All posts filed under: Paris and Language

Paris v Fox News: On Urban Poetics

In the past fortnight, there has been a concerted effort to defend the image of Paris in the face of Fox News’s assertions that Paris is a dangerous city with ‘no-go zones’  were Sharia Law (read: lawlessness) reigns. Evidently, this is quite an exxageration. Representation and Urban Poetics The importance of language in representing Paris has been long appreciated. And, reactions to Fox News’s choice of words show that Parisians in the 21st Century still appreciate the need to control the  words used to frame the city. During the Renaissance,  as the printing press fueled the spread of information, French authors quickly realized the  importance of controlling the narrative on the city. Language was seen, as Elisabeth Hodge and other scholars of the period have noted,  as a tool to  re-present the city and shape the self-understanding of its inhabitants. This intersection between language, the city, and self understanding is referred to as ‘Urban Poetics’. That is to say, while the city is a  built environment sustained by  particular patterns of social life, and  political organisation …