The room’s occupant David Rodinsky, an orthodox Jewish scholar of Eastern European descent, had simply vanished from his home one day in the late 60s; what became of him, no one knew. The room, a place out of time, was ripe for rediscovery.

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Rodinsky’s world was that of the East European Jewry, Cabbalistic speculation, an obsession with language as code and terrible loss. He touched the imagination of artist Rachel Lichtenstein, who came across the abandoned room in 1990. This text weaves together Lichtenstein’s quest for Rodinsky, which took her to Poland, to Israel and around Jewish London, with Iain Sinclair’s meditations on her journey into her own past.

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