‘How many cities have revealed themselves to me in the marches I undertook in pursuit of books!'
benjamin | illuminations | reading

‘In modern Athens , the vehicles of mass transportation are called metaphorai . To go to work or come home, one takes a “metaphor” – a bus or a train.'
michel de certeau | practice of everyday life cities | transport

'It was man's submission to the impersonal forces of the market that in the past has made possible the growth of civilisation which without this could not have developed; it is by thus submitting that we are every day helping to build something that is greater than anyone of us can ever comprehend.'
hayek | road to serfdom | emergence | society | the market | theory | volition |

‘During the battle soldiers moved within the city across hundreds of metres of ‘overground tunnels’ carved out through a dense and contiguous urban structure. Although several thousand soldiers and Palestinian guerrillas were manoeuvring simultaneously in the city, they were so ‘saturated’ into the urban fabric that very few would have been visible from the air. Furthermore, they used none of the city’s streets, roads, alleys or courtyards, or any of the external doors, internal stairwells and windows, but moved horizontally through walls and vertically through holes blasted in ceilings and floors. This form of movement, described by the military as ‘infestation’, seeks to redefine inside as outside, and domestic interiors as thoroughfares. The IDF’s strategy of ‘walking through walls’ involves a conception of the city as not just the site but also the very medium of warfare – a flexible, almost liquid medium that is forever contingent and in flux.’
weizman | frieze | theory

'Vu à vol d’oiseau, le quartier d’Alger qu’on appelle la Casbah, profond comme une forêt, et grouillant comme une fourmilière, est un vaste escalier dont chaque terrasse est une marche qui descend vers la mer. Entre ces marches, des ruelles tortueuses et sombres, des ruelles en forme de guet-apens, des ruelles qui se croisent, se chevauchent, s’enlacent, se désenlacent dans un fouillis de labyrinthes. Les unes étroites, les autres voûtées comme des caves. De tous côtés, dans tous les sens, des escaliers, des montées abruptes comme des échelles, des descentes vers des gouffres sombres et puants, des porches suintants, obscurs, bondés à toute heure, des rues désertes qu’habite le silence, des rues aux noms étranges (« Rue de l’impuissance », « Rue de la ville de Soum Soum », « Rue de l’hôtel du miel », « Rue de l’homme à la perle »). Ils sont quarante mille, là où ils ne devraient être que dix mille. Quarante mille venus de partout, ceux d’avant la conquête, ceux du passé barbaresque, et leurs descendants honnêtes, traditionalistes, et pour nous, mystérieux. Des Kabyles, des Chinois, des Gitanes, des Heimatlos, des Slaves, des Maltais, des Nègres, des Siciliens, des Espagnols, et des filles... filles de tous les pays, de tous les formats... des grandes, des grosses, des petites, des sans-âge, des sans-formes, abîmes de graisse où nul n’ose se risquer... Des maisons qui comportent des cours intérieures, isolées comme des cellules sans plafonds et sonores comme des puits, communicant presque toutes entre elles par des terrasses qui les dominent, descendant ainsi jusqu’à la mer, colorée, vivante, multiple. Il n’y a pas une Casbah, il y en a cent.'
duvivier | pépé le moko

'The city of Leonia refashions itself every day: every morning the people wake between fresh sheets, wash with just-unwrapped cakes of soap, wear brand-new clothing, take from the latest model refridgerator still unopened tins, listening to the last-minute jingles from the most up-to-date radio(…). This is the result: the more Leonia expels goods, the more it accumulates them; the scales of its past are soldered into a cuirass that cannot be removed. As the city is renewed each day, it preserves all of itself in its only definitive form: yesterday’s sweepings piled up on the sweepings of the day before yesterday and of all its days and years and decades (…). Leonia’s rubbish little by little would invade the world, if, from beyond the final crest of its boundless rubbish heap, the street cleaners of other cities were not pressing, also pushing the mountains of refuse in front of themselves (…). The greater its height grows, the more the danger of a landslide looms: a tin can, an old tyre, an unraveled wine flask, if it rolls toward Leonia, is enough to bring with it an avalanche of unmated shoes, calendars of bygone years, withered flowers, submerging the city in its own past, which it had tried in vain to reject, mingling with the past of the neighbouring cities, finally clean. A cataclysm will flatten the sordid mountain range, canceling every trace of the metropolis always dressed in new clothes.'
calvino | invisible cities | waste


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