study guide - Literature and Arts B-20 Designing the...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Literature and Arts B-20: Designing the American City MIDTERM STUDY GUIDE Jena-Paul Sartre “American Cities,” pp. 197-205 He is a French philosopher and writer who traveled through American at the end of World War II. He writes about his impressions of American cities and how they compare to European cities. It is equal parts accurate description and his subjective opinion. He makes many comments and generalizations about American cities and gives an insight into how an outsider views “our” cities. European cities vs. American cities: European cities are continuous. American cities between New Orleans and San Francisco are oases in the desert and generalizes that the “American city” was originally a camp in the desert. Settlement of American cities: People attracted by prosperity/resources arrive and settle as quickly as possible (building vital parts of town: bank, town hall, church) Main road = spinal column of town. Other roads = vertebrae branching off Settlement same in 1940’s as in covered wagon days. Every year new towns are founded in the same way. Ex: Fontana, Tennessee o Began due to construction of a dam (three towns sprang up), fuels growth of town. o At height-one birth/day o Use of “prefabricated houses: constructed somewhere else and transported by trucks (can be set up in 4 hrs) o Hundreds of house, all alike, have a nomadic look o “village has no weight…it is a temporary thing”: when dam done, workers pack up and move to new prosperous project U.S.: communities created and destroyed in a day o Americans only care about being able to take their homes with them (furnishings, personal belongings) not house which is a shell and abandoned as such France: workers’ communities but are sedentary and don’t become real cities U.S.: any new community can become metropolis like Detroit or Minneapolis with some luck (Detroit pop. 1905-time of writing, 300K to 1 million. o Inhabitants like to recall when city was just an outpost (make no distinction between two) o Even biggest cities born temporary and in essence stay that way Example of level of change. Going off to war ppl. Sell apartments and things b/c will be outmoded when return. U.S.: fashionable neighborhoods go from center of city to outskirts (suburbanization) – buildings bought to be demolished and have new/bigger ones built U.S.: city = moving landscape Europe: city = shell o Very old ppl. can say “when I was young the city was different this way” America: middle-aged and younger can make same statements about changes o Man in San Francisco saw city change due to reconstruction after earthquake/fire and rapid Americanization from Asiatic look: memories of 3 distinct San Franciscos Europeans change within changeless cities vs. American cities change faster than inhabitants During trip America in war and cities stagnant but temporary state American cities too young for ppl to find social past or tradition in them o
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course LIT & ARTS B-20 taught by Professor Krieger during the Spring '07 term at Harvard.

Page1 / 61

study guide - Literature and Arts B-20 Designing the...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online