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In deadly time: the lasting on of waste in Mayhew's London

Scanlan, John (2007) In deadly time: the lasting on of waste in Mayhew's London. ISSN 1461-7463

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Abstract

This article examines the temporal dimension of waste in Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor as an instance of how modernity has produced a largely hidden domain of the non-identical and indeterminate. Through a consideration of the phenomena of uselessness, decay and poverty I argue that the temporal dimension of waste is constituted as a corrosive or malign `Deadly Time'. In placing such emphasis on time directed towards death, I aim to show that Mayhew's undisciplined researches can be seen as a valuable source for understanding why modern thinking struggles to come to terms with waste.

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