What Have We Lost And Where Did It Go?
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They go. They vanish. People. Civilizations. Languages. Philosophies. Works of art disappear, species are extinguished, books are lost. Dunwich is drowned, Pompeii buried, Athena's statue gone from the Parthenon, Suetonius's Lives of the Great Whores gone the way of the Roman Empire. Whole libraries of knowledge, galleries of secrets. Gone. Little things, too. Train compartments. Snuff, galoshes, smog. Your mother's perfume. Our culture, our knowledge and all our lives are shadows cast by what went before. We are defined not by what we have but by what we have lost along the way. And so, Lost Worlds: a glossary of the missing, a cabinet of absent curiosities, weaving a web of everything we no longer have. Lost Worlds: the book the book that falls open at every page.
- Granta Publications, September 2012
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