The subject of this book is not the void exactly, but rather what there is round about or inside it. To start with, then, there isn’t very much: nothingness, the impalpable, the virtually immaterial; extension, the external, what is external to us, what we move about in the midst of, our ambient milieu, the space around us.
Space. Not so much those infinite spaces, whose mutism is so prolonged that it ends by triggering something akin to fear, nor the already almost domesticated interplanetary, intersidereal or intergalactic spaces, but spaces that are much closer at hand, in principle anyway: towns, for example, or the countryside, or the corridors of the Paris Metro, or a public park.
We live in space, in these spaces, these towns, this countryside, these corridors, these parks. That seems obvious to us. Perhaps indeed it should be obvious. But it isn’t obvious, not just a matter of course. It’s real, obviously, and as a consequence most likely rational. We can touch. We can even allow ourselves to dream. There is nothing, for example, to stop us from imagining things that are neither towns nor countrysides (nor suburbs), or Metro corridors that are at the same time public parks. Nothing to forbid us imagining a Metro in the heart of the countryside.