Brian Dunlap on the historic erasure of Santa Monica’s Black community, and the beach sometimes called the Inkwell

Gaston Bachelard’s 1958 classic The Poetics of Space offers a fresh way of thinking about our increasingly cloistered existences.

The very effort to go to the moon feels like something impossible accomplished by an ancient civilization, like the statues on Easter Island or the Egyptian pyramids.

Years ago, I saw a man at a Quaker meeting stand up and say, “Who you are begins […]

Lots of Parking: Land Use in a Car Culture is in some ways a ground-breaking book. Prior to its […]

Continuing my series of posts on the novels of Victor Serge at my personal blog site For the Desk Drawer, I focus now on what Richard Greeman has recognized as the “cycle of resistance” in the second informal trilogy comprising Midnight in the Century [1939], The Case of Comrade Tulayev [1942], and The Long Dusk [1946]. If earlier novels in the “cycle of revolution” capture the conquest of space, notably Conquered City, then the later novels in the “cycle of resistance” convey the statification of space. This refers to the production of political space through meaningful architectural forms; symbolic representations of state power; the organisation of territory and geography; and state strategies to shape, reproduce, and control production through industrial development, land use, transportation, and communication. The novel Midnight in the Century reflects the defeat of revolution and how the Soviet state bound itself to space: how state control is extended, shaped and reshaped by the production of space. The spatial dimension is therefore intrinsic to understanding the contradictions of state action and struggles for survival within this rendering of life at the hands of the Soviet machine.