Sunday, February 22, 2009

the city

So the city became the material expression of a particular loss of innocence—not sexual or political innocence but somehow a shared dream of what a city might at its best prove to be—its inhabitants became, and have remained, an embittered and amnesiac race, wounded but unable to connect through memory to the moment of the injury, unable to summon the face of their violator.

Out of that night and day of unconditional wrath, folk would've expected to see any city, if it survived, all newly reborn, purified by flame, taken clear beyond greed, real-estate speculating, local politics—instead of which, here was this weeping widow, some one-woman grievance committee in black, who would go on to save up and lovingly record and mercilessly begrudge every goddamn single tear she ever had to cry, and over the years to come would make up for them all by developing into the meanest, cruelest bitch of a city, even among cities not notable for their kindness.
Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day. New York: Penguin, 2006. 153-154.

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