Tuesday, 14 April 2009

What urban circumstance leads to this moment, when deep in the heart of a city, all traces of human civilisation are evaporated? All, that is, except the ground beneath one’s feet, which is undoubtedly landscaped and crafted into a wilful isolation forgotten entirely by the casual observer who sees nothing but trees and thinks of nothing but nature and themselves.

Cities are a construct of the imagination. One man's Berlin is another's Nagasaki is another's Kinshasa. To experience a city is not to walk around it, but to remember it. Such is the impossibility of an urban environment, such is the movement within its streets, that all cities are an act of memory. Each journey becomes a narrative and as each slow layer is sedimented upon another, a type of novel is born in which - as with all works of fiction - geography becomes an aspect of chronology. The notion of place becomes secondary to the movement of time. And time itself, as we all know, means very little within a novel.

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