Rubbish City and the Utopia of the Residual: In the Country of Last Things by Paul Auster


  • Gianluca Cuozzo



In his novel In the Country of Last Things, Paul Auster paints the picture of a rubbish city situated on the margins of the world of production. It is the wretched dwelling of outcasts, where garbage is the unsuspected and virtual repository of the fragments of collective desire. Yet, from the margins of this dystopian world rises a remnant of hope, which becomes an ontological principle – in other words, a new Utopia of marginality. In a kind of new ars combinatoria of the residual, the rubbles of the existent, i.e. the tiny intact islands of reality, can, in fact, be united with other similar ones “to create new archipelagoes of matter”. Thus, the “remnant of that which was” becomes a part of a constant strategy of delay, the last remnant of salvation, which procrastinates indefinitely the finis mundi.


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