bunch of information and facts into a coherent view of the world. I cribbed it from Alan Moore’s use of it in an interview with Salon.com (excerpt from the last page):
People’s heads are stuffed with a fantastic amount of information, and I think all too often they cannot assimilate, digest or connect up that incredible amount of data into a coherent worldview. And I like to think that if my work is complex, it’s because we live in a complex world. What I’m trying to do is give a bit of coherence to that complexity, to say that it is possible to think about politics, history, mythology, architecture, murder and the rest of it all at the same time to see how it connects.
With reference to my interest over the last 10 years in magic, one of the most useful formulas in alchemy, specifically, is “solve et coagula,” where “solve” is the act of dissolving something, where we take something apart and study how it works — what in our modern terms would be called analysis. In a scientific framework, it would be called reductionism. The other part of the formula is “coagula,” which is synthesis rather than analysis, holism rather than reductionism, the act of putting something back together in a hopefully improved form. Once you take the watch to pieces and see what was making it run slow, you put it back together and hopefully it works better.
I’d say that we’ve had an awful lot of “solve” in our culture, but far too little “coagula.” There are people who seem daunted by the complexity of our culture to the point that they’ll shy away from it rather than try to put those thousands of jigsaw pieces together into some sort of useful, coherent picture.
Roughly, I’m aiming for a half-and-half division between commentary on news and other novelties and explorations of less immediate topics. The style is still in flux, so the best way to gauge things is by glancing at the front page.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.