Cities are both real and imaginary places whose identity is dependent on their distinctive heritage: a network of historically transmitted cultural resources. The essays in this volume, which originate from a lecture series at the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London, explore the complex and multi-layered identities of European cities.
Themes that run through the essays include: nostalgia for a grander past; location between Eastern and Western ideologies, religions and cultures; and the fluidity and palimpsest quality of city identity.
Not only does the book provide different thematic angles and a variety of approaches to the investigation of city identity, it also emphasizes the importance of diverse cultural components. The essays presented here discuss cultural forms as various as music, architecture, literature, journalism, philosophy, television, film, myths, urban planning and the naming of streets.