In the panoply of play upon the
title of this post are many variations. For example, book and movie titles which could fill the space in the
category of “City of
Then of course there are the
cities that were and weren't any longer (though some did come back but without
its original inhabitants: the annihilated Jewish ghettos of Europe, Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Nanging are just a few that come to mind. New Orleans seems to be in a different category, partially destroyed
by benign neglect and arrogant stupidity at the very highest reaches of the federal
government (and resting in the one man, now thankfully lost).
It would be fun to write a history
of forgetfulness with its companion volume on The Lost., but that has been
accomplished a number of times, already (see below*).
My post is not an attack upon
I think it would be fabulous if there was some lost room there at the old Lost Property Office, a place waiting to be rediscovered after the room itself had been lost for the last 71 years. If I had to chose I'd certainly would shout for Mr. Beardsley-fingers--he is,after all, pictured in the beautifully named "Oddments Department", admiring the "beautiful complexity of forgetfulness" stored there. Perhaps that room would be filled antique story lines, lost-items-found that were of such an unusual origin that the professionals used to dealing with such things found these to be unclassifiable, tossing them all into a I'll-Deal-With-it-Later locale. The material seems like a lock looking for a treasure.
*Philip Grove's The Imaginary Voyage in Prose Fiction (1941); Pierre Versins' Encyclopèdie de l'Utopie, des Voyages extraordinaires et de la Science-Fiction (1972); Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi. The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (1980, 1987, 1999)