Everybody knows how like the street the two dinner-rows of people who take their stand by the street will be. The expressionless uniform twenty houses, all to be knocked at and rung at in the same form, all approachable by the same dull steps, all fended off by the same pattern of railing, all with the same impracticable fire- escapes, the same inconvenient fixtures in their heads, and everything without exception to be taken at a high valuation–who has not dined with these? The house so drearily out of repair, the occasional bow-window, the stuccoed house, the newly-fronted house, the corner house with nothing but angular rooms, the house with the blinds always down, the house with the hatchment always up, the house where the collector has called for one quarter of an Idea, and found nobody at home–who has not dined with these? The house that nobody will take, and is to be had a bargain–who does not know her? The showy house that was taken for life by the disappointed gentleman, and which does not suit him at all–who is unacquainted with that haunted habitation?
Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit.
there are some characters in literature that achieve a phantasmagorical, and – in this case – a ghoulish status in a culture. in society. ‘little dorrit’ presented mr merdle. he is inseparable from the city of london, as is the cheap cladding holding together the hastily erected blocks of flats ‘regenerating’ it’s south east.
It is we [the workers] who built these palaces and cities, here in Spain and in America and everywhere. We, the workers. We can build others to take their place. And better ones! We are not in the least afraid of ruins. We are going to inherit the earth. There is not the slightest doubt about that. The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world here, in our hearts. […] That world is growing in this minute.
Buenaventura Durruti, spoken during the Spanish civil war to Pierre van Paassen.
our perspective on the material world; small though it is, we find importance in it. work hard to study it’s significance. our rule and our solace
and prisons, structures zig-zagging across the landscape forming blocks and framing routine.
briefly i was contemplating the fate of the ‘elgin’ marbles, i would not say that i have a problem with them being returned likewise i figure that i would be just as happy with them remaining. plus i could draw them. my thought was a thought on the way empires regard the empires preceding them.
Estragon: What about hanging ourselves? Vladimir: Hmm. It’d give us an erection. Estragon: (highly excited). An erection! Vladimir: With all that follows. Where it falls mandrakes grow. That’s why they shriek when you pull them up. Did you not know that? Estragon: Let’s hang ourselves immediately!
ESTRAGON: (suddenly furious). Recognize! What is there to recognize? All my lousy life I’ve crawled about in the mud! And you talk to me about scenery! (Looking wildly about him.) Look at this muckheap! I’ve never stirred from it!
VLADIMIR: Calm yourself, calm yourself.
ESTRAGON: You and your landscapes! Tell me about the worms!
Samuel Beckett, Waiting For Godot
landscape / politics / currency – all tied together.
The best laws that England hath,’ he declared, ‘are yokes and manacles, tying one sort of people to another.’ ‘All laws that are not grounded upon equity and reason, not giving a universal freedom to all but respecting persons ought… to be cut off with the kings head.
Gerard Winstanley quoted by Christopher Hill; ‘The World Turned Upside Down.’