The detritus of purses. Image from Abbeybag.

The Material World Blog has a post on two new books that may be of interest to our readers. The first is Paraphernalia by Steven Connor (London: Profile Books 2011):

The delight of Paraphernalia is it is really a kind of literary equivalent of tipping out a person’s handbag or the back of their desk drawer and contemplating what we find there, drawing significance from this of detritus of daily life. The subtitle is the curious life of magical things. There are 18 chapters which include keys, combs, buttons, batteries, pins, rubber bands, sticky tapes, sweets and wires.

Like discard studies, this study focuses “on that which by virtue of its ubiquity and taken for granted nature remains largely out of focus.” It is a history of disregarded things.

The second is Islands of Privacy by Christena Nippert-Eng (University of Chicago Press 2010), which,

contains six pages which do nothing but list the precise contents of some 48 purses and wallets (101-7). … So in the chapter entirely devoted to purses and wallets what she is primarily concerned with is which may be regarded as of the public domain and which the private, also how these are used to craft identity.

Read the whole post at Material World here.