Lost and Found – The Power of Objects
Some objects have a dormant power that is only revealed when they reappear, sometimes as if by magic, after being discarded, lost or passed on. Examples of this include the legend of Polycrates, who threw away a precious ring to avoid a calamity, yet it somehow returned to him; Poe’s The Purloined Letter, in which a posted letter is stolen and hidden away; and Othello’s handkerchief, which was given as a present, but turns up in someone else’s possession. Michael Niehaus tells us about these roaming objects: he recounts stories in which they change hands, and he eavesdrops on them as they reveal their own story. Drawing on rich sources from literature, cinema and theatre, this book describes the powerful feelings that are triggered by roving objects and the stories they tell us – stories full of seduction, anxiety, the sex appeal of a mystery, and the irresistible desire to investigate the unknown.