The Ghosts of Place.

Once more, I am standing outside of 70 High Street, Lewes. The figure in black who crossed the landing before disappearing into the brickwork is nowhere to be seen, save that of a memory that from time to time I might again experience in my body. In the moonlight, the house reveals itself in a partial glimpse. The place has a life of its own, quite apart from the manner in which it is experienced by me. And yet, without the living, there are no ghosts. If the ghost of a place resists the category of cultural symbol and is equally ill-at-ease in being a fault or excess in perception, then this does not mean it inhabits the mind alone, therefore denying its reality in the external world. Rather, something takes place between the viewer and the spectre that renders the dialogue between the living and the semi-living possible. This ambiguity is inherent in our relationship with places, be it in the ruins of an abandoned fort or in the harshly lit tunnels of a subway station at night. In each case, the genius loci reveals itself as precisely that which resists our understanding and instead constitutes a place as both the site of a haunting but also the haunt to which we return time and again.

[via The White Review]

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Filed under Philosophy + Theory + Criticism

One response to “The Ghosts of Place.

  1. Pingback: Rojak: Hold it. | Who Killed Lemmy Caution?

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