Thursday, October 04, 2007

Literary Dose #16

"In connection with abstract space...a question arises...It concerns the silence of the 'users' of this space. Why do they allow themselves to be manipulated in ways so damaging to their spaces and their daily life without embarking on massive revolts? Why is protest left to 'enlightened', and hence elite, groups who are in any case largely exempt from these manipulations?...How is it that protest is never taken up by supposedly left-wing political parties?...Has bureaucracy already achieved such power that no political force can successfully resist it? There must be many reasons for such a startlingly strong -- and worldwide -- trend. It is difficult to see how so odd an indifference could be maintained without diverting the attention and interest of the 'users' elsewhere, without throwing sops to them in response to their demands and proposals, or without supplying replacement fulfillments for their (albeit vital) objectives. Perhaps it would be true to say that the place of social space as a whole has been usurped by a part of that space endowed with an illusory special status -- namely the part which is concerned with writing and imagery, underpinned by the written text (journalism, literature), and broadcast by the media; a part, in short, that amounts to abstraction wielding awesome reductionist force vis-à-vis 'lived' experience."
- Henri Lefebvre, from The Production of Space, translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith (1991).

1 comment:

  1. It is an interesting question when users of empty space fill it will things that benifit the neigborhood socially but not visually


    John

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