At the threshold: The edge of liminality

Abstract

Every threshold is placed at an edge, and yet not merely an edge, for the threshold always carries with it a sense of opening up toward or closing away from. Only that place at the edge that anticipates or remembers can constitute a threshold. The threshold thus is not a place in which one can remain – to do so is for it to cease to be a threshold – but is always a place of movement and transition. Indeed, one might say that the threshold is the coalescence of a time into the form of a place, since the threshold only appears as a threshold in that time of opening-toward or closing-away-from. The being of the threshold as a place is therefore essentially determined by the event of approach or withdrawal, anticipation or remembrance, arrival or departure, coming-to-be or passingaway.

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Jeff Malpas
University of Tasmania

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