A Field Guide to Lost Time

Title: A Field Guide to Lost Time

By: Peter Jaeger

Publisher: if p then q

Published: 2015

A Field Guide to Lost Things is a book to flick through and select passages from; rather than reading it in one go. With two columns to a page, the book, (undefinable by the usual constraints of poetry or prose) is as densely packed as the novel it used as a starting point- Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust.

In his collection Peter Jaeger uses appropriated text from Swann’s Way – specifically the points where it mentions aspects of the natural world. These references have been taken and then arranged in alphabetical order- making it into a kind of natural dictionary of Proust’s imaginary world. The title A Field Guide to Lost Things is a reference to the series of books Swanns Way is volume one of- In Search of Lost Time. The natural aspects explored range from a “Blemish” to a “Blue Sky”.

Jaeger’s work is certainly an interesting literary exercise. It blatantly required a lot of work and eventually a very battered copy of Swann’s Way. Jaeger describes his work as being poetry or text-based art and I think this piece is a mixture of both.


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