Saturday 4 November 2017

The Missing Pieces by Henri Lefebvre (Reviewed by THOMAS}
This book is comprised of one long list of works of literature and art that do not exist, either because they have been lost or destroyed (either by the writer or artist or by external intention or by misadventure or natural disaster) or because they were never completed, or, in some cases, never started. Lefebvre provides a catalogue of holes (and these are just the identifiable holes – the list of things that do not exist is, I suppose, infinite), an incantation of absence, and we are left wondering, How would the cultural landscape be different if these works existed? What sort of cultural force is exerted by absence? Is disappearance the universal primary force against which we all struggle? Human endeavour, even at its most ‘exalted’, is a ragged, tentative and highly vulnerable thing. This is perhaps where its value lies.

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