Weaveworld – a heterotopic garden-carpet

In my present research on carpets, gardens, mirrors et al and their relationship to heterotopia, I came across the novel ‘Weaveworld’ by Clive Barker. In this dark, adult fantasy (in widest sense of word), the carpet comes to life, opening up a world with puzzling juxtapositions, throwing together geographical zones:

‘in defiance of all laws geological or climatic, as if by a God whose taste was for contradiction’.

From one perspective it is just an ordinary carpet, but the space has been made to conceal and protect a gate into a garden of memories, of dreams, of enchantment, of imagination… where ‘nothing was fixed: where magic ruled’ .

Why a carpet?

‘What’s more easily overlooked than the thing you’re standing on.’

Clive Barker says the novel captures the sense:

‘…..that there is a home which is even more fundamental than the home where you were born, that maybe we have, prenatally, an image of Eden, or of a perfect place, or a place where we may be perfectible’.

It is a place where the conventions and clichés of our world, for example the binaries of gender, are thoroughly undermined.

More work to be done on the history of carpets but the novel will have a place in my on-going reearch.

Babur’s garden, Baburnama, 16th c. British Library


19 June 2017