The Space of the City
The “Space of the City” is explored chronologically in three parts: “The Nineteenth Century City”, “The Modern City” and “The Contemporary City”. The first part opens with Benjamin’s discussion of the flâneur in nineteenth-century Paris and draws on writers such as Baudelaire, Engels and Dickens. In the second part, depictions of early-twentieth-century city life by Simmel, Kafka (“Metamorphosis”) and Joyce (“Araby”) provide some insights into the changing perception of space in the modern city. The section on “the Contemporary City” turns to the experience of the city ca. 2000, referring to Virilio and Sennett as well as to DeLillo’s novel Cosmopolis and Keiller’s Robinson films. All the various tales of the city are, in the end, inextricable from the narrative of modern capitalism.