A miscellany about life, loss and the human condition.
They go. They vanish. People. Civilizations. Languages. Philosophies. Works of art disappear, species are extinguished, books are lost. Dunwich is drowned, Pompeii buried, Athena's statue gone from the Parthenon, Suetonius's Lives of the Great Whores gone the way of the Roman Empire. Whole libraries of knowledge, galleries of secrets. Gone. Little things, too. Train compartments. Snuff, galoshes, smog. Your mother's perfume. Our culture, our knowledge and all our lives are shadows cast by what went before. We are defined, not by what we have, but by what we have lost along the way. And so, Lost Worlds: a glossary of the missing, a cabinet of absent curiosities, it weaves a web of everything we no longer have. Lost Worlds: the book that falls open at every page.
Michael Bywater is a writer and broadcaster, and writes the Lost Worlds column for the Independent on Sunday. He has written two books, The Chronicles of Bargepole, and Godzone: Over the Outback and Into the Drink. He currently teaches at Cambridge.
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