Advertisement

World Cities and Second Cities: Imagining Growth and Hybridity in Modern Literature

  • Bart KeunenEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Second cities can be analyzed by means of two models of scaling, based on either temporal or spatial parameters. The first model uses growth (an evolution in time) as a central metaphor and can be found in the Mumfordian vocabulary of urban theory (polis, metropolis, megalopolis). It concentrates on the economical expansion within modern capitalism and on the technological and sociale side effects of the economical modernization process. The second model, which is only implicitly used in contemporary theory, is based on a different metaphor that stems from physics. By viewing urban phenomena as “states of matter” (spatial states that are lucidly called “states of aggregation” in Dutch and German) they can be conceived more easily as heterogeneous forms of urbanity in late modern society. Moreover, urban forms can within this frame of reference be more adequately seen as fundamentally hybrid, as a combination of different “states of aggregation”. The notion of “second city” differs greatly when used in one of both discursive contexts. Most commonly, second cities are defined in terms relating to the growth model but recent reflections on what I would like to call “the mediopolis” opt for the alternative contextualization. Artistic representations of second cities seem firmly rooted in the first discursive context. Nevertheless, some inspiring instantiations of the literary city escape from this powerful model. If one looks closer at the representation of urban life in recent Western literature, one can find accounts of urbanity that reflect a fundamental hybridity.

Keywords

Urban theory Scale States of matter Hybridity 

Works Cited

  1. Ameel, Lieven. Helsinki in Early Twentieth-Century Literature. Urban Experiences in Finnish Prose Fiction 1890–1940. Finnish Literature Society, 2014.Google Scholar
  2. Benevolo, Leonardo. The History of the City. 1975. MIT Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  3. Berman, Marshall. All That is Sold Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity. 1982. Verso, 1989.Google Scholar
  4. Brenner, Neil. “Urban Governance and the Production of New State Spaces in Western Europe, 1960–2000.” Review of International Political Economy, vol. 11, no. 3, 2003, pp. 447–88.Google Scholar
  5. Castells, Manuel. La question urbaine. Editions François Maspero, 1972.Google Scholar
  6. ———. The Rise of the Network Society. The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture. Wiley, 2000.Google Scholar
  7. Clark, Peter. European Cities and Towns. 400–2000. Oxford University Press, 2009.Google Scholar
  8. Eeckhout, Bart. “We werken eraan: stadsvernieuwing in Antwerpen = We’re Working on It: Urban Renewal in Antwerp.” Medium: Images of the Mid-Size City, special issue of Oase, no. 89, 2013, pp. 28–39.Google Scholar
  9. Florquin, Joos. Ten Huize van. Davidsfonds, 1971.Google Scholar
  10. Gans, Herbert. Urban Villagers: Group and Class in the Life of Italian-Americans. 1962. Free Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  11. Geddes, Patrick. Cities in Evolution. Williams & Norgate, 1915.Google Scholar
  12. Guène, Faïza. Kiffe kiffe demain. Hachette, 2004.Google Scholar
  13. GUST, editors. Post Ex Sub Dis: Urban Fragmentations and Constructions. 010 Publishers, 2003.Google Scholar
  14. ———, editors. The Urban Condition: Space, Community, and Self in the Contemporary Metropolis. 010 Publishers, 1999.Google Scholar
  15. Hannerz, Ulf. Exploring the City: Inquiries Toward an Urban Anthropology. Columbia University Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  16. Harvey, David. Paris: Capital of Modernity. Routledge, 2003.Google Scholar
  17. Kamperink, Mary. Het Verloren Paradijs. De literatuur en de cultuur van het Nederlandse fin de siècle. Amsterdam University Press, 2001.Google Scholar
  18. Lefèbvre, Henri. La Production de l’espace. 1974. Anthropos, 1986.Google Scholar
  19. Marcuse, Peter. “‘The City’ as Perverse Metaphor.” City, vol. 9, no. 2, 2005, pp. 247–54.Google Scholar
  20. Masereel, Frans. The City. 1925. Random House, 1988.Google Scholar
  21. Morin, Edgar. La Rumeur d’Orléans. Seuil, 1969.Google Scholar
  22. Mumford, Lewis. The Culture of Cities. Harcourt, Brace, 1938.Google Scholar
  23. Nizon, Paul. “Paris, mon amour.” Taubenfraß. Suhrkamp, 1999, pp. 122–36.Google Scholar
  24. Notteboom, Bruno, Klaske Havik and Michiel Dehaene. Medium: Images of the Mid-Size City, special issue of Oase, no. 89, 2013.Google Scholar
  25. Relph, Edward. Place and Placelessness. 1976. Sage, 2015.Google Scholar
  26. Rodenbach, Georges. Le Carilloneur. Eugène Fasquelle, 1897.Google Scholar
  27. Simmel, Georg. “The Metropolis and Mental Life.” 1903. Classic Essays on the Culture of Cities, edited by Richard Sennett, Meredith, 1969, pp. 47–60.Google Scholar
  28. Soja, Edward. Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places. Blackwell, 1996.Google Scholar
  29. The City that Never Rests. Directed by Andor von Barsy. Transfilma, 1928.Google Scholar
  30. Weber, Max. “The Nature of the City.” 1921. Classic Essays on the Culture of Cities, edited by Richard Sennett, Meredith, 1969, pp. 23–46.Google Scholar
  31. Williams, Raymond. Culture and Society. 1780–1950, Penguin, 1958/1961.Google Scholar
  32. Wirth, Louis. “Urbanism as a Way of Life.” The American Journal of Sociology 1937, no. 1, pp. 1–24.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts and PhilosophyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

Personalised recommendations