Critical Geographies: A Collection of Readings by Harald Bauder and Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro (editors)

By Harald Bauder and Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro (editors)

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But this does not mean that we are necessarily limited to idiosyncratic or elitist description and interpretation.

25 Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography bold hypotheses that must be constantly corrected in the light of experience, by critique and self-critique. Certain of De Chirico’s paintings, which were clearly inspired by architecturally originated sensations, exert in turn an effect on their objective base to the point of transforming it: they tend themselves to become blueprints or models. Disquieting neighborhoods of arcades could one day carry on and fulfill the allure of these works. I scarcely know of anything but those two harbors at dusk painted by Claude Lorrain3 – which are in the Louvre and which juxtapose extremely dissimilar urban ambiances – that can rival in beauty the Paris Metro maps.

This requires that the academic function inside the academy in order to stay attuned to “the most sophisticated reflections about society and culture” (Chomsky, 1969, 34) whilst also being grounded outside the academy in progressive organizations. To be a critical organic catalyst, for West, is to “fuse the best of the life of the mind from within the academy with the best of the organized forces for greater democracy and freedom from outside the academy” (Chomsky, 1969, 35). Again, this seems engaging at some levels.

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