Opening of William Gibson “Metrophagy: the Art and Science of Digesting Great Cities” collected in Distrust That Particular Flavor and first appeared as as a review of London: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd in The Whole Earth Catalog Summer 2001.
Literary forms are tools, and genuinely new ones are and far between.
I believe that Peter Ackroyd has invented a genuinely new one with London: The Biography, although I would hesitate to give him sole credit for the perfected form.
Here is the opening to Ackroyd’s book:
The city as body
The image of London as a human body is striking and singular; we may trace it from the pictorial emblems of the City of God, the mystical body in which Jesus Christ represents its head the citizens its other members. London has also been envisaged in the form of a young man with his arms outstretched in a gesture of liberation; the figure is taken from a Roman bronze but it embodies the energy and exultation of a city continually expanding in great waves of progress and of confidence. Here might be found the ‘heart of London beating warm’.
Key name in this review: Iain Sinclair.
And so for day 1697