Bodies, Sensations, Space and Time: The Contribution from Henri Lefebvre Author(s): Kirsten Simonsen Reviewed work

(s): Source: Geografiska Annaler. Series B, Human Geography, Vol. 87, No. 1 (2005), pp. 1-14 Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography Stable URL: . Accessed: 07/02/2013 23:21
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such as Marx. although on quitea few writers Lefebvrenoticehis emphasis on embodiment Gregory. Heidegger Merleauof and Ponty. Key words: body. particular 1 Introduction of therehasbeenanoutpouring litInrecent decades and of erature the importance embodiment the on as bodyin (notleastfeminist)geography well as other partsof the humanitiesand social sciences. Duncan. This is done under the headings of 'spatial bodies' and 'temporal bodies'.g. 1994. In the same period. 1998.. of 1984. 1996.All the same. 7). and through such interactions add to current discussions on 'body politics' and 'performativity'. the contrary. Longhurst. Butler. Few. time. and in particular following the English translation of The Production of Space. it in has actively participated the great process that has abandoned the of metaphorization body. To the on Lefebvre.2004). 2005: Bodies. Grosz.Featherstoneet al. cannottoleratesuch conceptualdivision. issues on the body and embodiment have increasingly come to the fore over recent decades.Ainley. 1998). 1991. 7 Feb 2013 23:21:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . I start by exploring the way in which Lefebvre's conception of the body is developed in creative dialoque with other philosophers. theorizing body inevitablyinvolvesa focus on space.Feheret al.1996. Ann. 2001) andcollections(e. Pile. space and time: the contribution from Henri Lefebvre. Merrifield. even though a range of writers on Lefebvre do acknowledge his emphasis on embodiment. 2005 This content downloaded on Thu. As in manyof his themes. Turner.BlumandNast.Shil(see ling. The aim of this paper is to explore Lefebvre's contribution to a geographical theory of the body. Lefebvre he although wasveryfirmabouttheneedto reinstate and the body in philosophy socialthought: Westernphilosophyhas betrayedthe body. Heideggger and Nietzsche. (see 2000. being at once 'subject' and 'object'. 87 B (1): 1-14. In geography as well as other human/social sciences. The living body. has the space-bodyrelationship come much more into the centreof analysis.g. 407. 1998. But Lefebvre also mindfully deploys these slippages and ambiguitiesin his Nietzsche-inspired style of Anti-Logos. space is conceived of in a purely metaphorical sense.however. talks about an unresolvedcontradiction between ontology andhistoryin muchof Lefebvre'svision (Smith. it seems that he has only partially found his way into the core of the body literature. Elden. to bvreto be a majorcontributor theseendeavours. Henri Lefebvre has been a central figure in the geographical discourse. 1994.1991. 1993. 1993. embodiment.A number monographs e.BODIES. ABSTRACT. temptsto establishthe body in social theoryhave tradibeenfuelledby a diverserangeof theoretical feminist the are tions. Kristeva.on the body's imof plicationin and constitution a 'sensory-sensual withmoregeographical interventions. space'. Shields.Lefebvre's writingson the body-space relationship include a conceptual and as well as a historical a politicaldimension. 1996.. in 1995the These atjournalBody & Societywas established. (Lefebvre.and his discussionslips in andout of these differentdimensions. not without some justification. sensations. 1989. ?Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography. Geogr. histories thebodyliketheonesof Elias Lefeseemto consider andFoucault. and continue by way of an explication of his own contribution. space. K. Irigiray Cixous.phenomenological critiquesof Cartesianand ism in theworkof Husserl. emphasisin original) Probablyone of the reasons why the Lefebvrian contribution not the greatappealfor the early had (mainly sociologist) theoristsof the body is that when authorslike Featherstone Turnerargue and that'we needto developan embodiednotionof the humanbeing as a social agentandof the functions of the body in social space' (1995. in this way also emphasizing creative. in particularwhen it comes to the conception of a generative and creative social body as an intrinsic part of social practice. and it has denied the body. SENSATIONS.. p. Smith. and NastandPile. he does not seem to be considereda to majorcontributor a theoryof the body. Instead of a conclusion the paper argues that Lefebvre's contribution could gainfully interact with later (not least feminist) approaches.. However. 1998)haveappeared.among mostimportant French and authorssuch as deBeauvoir. and consequentlyphilosophicalconcepts fall into the categoryof the 'sign of non-body'. SPACE AND TIME: THE CONTRIBUTION FROM HENRI LEFEBVRE by Kirsten Simonsen Simonsen.Later. moving bodies.

the process involves a logic of visualization and one of metaphorization. These bodies are transferredand emptied out via the eyes. instructions. and it ranges in scale from gestures andcorporeal attitudes.'from lived time. he identifies one of its major themes to be a history of the decorporealization of space.that I want to explore in the remaining part of this article. and his genealogical exploration of concepts and relations. 71). and broken into pieces by images: Picasso's cruelty toward the body. to overall social practice in the economic and political spheres.through work . but also that. by the eye and by the phallus . Merrifield. bodies and nature. From Marx comes the idea that human beings are characterized by the way in which . and during the process bodies. This renders necessary another understanding of the body. 7 Feb 2013 23:21:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . It is important to maintain that Lefebvre was first of all a Marxist philosopher. metaphorically. thus establishing an indispensable connection between the history of the body and the history of space and. at the same time. abstract space and its material forms symbolize force. First and foremost.g. 1995). over cosmological and symbolic space. With take-off in The Production of Space. but also as an intrinsic partof social practice. The body takes its revenge . 302). although this is less developed in the text. p. and for him the conceptions of body and space are inseparable both from their history and the concomitant critique and politics. male fertility and masculine violence. In his search for a nonessentialist Marxism. leather) and 'materiel' (tools.KIRSTEN SIMONSEN as performed in The Production of Space (see e. a process that is not only abstract and visual. In this way. Marxism should be treated as one moment in the development of theory and not. First and foremost. In this process of production . not only as the subject of historical abstraction and visualization. however. a point of departureis taken in Marx. first and most elegantly by Gregory in his Geographical Imaginations (1994). in leisure space. not only in the toils of parcellized 2 space. the bodies of 'users' are caught up. by violence. 1991. Gregory (with Lefebvre) traces this decorporealization of space through the history of space . but also in the work of images. The optical and visual world fetishizes abstraction and detaches the pure form from its impurecontent . (1991. only the most importantof whom I will touch upon. limbs and eyes are mobilized. a dialectic is established between social practices (work). involving both 'materials' (stone. but is used here to signal a historical process of abstraction of the body through an overlapping of the visual and the linguistic.for example. Lefebvre incessantly resisted even the slightest hint of systematization and foundationalism. and from bodies with their opacity and solidity. the body is disdained. dogmatically. from cities and architecture. to the conception of the generative and creative social body . signs and symbols. to abstract space and demonstrates it by examples from philosophy and science. short. comprehending the shift from 'the space of the body to the body-in-space' which somehow facilitates 'the spiriting-away or scotomization of the body' (Lefebvre. the decorporealization of space is paralleledby a decorporealizationof time. for Lefebvre other processes or 'histories' accompany the decorporealization of space.both biological (physiological) and social (historical) dimensions are involved. their warmth. as a definitive theory.they transform nature and. agendas) (Lefebvre. everyday time. and from art. Inspiration and dialogue Lefebvre's interest in the body is founded on a conception of practice that is complex. their life and their death' (1991. p. Lefebvre's contribution to the understanding of the history of the human body is the most thoroughly explored. p. particularly the female body. in his view.a phenomenological body. language. the past and to humanpossibilities. the body serves as a critical figure too. Here. The considerations on the body in this connection are formulated in dialogue with a range of philosophers and social bodies. It is embodied in a masculine will-to-power and. is dictated by the dominant form of space. to gain recognition. you could say . Geografiska Annaler 87 B (2005) ? 1 This content downloaded on Thu. Productive activity is always oriented towards an objective. wood. open-ended and holding many dimensions. 97). It is Lefebvre's contribution to this endeavour. which he tortures in a thousand ways and caricates without mercy. as 'generative'.or domination and appropriation of nature.or at least calls for revenge . It seeks to make itself known. Among these dimensions. but also phallocratic. It is not possible totally to reduce the body or the practico-sensory realm to abstract space.from analogical space.1 For Lefebvre. more particularly. their own nature.over everyday activities. 302) As indicated in this opinion on Picasso. The term is borrowed from psychoanalysis. absorbed. It relates to nature. 1991.

Lefebvre (1991) himself declares his critique of philosophy as rooted on the one hand in social practice (Marx) and on the other hand in art. In Being and Time (1962). reformulates them from an existential critique towards a more social one. is Nietzsche. Lefebvre criticized Heidegger for translating this insight into a cult of the artisan.and rooted. 1981).all connected in the creative ability of daily life (see also Poster. Dasein stops being itself and the ascendancy of others rids it of its being.connecting orientated bodily activity with the experience and creation of human nature . Heidegger uses the concept to characterize the inauthentic existence of Dasein. Marx's concept of social practice is not sufficient to an understanding of human beings and their bodies. 1975). Lefebvre 'marxianizes' these ideas. The relationship is most obvious in Lefebvre's trilogy Critique of Everyday Life (1958. psychoanalysis. Poesis cannot be sustained beyond specific 'moments'. He adds a historical and a utopian dimension and develops a theory of alienation that is an extension of what he considers Marx's incomplete one. In this sense the thing was rich in poetry (not understood as verbal art. even if the substance is divergent. In other words. whom Lefebvre sought to conjoin with Marx.4 For him. too. Heidegger is probably the twentieth-century philosopher with whom Lefebvre was most engaged.that Annaler 87 B (2005) 1 Geografiska is. it stands in subjection to others. without neglecting homo sapiens too much.SENSATIONS. desire and pleasure. 1975. He emphasizes Heidegger's introduction of the question of 'the thing'. 2004). is the body and the actions of the body . touchingly patriarchal and Germanic feeling for the home. 1975). 143). everydayness opens the way to a loss of direction. Marx therefore was unable sufficiently to integrate materialism and spiritualism.suffering. So when Lefebvre adopted the existentialist concept of poesis . subjectivity was founded in work and partially in knowledge. including sexuality. Heidegger continues the work that young Marx had started (Lefebvre. in the (material) body. with his restitution of the practico-sensory realm. Heidegger. but the indeterminate mass of 'they'. not as technical product but as 'the work' (oeuvre) . The most importantreason for this is that he reduces human reality to work. Quotidiennete. stresses the fact that. the formation of territorial groups. he makes clear his dissociation from what he considers the false. of averageness and publicness. In doing so. Marx accentuated homo faber. music and drama (Nietzsche) . As everyday Being-with-one-another. the decision to change one's life . to dereliction and disquiet.THECONTRIBUTION FROMHENRILEFEBVRE SPACEAND TIME: BODIES. rather than the home. desire and play were missing. it was the city that symbolized a person's being and consciousness. however. but did not come to the same conclusions (see also process and result of his development of the active side of consciousness and sensations in the process of human becoming. fascist interpretation of Nietzsche's thinking and the tendency in Heidegger towards German chauvinism (Lefebvre. but with notions such as 'being-towardsdead' or 'ready-to-hand' his terminology is highly suggestive. he did not insist on homo ridens. continuous dis-alienation would be an impossible. poetry and drama. but as the practical truth of orientated. involve the body. to making tools or to conquering nature. These considerations also. However. bodily activity. extending it from production to the whole range of spheres of social life. It exists in dialectic with the routinization of everyday life and the historical process of institutionalization and stabilization of interaction into systemic domains. reflecting a shift from the individual to the collective level. then. In this connection Lefebvre also looked to French phenomenology and existentialism . p.he gave it a ratherbroad content. poetry. It includes the creation of villages and cities. in particular Heidegger and Nietzsche. in both cases. not some definite others. more or less explicitly. Another important source for the understanding of the body. From Nietzsche comes the idea that prior to knowledge. Lefebvre. Yet it is importantto maintain the dialectical nature of everyday life. Shortly.2 To cope with these problems and elaborate a richer conception of human beings. and also homo ludens was put aside. bodily activity). while issues such as joy. Let Lefebvre himself summarize the consequences of these ideas: 3 This content downloaded on Thu. he also disregarded death and the consciousness about death (Lefebvre. 1961. and beyond it. utopian condition. 7 Feb 2013 23:21:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the idea of 'absolute love'. Heidegger himself does not refer explicitly to the body. In this way. it was reduced to toolmaking and had no right of satisfaction of its own. The concept of everydayness (Lefebvre. 1975). Alltaglichkeit) in both authors refers to a theory of alienation. besides Heidegger also to Merleau-Ponty and in particularto Sartre3. They shared a number of preoccupations concerning existence and the world. Lefebvre enters into dialogue with other authors. As Lefebvre tells us.

perhaps the most complex section of The Production of Space. pp. these terms being taken in the broadest sense . from Lefebvre's point of view. In the following. the body constitutes a practico-sensory realm in which space is perceived through and social practice. signs and abstractions. (1991. even if Lefebvre was always guarded against the nihilism and anti-democracy involved. Eros. time is distinguishable but not separable from space . a practical and fleshy body conceived of as a totality complete with spatial qualities (symmetries. An unequal struggle. 7 Feb 2013 23:21:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .the two of them manifest themselves as different yet inextricable. but also a space of 'yes'. Space is liable to be erotisized and restored to ambiguity. symmetries and asymmetries. As does the above-mentioned idea that the visual increasingly takes precedence over elements of thought and action deriving from other senses . axes and planes or centres and peripheries. it produces itself in space at the same time as it produces that space. desire.the sense in which Nietzsche used them. Theoretically. So. 175).to treat social space as not only a space of 'no'. supposedly. Orientation somewhat replicates the structureof the body itself. All this is connected to a conception of the spatial body: Geografiska Annaler * 87 B (2005) ? 1 This content downloaded on Thu. sexuality and not least festivals as 'intense moments' of everyday life have direct resonance from Nietzschean thought. very much as Nietzsche did with his desire for 'Anti-Logos'. be it economic or political. though. then. the body serves both as point of departure and as experience that in modernity. is exposed to a tendency to be drained of all content by mechanisms of language.are connected in Lefebvre's conception of the body. the emphasis on the body. with Lefebvre (1991. since in practice spatiality and temporality is inseparable. touch and hearing as well as through sight. by means of music.the sense of smell. for pleasure). takes place between the Logos and the Anti-Logos.while the external environment is perceived through a double process of orientation and demarcation. but also make it meaningful. to common birthplace of needs and desire. taste and touch and that sexuality and desire are more or less being annexed by sight. There Lefebvre describes an anatomy of space generated by living bodies. An important precondition of this material production is that each living body both is space and has its space. 391) Lefebvre thus prioritized Eros (erotic knowledge) over Logos (logical knowledge) in his political thinking. sexuality and desire . thanks to potential energies of a variety of groups capable of diverting homogenized space to their own purposes. critical dialogue with psychoanalytical assumptions of prohibition . how bodily practices that give rise to socially constructed modes of space and time are at the same time definitions of selfhood internalized within the body. by means of differential systems and valorizations which overwhelm the strict localizations of needs and desires in spaces specialized either physiologically (sexuality) or socially (places set aside. The physiological closures of the body imply a conceptual differentiation between internal and external spaces . 4 Spatial bodies The relationship between human bodies and space is most thoroughly explored by Lefebvre in his 'SpatialArchitechtonics' (1991. 169-228). waste) (1991. but which cannot be totally erased. It is an intrinsic part of the 'lived experience' . This. of course. Or. Of the utmost importance too. projecting into the world pairs of determinants such as right and left. sometimes furious. In other words.KIRSTEN SIMONSEN Spatial practice is neither determined by an existing system. be it urban and ecological. I will consider the two in turn. p. p. The emphasis on production is vital because it enables Lefebvre . On the contrary. Demarcation adds to this traces and marks that are both practical and symbolic . All these dimensions . or rather to the spatiality and temporality of the body.. a theatricalized or dramatized space is liable to arise. of affirmation of life. economics. It produces a space which is both biomorphic and anthropological. at the same time he makes an ontological claim and establishes a material basis for the production of space consisting of . should be seen only as an analytical distinction. 61). p. sometimes more low-key. asymmetries) and energetic properties (discharges.directions which not only act as guidance to the world. As part of the lived experience. nor adapted to a system.and hence of a distinct body . bodily creativity and poetry. is the intrinsic way in which this conceptualization relates to space and time.

andall otherbodies on the other. repetition/differentiation. 186). 195) to Lefebvre's references theenergyof the repetitive but body may seem not only biomorphic.5 the next step.he emphasizesthe Dionysianside of existence accordingto which play. while what he or she of seeks in the otheris a projection the self.the mirrorworks into social life and in a subjectivity the formof a dualspatiality.thanksto the oscillationbementation the tween knowingand misapprehending other. As an illustration. to In psychoanalysis. Lefebvrediscusseshow of between body and space are inthe relationship of volvedin theconstitution the not the context of which I constitute'textuality': instead.with the doublenessof its absencefromandat the sametime its inherencein this 'other'space: Space .Lefebvre does not deny the importance (Lacan's)Imagiof nary and Symbolic spaces for the constitutionof inthe self. A fragensues and. sciousnessof oneself andof the other. the social relais tionshipsin work when the body/subject facing inthe 'other'as another body. penetrates. Nietzsche and surrealism. This meansa shift of emphasisfromthe 'psychic' towardsthe social and material. He is interested the social relationshipbetween repetitionand difference. conparency.. In continuation this. p.emphasisin original) A few authors(Gregory. is to psychoanalysis definitelyone of criticaldiafor logue.a will to poweris able to intrudeitself.however. space with respectto originandseparathatis imaginary withrespectto tion. 7 Feb 2013 23:21:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .threatensor benefitsmy body on the one hand. nection/separation. each of member societyrelatesitselfto space. 1996)have shownhow Lefebvre'sdiscussion of the mirroris . the spatial character derivesfrom space. struggle.Again with reference to is the or shifting intersection between that which touches.its mirror-image shadow.Lefebvresays.Herewe findthe 'double' of symmetry and asymmetrybetween male and female and subsequently displacedillusionaleffects (an oscillationbetweentransparency andopacity).Eros .art. p. This objectionis parallelto Lefebvre'sgeneralcritique of structuralist poststructuralist and writingsforreducingspaceto a linguisticmentalspace. an immediatesense. it characterizing as a low-level principleapplying only at the level of survival.surface/ the of conflictualway in which the production social of space is involvedin the constitution the self. This is partof the processof constitution 5 This content downloaded on Thu. spatial and political forces thathavethe possibilityto transcend visual dothe main. whichhe relatesto the mathematical theory to and of symmetry.suchas symconmetry/asymmetry.1995. Lefebvre(as one of the very few places in his text wherehe does so) discusses therelationship betweenthesexes. buthe wantsto establishtheirmaterial scriptionin social space. festival.situatesitself in it.. He wantsto include the underlyingmaterial. albeit in an ambiguousand shadowy manner. In thisdiscusand sion.The otheremergesandturnsoutto be the same.BODIES. The 'socialization'of the mirror-effect based is on a dual existence of social space relativeto its On participants.However. SENSATIONS. also alin He mostnaturalistic character. refersto livingorenergiesthatareactivein their ganismsthatcapture vicinity .opacity/transand material/social.Theserelationships cludea set of 'doubles'in time-space. body's material fromtheenergythatis deployedandputto use there.among other things . In this process. the mirror extends a repetitionimmanentto the body into sense it presentsthe Ego with its space. Lefebvre withdrawsfrom any functionalismor 'principleof economy' in relationto that energy.andthen it is my body'scounterpart or 'other'.1991. short.imaginary/real.energiesthatare dedicatedby natureto In productive immediately the determinants of that space . He criticizedthe psychoanalysts overGeografiska Annaler 87 B (2005) ? 1 statingthe work of the mirror-effect demateriby it alizingit andabstracting outof its spatialcontext into the form of purely mental 'topologies'.as producedand as the of subjectto production space. sexualityand love . the one hand.he drawson ideasof themirror themirroreffect. space . (1991.The most interestingthing aboutthe mirror is therefore so muchthe fact thatit projectsthe not 'subject's'image back on the 'subject'as the way in which it extends a repetitionimmanentin the in body into space. They are partof the transgressive gies of the body.Each person seeks him or herself in the hope of finding the other.butalso concreteandpractical co-existence and differentiation(1991.are of themselvesa necessityanda potentiality the livenering is firstof all my Lefebvre'srelationship vokedby Lacan. Blum and Nast. (Lefebvre. SPACE AND TIME: THE CONTRIBUTION FROM HENRI LEFEBVRE A body so another own materialpresence.

Lefebvre characterizes this space as aperceived space. of course.g. space serves an intermediary or mediating role through which 'one' seeks to apprehend something or somebody else. signs and knowledge about space. and so onas also for the declaration of hostilities. One immediate answer given by Lefebvre is a conception of social practice and its objects as an extension of the body. they are made up of symbols.of designating oneself to an individual as well as a public identity. Historically. courtesy. let us very briefly recapitulate Lefebvre's by now widely discussed conceptual triad of social space (see e.the most obvious example being gestures of labour. This duality between opacity and transparency. trading. the articulation between bodily practices and social space may be understood through the way in which the body is involved in the constitution of the dimensions of social space. On the other hand. The importance 6 of places and space in gestural systems is obvious. which sometimes disclose and sometimes dissimulate. which extend the body in accord with its rhythms. 7 Feb 2013 23:21:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . it permeates the whole text. More generally. thus recalling a spatialized version of Bourdieu's theory of practice and the body's incorporation of history (1977. in a collective and historical sense. In order to consider this. More precisely. sets of objects and concatenations of bodies. for example.KIRSTEN SIMONSEN of the self. 215) What this sentence says is that gestural systems embody ideology and history and bind them to practice.6 Practically. Shields. this takes place through performance of gestures and development of gestural systems. or speech and writing. village. parley. include the built environment. Social space itself becomes a mirror. the ideological content and claims of truth of theories. and the conceptual imaginations of space linked to production relations. tribe. Such codes are. which embraces social production and reproduction and the particularlocations and spatial forms characteristic of a given social formation. negotiation.7Ensembles of gestures or gestural systems are further invested with meaning and codes. is a point of intersection between the body and social space. Social gestures in Lefebvre's sense consist of articulated movements mobilizing and activating the whole body. He introduces it twice in the introductory chapter of The Production of Space and even though it is not developed later in the book. conceptualized and Geografiska Annaler 87 B (2005) * 1 This content downloaded on Thu. (1991. 2.of the world as reflected within each body in an ever-renewed to-and-fro of reciprocal reflection. Bodies themselves generate spaces. But organized gestures. affection. Soja. It offers sequences. Like language. The spatial practice of a society at the same time propounds and presupposes its space in a dialectic interaction. This is a conceived space. These are the forms of knowledge of space in society. specific to a particular society: To belong to a given society is to know and use its codes for politeness. signs and signals. 1998). giving the impression of transparency. the three dimensions are: 1. 1996. subjectivity and objectivity. urban morphology and the creation of zones for specific purposes.8 Briefly recapitulated. sensory-sensual space may be seen as sediment. city) and of activity . he considers the articulation between sensory and practico-perceptual space on the one hand and specific or practico-social space on the other. This aspect of spatiality helps to ensure continuity and some degree of cohesion in social configurations. 1990). destined to survive as one layer or element in the stratification and interpenetration of social spaces. it relies on a 'commonsense' understanding of space including both the taken-for-granted dimensions of everyday life and the rationalized institutions and urban networks that we pass through in our daily routines. Spatial practice. Among the last-mentioned are everyday utensils or tools. are not simply performed in space. But that does not address the issue of more specific articulations. which are codified gestures. of groups (family. and this also goes for systems ranging from the everyday microgestural realm to the most highly formalized macrogestural one. therefore. 1989. p. It would. Representations of space are connected with the dominant 'order' of any society and hence with its codes. Their accomplishment implies the existence of affiliations. Lefebvre however also offers more material solutions to the relationship between the two. Through everyday practices. Lefebvre sees gestural systems as something that can connect representations of space and spaces of representations. which embodies the interrelations between institutional practices and daily experiences and routines. space is dialectically created as a human and social space. which are produced by and for their gestures.

The Niof etzscheaninfluenceis evidenteverytime Lefebvre arguesthatembodiedlived experiencecomes from the excessive energies of the body.Theinfluenceof theformermaybe seen in the emphasison the spatialnotionof 'poeticdwelling' (Lefebvre.1975. thatthe elementof lived space is centralto Lefebvre's project. literarycommentand fantasy dealing with other.however.and our conception of space . p.concreteandmaterial .Buthe does plex.Morethanonce in The Productionof Space he stressesthat spatialpractices are lived directlybeforethey areconceptualized. If we applya Foucauldian discourses term.the body is involvedin the oppositionbetween ourperceptionof space.abstract and the abstracttogether. time was in closely connectedwith space and apprehended space. bettertranslation as be wouldprobably dwelling)andhabitat(housing) suggestsa directlived experience. havea substantial debut cisive role in the productionof space through social andpoliticalpractices. Here.Soand cially lived space dependson materialas well as mentalconstructs andon thebody.In orderto understand productionof we space. 3.This is where thenotionof thelivedcomesin . and from the knowledge of the body's relations or withnature withits surroundings 'milieu'.butalso the role of the body in this process.fromthe knowledgeof anatomy.performof to ing gestures workorof activityunrelated work (1991.The Lefebvresays.of the hands. andalso in theoretical terms. As an initial point.andbothenjoyedthesameontologicalstatus.BODIES.and mediated throughsystemsof verbalsigns. This space embraces places andtheirsymbolicvalue.the issue at stakeis morethanjust of the production space by way of the three elements. It is the livedspace. Spaces of representations embody complex or symbolismslinkedto the 'clandestine underground'side of social life.passionandsexuality.Lefebvre cites Dadaandthe Surrealists as examplesof a thirdtermbetween the poles of perception conception.membersand sensoryorgans. could probably do this by way of a dialoguewith the corporeal elementsin the laterculturalstudies. Even if the threedimensionsof spatialityenjoy the same ontological (but not necessarilyhistorithereis no doubt cal) status.of sickness and its cure.we need a dialectic relation between materialismand idealism.theyderivefromthe discourses of scientificknowledge. pp.images and the spokenword.the space of inhabitants users as well as of some artand ists andwriters. social engineersand scientists.a bodily embedded understanding space and place. Lefebvrenotes.and it can take 7 the mental. spacesof representation as will also workin moremodesteverydayapproof priations space.9In or this way.Furthermore. his analysisof do everydaylife andrhythmanalyses yield significantinsightson time. As for the conceived. Lefebvrestresseshow social/ at spatialpractice.the spacetheyincessantlyseek to createthroughappropriation the environof ment. it is a of terrain struggleon the way to realizingourselves as 'totalpersons'andbringingintobeing alternative imaginationsof space.the partof embodiedlived experienceis highly comintervenes here. from creative activityandfromthe level of affection. 7 Feb 2013 23:21:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . SENSATIONS.1970).from a strategicpolitical viewpoint. possible spatialities. I see it. need to graspthe concreteand Geografiska Annaler ? 87 B (2005) ? 1 This content downloaded on Thu.However. Temporal bodies AlthoughLefebvrenevereffectively producedan of analysesof the production time. because'culture' one not developthis line of thinking.which is performed the level of the the is the dominant of space in a given society. In some of Lefebvre's in this presentations. flictingrhythms everyday feminine/masculine andso on.developers.butdissociated a reduction time to historyor evolution.the representationsof thebody.Time is of also part of the lived experience.These 'representaand tions'areabstract.however.multiple and temporalities the time-body relationship.urbanists. He also sketchedout a periodization time in soof himselffrom ciety(Lefebvre. 40). 1991.conof life. wardsmoreorless coherent systemsof non-verbal symbols and signs. In this sense.tendtospacesof representation. 121.involving need anddesire. presupposes use of thebody. The centralitygiven to the body in this discussion as well as the position of the body in all threedimensionsof spatialityrenderspossible an of understanding the body as a mediatorof the relationshipbetweenthe differentdimensions. categorymayappear rather comprehensive rhetooppression/opposition ric.withno one privileged. SPACE AND TIME: THE CONTRIBUTION FROM HENRI LEFEBVRE discursivelyconstructedby professionalsand technocrats planners.Hereagainwe can see the influenceof both Heideggerand Nietzsche.For Lefebvre.of physiology. 314): Lefebvre's discussion of the contradictionbetween a habiter(translated residence.

but decisive sensationimplicatinga doublerecognitionof the 'other'andthe self. butit always also implies a relationof time to space or place. everyday life is made of repetitionsor recurrences. knowledge. p.the latternever Emotions and affections.the momentwas also characterized towardsthe realizationof a posby its orientation sibility. For Lefebvre. two qualitiesof (Lefebvre.This cyclical repetitionis organized accordingto phenomenasuch as days and nights.constrained andcolonized by the space of the commodityand the territory the state.findsrefugein thecryptic phenomenological-hermeneutic of description the and opacitythatis the greatsecretof the body.1991.the handlingof bothmaterial ab. It is mechanical. of Thesedifferent ideason temporality connectare thoughtandits separation the cyclicalfrom the linear. The idea of outstandingcreative moments was however not strange to Lefebvre. Lefebvre somewhatnostalgicallytracesback the firsttype to archaicsocieties in which social life is closely connectedto cosmic cycles andrhythmsof nature and of the body.As anidea.but flowers and trees should not make us forgettheearthbeneath. is enframed.and the realization action.1961). activitiesthatin a temporalityof ruptureand spontaneitytend towardsa unification thefestivalandeveryday of life.For relationship amongthebody. This doubleof ness relatesto the temporalities daily life.1992).whichcompares creativemomentsto the mountain tops andeveryday time to the plains.the possibilityis given. and things.He himself anothermetaphor.andit is a double-sidedeffortproducing 'at once a rejectionof the inauthenticandthe is the dominant of temporality of modernity.its rhythms its surthe bodyindeedunitesthe cyclical andthelin. such as physical.their difference. Sporadicallyhe developed whathe called a 'theoryof moments'. The body subsistspreciselyat the sis. Among the 'moments' thatarisefromeverydaylife arelove. 7 Feb 2013 23:21:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .which is relationships. cosmic.10 And at the point of intersection betweenthetwo we findeverydaylife and the body: This content downloaded on Thu. games. prehensionand the manipulationof complete collection after his death (Lefebvre. not its habitat. and publishedin a ratherinof in lation. It is a conjunction temporalof ities. vate life and its symbols cannotsubmitto cumulative and linearprocesses. standsthereto be both uncoveredand achieved. however. basically of two was envisaged Proear. announced as a project in Comdesirewiththe linearities seasons and years. he said.This idea allowed implicatesa constitutive himto extendthetheoryof momentsfromtheanalof ysis of everydaylife to the understanding sublime momentsof revolutionary suchas the fervour. suchpainto well as the spatial body . A landscapewithoutflowersor woods may be depressingfor the pasmagnificent ser-by.all of which in life we encounter everyday andin the body.andyouth and age.poetry andjustice. which are irreducible to each other(Lefebvre. combiningthe cycles of time. Lefebvretalksabouta localized repetition. 203) First. 8 Geografiska Annaler ? 87 B (2005) ? 1 many forms. the interweaving concrete ess.Theunity.munication 1985. of it blows of the hammer."M this he In the interpreted moment as fleeting.mental. or to the marshes. prifully disappeared. Thereis a cliche. Lefebvreheld high hopes for rhythmanalystracttools. such as a series of if linear time has encroachedon the cyclical.whichhas a secretlife and a richnessof its own (Lefebvre1958). This is why we . in this proc. need and duction of Space.whichthatreflection at ed in Lefebvre's is whichis a kindof rhythmanalysis.rounding in space. of declaration the Paris Communeor the student The body does not fall undersway of analytic uprisingin 1968.ences in repetition.12 To take a less ambitiousview. he imagined kindof general'rhythmology' a aplevel of the reciprocal movement between pliedto thelivingbody andits internal external and these two realms. preservingand developingdifferencewithin times.biological. a functionof the individual'shistoryand a formthatis superior andelevatesitself overrepto etition and reappearance.generations. preferred comparingeveryday life to fertile tranrhythmanalysis mightbe accentuated. talk abouta temporalbodyliving out the different Rhythmcan be definedas movementsand differof as of temporalities self and society and.KIRSTEN SIMONSEN Lefebvre played with metaphorsof everyday life.1991).perambu. and an unearthingof the humanwhich still buriedtherein'(Trebitch. The developmentof a theory and a critiqueof everyday life was one of Lefebvre's lifelong projects. The othertype of repetitionis linear.can scends any separationbetween space and time. replacement psychoanalysis. he even considered a possible and it for lived.

whereasothersspringfromhiddendepths (1991.or subjectandobject . Lefebvre (andCatherine Regulierwithwhomhe wrotea few to of these essays) extendedrhythmanalysis wider sociologicalrelationships: of It is on the one handa relationship the humanbeing with his own body. Such rhythmshave to do with needs. the need for sleep are cases in point. is an activeprocessrelating ouronand Thismeansthatthehugoingprojects practices..thusmakingpreliminary suggestions ploys it in space.rhythmaof the nalysisaccentuates centrality thebodyto social understanding: meththe questionon developmentof alternative odologies in orderto graspthe more opaquesides of sociallife.betweenhomogeneityanddiversity(bothin Lefefor stration. Others. Some operate on the surface.fromflows of to the directionssuch analyses of temporality In one plicity interpenetrate another.then.. 205). tion should however only be seen as a starting point. Rhythmsin all their multi. p.the hartbreak.Theseeffortscouldprofitably connected withworkfromotherauthors who bringtogether the body andeverydaylife. is One suchauthor Merleau-Ponty. (LefebvreandRegulier.14Whileboth in and authors wereinterested the spatiality tempoto adds ralityof thebody. the body and spatialitymighttake. in a certain place and with a gesturalwhole. From the startingpoint in the body.BODIES. and de. Lefebvrehimselfin a coupleof essays (one of themwithCatherine Regulier)exploresthe of rhythms the city . which may be dispersedas tendencies.of 'the privateand the public'.butratheras a practical bodily inIt to volvement. always bound to space.buta spatiality situation. SPACE AND TIME: THE CONTRIBUTION FROM HENRI LEFEBVRE the time or a temporalized place to underline spaand realityof rhythms theirparticipatio-temporal of tion in the production space. spectacles and soundsto politicalcentralityand struggle The body's inventivenessneeds no the level ideasof the of practice. with his gestures.butit raises Geografiska Annaler ? 87 B (2005) ? 1 Perspectives Above.1996. social life. the universe. or of This polaropposi'presenceand representation'.represents surmounting dithe visionsbetweenthe in Lefebvre. we find that some rhythmsare easy to identify: thirst.with his tongue and speech.This situatedness goes fortimeas well. of too Merleau-Ponty placedthe body in a field of fromthe spatiality the of spaceandtime.and breathing. body(Merleau-Ponty. hunger.locatedin the spacebetweenmindandbody. to maybe related Lefebvre's to dualityof socialspacerelative thebody. p.Merleau-Ponty something Lefebvrewhen it comes to a carefulphilosophical of working-through issues of the body. the body itself revealsit. evenif a tensionbetweenbiologicalandsocial processesremainsunsolved.. 1996).in particular of as it relates to social practiceand everydaylife.such as those of sexuality.He started of how body andaccentuated this is not a spatiality of position. Second. rhythms are forever crossing and recrossing. mentalandthe social.If we attempt specify them.whatwe havegot fromhis handis a concepto tualeffortcallingattention humancapacitiesand creativities involvedin an 'authentic' which 'knows'itself by virthe body-in-the-world. so to speak. 7 Feb 2013 23:21:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .bvre.Inthis. and on the withthe largestpubotherhand. and around it .or distilled to into simulof taneously of theconstitution theself andmepart diatorto the perception somethingelse. Lefebvre emphasizes the relativity of and rhythmsand the multipletransitions imbricainand tions betweenthe spatialities temporalities unis volved.the intersubjective space of perceptionand the 1962).are relativelyobscure.13 rhythmanalysis a rather Obviously.a relationship lic space. is of perception not seen as an innerrepresentation the outerworld. SENSATIONS.Thisduality to is ambiguityof the body as perceiving-perceived centralto Merleau-Ponty's projectand.fertility. everyday of anda focus on the spatialityandthe temporality be thebody. Lefebvredid not deliver a coherenttheoryof the body. finishedprojectfromLefebvre's hand. butwe shouldavoidsee9 This content downloaded on Thu. of the The body..I havetriedto distilLefebvre'scontribution to a social understanding the body. or tueof its activerelation thisworld. manbodyis uniquein playinga dualrolebothas the vehicle of perceptionand the object perceived. superimposing themselves upon each other. however. 235) and This extensionis basedon a distinction a conof junctionbetween'rhythms the self andrhythms of the other'.In his phihe losophyof embodiment..withtheentiresocietyandbeyondit. developeda sensuous of phenomenology lived experience. or thought.

this connection gains particularrelevance. 1994. as a resource which both requires and enables people to manage their movements and appearances. Another author who can add to some of Lefebvre's ideas of the body is Goffman. 140) This means that the active body. From this he demonstrates. however. and on the other side are studies of the body as acted upon. space and time. Moreover. An interaction between Lefebvre's ideas and those of feminist authors who. 1992). McDowell. 1996). but he would find it inadequate. These perspectives could in different ways add a much needed genderization/sexualization to Lefebvre's spatio-temporal bodies (see also Simonsen. In Fig. In conclusion. are interested in concrete. Lefebvre's approach to the body is definitely in need of juxtaposition with some of the extensive feminist literature on the body. in particular when it comes to the performance of gestural systems. material bodily practices would therefore stimulate the project. Goffman's approach to the body is characterized by three main features: (1) the body is viewed as a material property of individuals. movements and communications of the body. Unique to Lefebvre's contribution to a conception of the body is the way in which he deals with its involvement in different social modalities of space and time. (3) the body plays an important role in mediating the relationship between people's self-identity and their social identity (Goffman. I have already touched on the fact that even if Lefebvre in his later writings makes numerous references to male sexuality and its production of spaces and to the symbolic distortion. objectification and control of female bodies. to use a Heideggerian expression. he never seriously engaged with the production and practices of sexualized bodies and their relationship to social space. my body combines with them and includes them. positions its world around itself and constitutes that world as 'ready-to-hand'. 1 I attempt in a very simple manner to illustrate the two sides of Lefebvre's conjunction of body.they inhabit space and time: I am not in space and time. Considering the role that Goffman's work (acknowledged or unacknowledged) has achieved in contemporary geographical literature on performativity (see Crang. 1997. I belong to them.its lack of macro-social connections and its less adequate sense of the body as an integral partof human agency . She has a starting point in psychoanalysis but departs from it by moving the body and sexual difference from the periphery to the centre of analysis. how social interaction in daily life requires a high degree of competence in controlling the expressions. (Merleau-Ponty. 2000).a theoretical distinction that is often attributedto the work of Merleau-Ponty and Foucault (Crosley. 1990). and some of the weaknesses of Goffman's analysis . Lefebvre would agree with such a conception of the spatiality and temporality of the body. On one side of the line stand analyses of the active role of the body in social life. thus considering it the very 'stuff' of subjectivity. and that the means of this transcendence is the production of space. it may be interesting to relate Lefebvre's formulations to a rather dominant tendency in social discussions on the body . The most obviously relevant contribution for this purpose is Elisabeth Grosz's (1994) corporeal feminism. as socially and historically constructed and inscribed from the outside. an approach. 1963. When Lefebvre writes about gestures and gestural systems and considers the way in which their codifications form the basis of social interaction. 7 Feb 2013 23:21:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . using its acquired schemas and habits. nor do I conceive space and time. The scope of this inclusion is the measure of that of my existence. or in time . in a seminal essay she approaches the way in which the modern metropolis assimilates the subject into the space of the city (Grosz. 1962.KIRSTEN SIMONSEN ing it in terms of our bodies being in space. like him. Such an approach could definitely develop Lefebvre's ideas. of the body as lived and generative. Gregson and Rose. emphasizing the material and sexed/gendered character of bodies. among other things. which in my opinion would benefit from the input of Lefebvre's stronger spatial dialectics. 10 Last but not least. 2003).may be counteracted by the Lefebvrian contribution. or Toril Moi (1998) in her explorations starting from the idea of the body as a 'situation'. (2) meanings attributedto the body are determined by 'shared vocabularies of body idiom' which are not under immediate control of individuals. Annaler* 87 B (2005) 1 Geografiska This content downloaded on Thu. The interesting point about Lefebvre's discussion of the body is that he transcends this division. he definitely touches on a theme that is more thoroughly worked out by Goffman. p. 2001. Other possible partners in a marriage between Lefebvre and feminism could be Iris MarionYoung (1990) when she draws on phenomenology to explore the possibility of specifically 'feminist' body comportment in relation to space.

from the sense of smell and from sexuality to sight .Lefebvre'scommoninterestwith Foucaultin To powerandthehistoryof thebodyis represented. As a consequenceof this dualityin Lefebvre's discussionof thebody.the conceivedandthe lived.Inthe lowerpartof the figure. 1993) Foucauldian feminism in which 11 This content downloaded on Thu. Dewsbury et al.. Lefebvre located these strugglesfor the rightto be differentat many scales.BODIES. in other words. and fragmentation.the body constitutesa in realmthatis performed thespapractico-sensory tio-temporalrhythmsof everyday the site of participationandof the possibilityof thepoesis of creatThe fromdesireandenjoyment.1991. SPACE AND TIME: THE CONTRIBUTION FROM HENRI LEFEBVRE Fig. In these rhythms. Lefebvredescribesthis processof abstraction as simultaneouslyone of homogenization. 2003). is abouttheabove-mentioned history of of increasing abstraction. This history fragmentationand hierarchization. LathamandConradson..uponthe body (see also Stewart. It behaves. 7 Feb 2013 23:21:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . This meansthatthe body.or a space. the body tends to behave as a differential field. the decorporealization of spaceandtime. differsfrom the one given by Foucaultbecauseof of its basis in the production space.g.. formulated against forces of homogenization. In the intersectionbetween Lefebvre'ssocial ontologyof the body andhis historyof thebody. not simply the impositionof a concept. However. The seconddebateto whichLefebvre'sconception of the body mightcontribute the current is one on performativity(see e. as a producer differof ence (through has rhythms. cyclical and linearrepetiof tions. the hierarchicalorganized power. p. 2000. a perceptionand a conception.Forbothspaceandtime(andthe body). and as the conjunction the perceived. space and it in would be represented a theory of practice.involvingstrugglesof relations betweenthe sexes (a femininerevolt)as well as relationsbetweensexualityandsociety. ing new situations otheris sexuality.besides the above-mentionedinspirationfromGoffman. 1.2000). SENSATIONS.As partof the lived experience. 2002. It has been argued thatthese contributions a represent turnin cultural to geographyfrom 'text' and representations performanceandpractices(Nash. constituting and constituted. different and modalitiesof social spatiality social temporalas ity are incorporated.imagination). this Lefebvre. breakingout of the temporaland spatialshell developedin responseto labour (Lefebvre.1995).thebodyturnsintoa criticalfigure a site of resistanceandactivestruggle: Geografiska Annaler 87 B (2005) ? 1 Thanksto its sensoryorgans. andthebody and embodimentare distinctiveelements in this shift.One is the 'Festival'. It is and aboutthe generative creativesocial body. firstof theseis about bodypolitics. collections edited by Rose and Thrift. 384).one of the mainpointsof access to this discussion was Judith Butler's (1990. Body. an inherent right to difference.Heretoo Lefebvretreatsspace as both producingand a product of the is possibleto arguethathe locateshimself in the centreof two recentdebates The on thebody in geography. but at the scale of the body two aspectsare crucial. as a total body. the The upperpartof the figurerepresents discussion primarilyconducted in this essay.

relational. Although there is good reason to appreciate the work on bodies and embodiment in these traditions. However. 7 Feb 2013 23:21:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . op. as of spatial practice). Existential Marxism in Postwar France (Princeton. In his book Thirdspace Journeysto LosAngelesand oth- und als phie des Geistes'. 7.ranging (to mention just a few) from phenomenological (and related) theories of practice through pragmatism and conversational analysis to the emphasis on non-human agency and relational networks in actor network theory and heterogeneous fragments. I think that Lefebvre's both phenomenological. The Heideggerian undertones in some of these formulations are obvious. pp.nonrepresentational theory concerns practices shaping 'subjects' as decentred. rhythmic and political understanding of the body (whatever romantic bias it might hold) can still inform the discussion and partially counteract Butler's more discursive bodies and the barely living bodies of actor network theory. 1975). A similar critique may be found in Habermas' work. Bemerkungen zu Hegels Jenenser 'Philoso- These ideas seemingly come close to Nietzsche when he talks about the human body or 'organism' in the context of the bodies of all organic beings. do not escape a nostalgic glorification of the peasant community. and the objectification and control of female bodies.g. Lefebvre himself was rather critical towards Merleau-Ponty. these ideas date back to the 1920s. however. Technik Wissenschaft 'Ideologie' (Frankfurtam Mein: Suhrkamp. expressive and involved with others and objects in a world continually in process. enacted and inscribed by way of discourse. Instead of some kind of fetishized unconsciousness. 'M. elaborate at length an interpretation of gendered bodies and gender relations. Lefebvre had dismissed Sartre's existentialism in uncompromising hostile terms. however. As for everyday life. and mediation between. 205.KIRSTEN SIMONSEN identity (and the body) is performative . especially the early ones. exploitation of women in everyday life. having revealed the contradictionbetween the cumulative and non-cumulative. 2. nature/culture or body/ E-mail: kis@ruc. Drawing on a whole array of theoretical inspirations . Arbeit und Interaktion. These male chauvinist formulations stand in contrast to his own later critique of the phallocratic character of modernism. earliest in Jiirgen Habermas. also developed in Paris in the late 1950s. 1968). Lefebvre also uses bodily gestures as a critical figure of. In this sense. 9-47. pp. of conducting a mystifying syncretism between phenomenology. however.. Edward Soja interprets this triad as part of a general strategy in Lefebvre of 'thirding-asOthering'. even if Lefebvre several times throughout The Production of Space dissociates himself from Foucault's thinking. 12. and in La somme et le reste (2 vols. He does not. 1996. 14. 208-209). Another line of work informing this discussion is what has been labelled 'nonrepresentational theory' in geography proposed primarily by Nigel Thrift (e. La Pensde 68. Kirsten Simonsen Department of Geography and International Development Studies Roskilde University Postboks 260 DK. and partly because of his interest in communication rather than practice. his ideas conjoined with the ones of the situationist movement.ruc. He criticized him of eclecticism. 44-58 and 73: 37-52). that overlap in interest occurred. 11. and that in the harsh critique much was bound up with an ongoing debate in which Merleau-Ponty's increasing scepticism about Marxism was the issue. pp. Lefebvre's intentions by these suggestions. Merleau-Ponty et la philosophie de l'ambiguite'. The argument was that rhythm analysis is much more concrete than psychoanalysis.geo. partly because of the more dualist character of Habermas' thinking. With the publication of Sartre's Critique de la ralson dialectique however. 1996).4000 Roskilde Denmark www. characterizing it as feminine . er Real-and-imagined places (Cambridge. 8. and of leaving out history and social practice in the attempt (Henri Lefebvre.that is. then. These ideas come close to the ones of Foucault on the discursive formation of the body.cit. embodied. and later he linked moments with the idea of creating new situations in Les temps de mdprises (Paris: Stock. the 'space of dreams' should be described as a space where dispersed and broken rhythms are reconstituted (Production. Erkenntnmsse und Interesse (Frankfurt am Mein: Suhrkamp. In the 1940s. rhythm analysis may be seen as a social and philosophical translation of Eisteinian notions of spacetime relativity. Notes 1. unaware of it himself. This parallels Lefebvre's later critique (Production of Space) of the nostalgic aura in Heidegger's Geografiska Annaler ? 87 B (2005) ? 1 12 This content downloaded on Thu. some rapprochement between the two of them occurred. 1975). 1968) and Jurgen passive and emotional. In this way. For a closer description of these debates see Mark Poster.MA and Oxford: Blackwell. It seems to me. But I think the resulting formulations are quite divergent. 5. Lefebvre at this place refers to Gaston Bachelard for. Lefebvre developed around 1960 in Critique vol II op. 3. Gestaltism and organic psychology. Paris: La Nef de Paris. his own writings of everyday life. 9. 1956. 2000). 6. 1959). NJ: Princeton University Press. 13. closer to a pedagogy of appropriation (the appropriation of the body. flows and assemblages in Deleuze and Guattari. Throughout Lefebvre's later writings are numerous references to male sexuality and its production of spaces and femininity. distinctions such as inarticulate/articulate. the linear and the cyclical. 4. never become very clear. as suggested by Kofman and Lebas in their introduction in Lefebvre (1996).

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