ABSTRACT

Ambling through the paradise garden of essays in Robert Tally’s elegant volume, most readers, including the author of this contribution, may continue to wonder what space happens to be: or, perhaps, how it happens to be. As if it were snow for Eskimos or a snowflake for Descartes, we surmise that space has no single or defining trait. We often fathom what it is, we are cognizant of its presence, we think we can touch or feel it, we wonder what it means when it is “produced”, but in the end we are unable to say how and why, or else we keep it to ourselves. Led in myriad directions along avenues of social theory, philosophy, anthropology, literature, fine arts, performance studies, political science, and so forth, we discover everywhere an incommensurably rich sense of space: but by and large, abstract and totalizing, nameless and formless, the space we discern seems best felt through its unnamable force of attraction. Where and how do we perceive as it, and if we do, does it comes to our senses or, concomitantly, do we find it in ourselves?