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The Missing Pieces - Semiotext(e) / Native Agents (Paperback)
  • The Missing Pieces - Semiotext(e) / Native Agents (Paperback)

The Missing Pieces - Semiotext(e) / Native Agents (Paperback)

(author), (translator)
Paperback 88 Pages / Published: 24/10/2014
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An incantatory catalog of cultural artifacts either lost to time or never realized. * A boarder for two years following a national funeral, Mirabeau is removed from the Pantheon and transferred to the cemetery of Clamart when his pornographic novels are discovered * A photograph taken by Hessling on Christmas night, 1943, of a young woman nailed alive to the village gate of Novimgorod; Hessling asks his friend Wolfgang Borchert to develop the film, look at the photograph, and destroy it * The Beautiful Gardener, a picture by Max Ernst, burned by the Nazis -from The Missing Pieces The Missing Pieces is an incantatory text, a catalog of what has been lost over time and what in some cases never existed. Through a lengthy chain of brief, laconic citations, Henri Lefebvre evokes the history of what is no more and what never was: the artworks, films, screenplays, negatives, poems, symphonies, buildings, letters, concepts, and lives that cannot be seen, heard, read, inhabited, or known about. It is a literary vanitas of sorts, but one that confers an almost mythical quality on the enigmatic creations it recounts-rather than reminding us of the death that inhabits everything humans create. Lefebvre's list includes Marcel Duchamp's (accdidentally destroyed) film of Man Ray shaving off the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven's pubic hair; the page written by Balzac on his deathbed (lost); Spinoza's Treatise on the Rainbow (thrown into a fire); the final seven meters of Kerouac's original typescript for On the Road (eaten by a dog); the chalk drawings of Francis Picabia (erased before an audience); and the one moment in Andre Malraux's life in which he exclaimed "I believe, for a minute, I was thinking nothing." The Missing Pieces offers a treasure trove of cultural and artistic detail and will entertain even those readers not enamored of the void.

Publisher: Autonomedia
ISBN: 9781584351597
Number of pages: 88
Weight: 113 g
Dimensions: 203 x 137 x 6 mm

The Missing Pieces is a list not only to be read an item at a time, but, as the very cover of the book itself might imply, to be viewed as a mishmash of things forgotten, and of things we need to dutifully remember. -Micah McCrary, Bookslut
Into a contemporary landscape of data mining and information fracking comes Henri Lefebvre's The Missing Pieces, a beautifully absurd accumulation of useless numbers and gravid blankness.... Like history's own compacted narrative, Lefebvre's economy of restraint holds countless events suspended in a semicolon. -Prudence Peiffer, Bookforum
I can't recommend it enough. The entries are short, tightly written fragments-a funny, absurd, poignant and melancholy gathering of things that once were, but are now gone. -Carolina Miranda, Los Angeles Times
The Missing Pieces has as much to do with presence as with absence, and this tells us something about the canon, and-forgive me-about 'poetry in general.' I mean that no equivalent list of artworks or gains or successes could be so powerful as The Missing Pieces. -3:AM Magazine

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