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Reading the City: The Urban Book from Mercier to Mitterand

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020

Abstract

From the city as an eighteenth-century version of the philosophical Encyclopédie through its depiction as mystery novel, modernist collage, and complex of virtual networks, the image of the city as a book or collection of books to be read has persisted in the imaginary of modern writers. The literary works of Sébastien Mercier and Charles Nodier provide a window into the intersection of modes of literary interpretation with physical urban rebuilding that began in Paris after 1770. This evolving relation continues to play out in the Bibliothèque de France, completed in 1995, and in controversial plans to scan the world's collections of books for online access.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Modern Language Association of America, 2007

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