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3 Introduction These fragments of an abandoned work largely date from 2004-2006. Around that time, I developed a theory of impossible objects and had the idea for a long book in the form of an ABC. The hope was that the alphabetized entries would deal with a series of phenomena, concepts, places, qualities, sensations , persons and moods in the manner of what one might call ‘para-philosophy’. I began to sketch ideas quite quickly as they came to me and amassed them in a series of dossiers. What I was trying to imagine was a book that was an open-ended series of short chapters, like encyclopedia entries, but of an utterly idiosyncratic kind. As such, the book would move from absurdity to depth, from philosophy to frivolity. What would unify the book and make it mine would be its voice: serious, pathetic, absurd, poetic, cynical, turn and turn about. 4 For reasons that I can’t really recall, I stopped doing this around the end of 2006. Call it a change of life. But I kept looking at some of the entries, much in the manner of picking at scabs, and the idea of a book called ABC of Impossibility stayed with me. So, when Drew Burk was kind enough to invite me to write something experimental, I immediately thought of the book. I am grateful to Univocal for publishing it. The entries are arranged alphabetically on the contents page, but ordered thematically in the book itself , in accordance what I felt to be the best form of counterpoint. I am withholding a number of completed and incomplete fragments because they are too embarrassing, too stupid for words, or too intimate . Maybe, when senility takes over, I will let them go too. Simon Critchley Brooklyn, March 2015. ...


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