Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Production of Space

Tribute to Henri Lefebvre

I had to return to the undergrad library today The Production of Space by Henri Lefebvre. I only managed to read 312 pages of the 430 pages but it was a week overdue and I could not extend the loan as there is a waiting list to borrow it (I will buy it when I get the money and finish it). It was not an easy read, requiring much concentration and I took pages of notes from it, but what a book. I have not been so impressed by a text for a long time. First published in French in 1974, The Production of Space is a tour de force of enormous intellectual proportions. Lefebrve dissects the western evolution of conceptualised and representational space, beginning with Ancient Greece and going up to the point of the alignments leading to our present global capital ascendancy ('globalization'). Architectural space, dramatic space, the fictionalized space of novels, avant garde art, urban planning, the body, and nation states are united under the canopy of critical spatial practice by Lefebvre. His analysis is dialogic and intense. I have gained many insights into my own work on the spatial elements and assumptions present in digital literary texts from The Production of Space. For this I am very appreciative.

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