chapter
14 Pages

Introduction

In his essay 'Of other spaces', Michel Foucault defines heterotopias as places in which 'all the other real sites that can be found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted' (Foucault 1986: 24) . As such, he argues that the museum and the library - both 'heterotopias of indefinitely accumulating time' - are peculiar to, and characteristic of, nineteenth-century Western culture:

the idea of accumulating everything, of establishing a sort of general archive, the will to enclose in one place all times, all epochs, all forms, all tastes, the idea of constituting a place of all times that is itself outside of time and inaccessible to its ravages, the project of organising in this a sort of perpetual and indefinite accumulation of time in an immobile place, this whole idea belongs to our modernity.