Urban living presents both challenges and opportunities for individuals and societies in their attempts to maintain and determine their cultural identity. Mobility, fragility, and inventive self-fashioning are common features of life in Europe’s big cities throughout the modern period.
This volume is based on papers given at the conference ‘Imagining the City’ held in Cambridge in 2004. Together they examine the city as imagined space and as a matrix for imagined worlds, using French, German, English, Italian, Russian and North American examples. They analyse modes of literary representation of the city and literary readings of cultural politics; the impact of the imagination of artists and architects on the fashioning of urban landscapes; the effect of new technologies and media (flight, photography, film, and the internet) on urban perception; and the impact of artistic interventions and activist movements on the construction and use of public spaces in the world of today. A second volume will examine the cultural and political moulding of urban space in a similar comparative perspective.
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2006. 344 pp., 17 ill.
Contents: Christian J. Emden/Catherine Keen/David Midgley: Introduction – Peter Burke: Imagining Identity in the Early Modern
City – Síofra Pierse: The City for Voltaire and Rousseau 1776-1778: The Imaginings of Old Age – Hannah Thompson: The Monster
and the Monument in Victor Hugo’s Paris – Anthony Phelan: Reading Paris: Political Hermeneutics in Heine’s Lutezia
– Simon Kemp: Urban Hell: Infernal Cities in Modern French Literature – Cornelia Ruhe: Premeditated Cities: The Imaginary
of the Metropolis – Susanne Hauser: Controlling the Modern City – Silke Arnold-de Simine: Remembering the Future: Utopian
and Dystopian Aspects of Glass and Iron Architecture in Walter Benjamin, Paul Scheerbarth, and W. G. Sebald – Franz Bauer:
De Chirico as Architect: Space and Void in Conceptions of the City between the World Wars – Davide Deriu: The Ascent of the
Modern Planeur: Aerial Images and Urban Imaginary in the 1920s – Steven Jacobs: From Flâneur to Chauffeur: Driving
Through Cinematic Cities – Kristin Veel: CyberCitizen: Urban Identity in Net Art – Anna Schober: Political Squats: Cinema
and City as Movers of the Real – Jill Fenton: Contemporary Surrealist Geographies of Utopia and Dystopia – Geneviève Québriac:
The City: A Space for Event-Related Encounters – Yvonne Houy: The Situationist Metro/Electro Polis: Re-Imagining Urban Spaces
in the Twenty-First Century.