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Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

Capitalism & Development: The End

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Ha-Joon Chang & David Harvey dissect the nostrums of capitalism for Thinking Allowed.

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Unadjusted impressions of the past

In Arcades on April 15, 2010 at 8:24 am

An unlikely early parallel to Benjamin’s thoughts in the Arcades Project can be found in Thomas Hardy‘s preface to his 1901 collection of poems Poems of the past and present:

“Unadjusted impressions have their value, and the road to a true philosophy of life seems to lie in humbly recording diverse readings of phenomena as they are forced upon us by chance and change”

This bears striking similarities to Benjamin’s methods of collecting observations, ephemera and detritus, and of avoiding narrative histories.  There are major differences between the two mens’ work however, and the pastoralist, establishment author would no doubt have been as shocked by the revolutionary, materialist criticism of Benjamin as Benjamin would have been of Hardy’s conservative acceptance of the force of chance.

The Urbane Urban: In Our Time on the City

In Arcades on April 2, 2010 at 8:14 am

The BBC’s excellent In Our Time series has just broadcast an excellent two parter on the history of the city.  They are both thought provoking and the second part especially relevant to the concerns of this blog.

Part 1

Part 2

Memorialising the Piers and Beaches: The Post Card Past

In Promenades on April 2, 2010 at 8:09 am

This website details the post-card history of several Sussex piers and some of the post cards contain telling social details that illuminate how the ‘tourist shore’ was used.  It is not alone in utilising post cards as a source of information – or rather of nostalgia as this site and the ‘nostalgia industry’ makes clear – and there is in it use of images something close to that we which are attempting.  It was, after all, a photographic exploration of the seaside that helped inspire this project.