Soul of the City
Humans are sensitive to changes and differences. The city's dynamism exacts
a relentless toll on consciousness, leading to more defensive
In city-states as described by Plato and Aristotle and seen in
"proximity gave the population a fundamental and wide community
of interest". Non-specialists became engaged in specialist issues when
they saw fit.
As the role of "Cities in Civilisation" (Peter Hall) grew, as disciplines converged and the pressure of people from the countryside increased, "the Noise of Culture" (W. Paulson)
attracted young artists, providing
stimulation from other Arts and a chance to choose one's friends
rather than tolerate the neighbours. The avant-garde
in particular benefitted,
small groups gaining critical mass in
la Rive Gauche.
- Artists used to be attracted to cities because the wealthy patrons
were there. Now national and regional Arts Boards hold the purse strings,
often encouraging regional activity.
The WWW's growth has outpaced that of increasingly unreal cities,
challenging their intensity and fluidity of interaction, bringing together
adventurers from many countries. It may be "a loose agglomeration
of endlessly shifting parts and places", but this is how real cities are
depicted in works like
Howl, and real cities soon seem to catch
up with their depictions.