Particles

How many times do we encounter something that simply doesn’t fit in the course of our research? As seemingly every piece of information is pressed into the service of some “argument” today, what do we do with all of those things – those particles – we’ve found along the way that lead us astray? The scholar and author W.G. Sebald once compared himself to a dog sniffing his way through literary history. In doing so, he was placing himself within a venerable tradition of the scholar as compiler. The outtakes of this section are an attempt to preserve that miscellaneous aspect of scholarship, that not everything we find makes “sense.” Indeed, it is precisely in their singularity that such particulars can tell us so much. Finally, these fragments outside of the book can also contribute to alternative perspectives on the material that is in the book, opening-up new routes through and new vistas of the material surveyed.