The great haunting obsession of the nineteenth century was, as we know, history: themes of development and stagnation, themes of crisis and cycle, themes of the accumulation of the past, the big surplus of the dead and the menacing cooling of the world.1 It is in the second principle of thermodynamics that the nineteenth century found its essential mythological resources.2 The present epoch would perhaps rather be the epoch of space. We are in the epoch of simultaneity; we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and the far, of the side-by-side, of the dispersed. We are at a moment, I believe, when our experience of the world is less that of a great life developing through time than that of a network that connects points and intersects with its own skein.3 One could perhaps say that certain ideological conflicts animating present-day polemics take place between the pious descendants of time and the fierce inhabitants of space. Structuralism, or at least that which is grouped under this slightly too general name, is the effort to establish, between elements that could have been distributed over time, an ensemble of relations that makes them appear as juxtaposed, opposed, implicated by each other, in short, that makes them appear as a sort of configuration. Actually, this does not entail a denial of time; it is a certain manner of treating what is called time and what is called history.4