stadt.schreiben: Open City

Boston, winter 2011

I was remembering something I had seen about a year earlier: the sprawling scale model of the city (…) The model had been built fort he World’s Fair in 1964, at great cost, and afterward had been peridocially updated to keep up with the changing topography and built environment of the city. It showed in impressive detail, with almost a million tiny buildings, and with bridges, parks, rivers, and architectural landmarks, the true form of the city. The attention to detail was so meticulous that one could not help but think of Borges’s cartographers, who, obsessed with accuracy, had made a map so large and so finely detailed that it matched the empire’s scale on a ratio of one to one, a map in which each thing coincided with its spot on the map. The map proved so unwieldy that it was eventually folded up and left to rot in the desert.

(From Teju Cole’s novel „Open City“, Faber and Faber, London 2011)