Author Archives: Andy Merrifield

About Andy Merrifield

Writer, Urbanist, Marxist, Educator

LEFEBVRE IN THE AGE OF COVID — Lessons from The Urban Revolution and Paris Commune

  This essay was originally posted at Monthly Review Online on 28th March 2021  Henri Lefebvre’s The Urban Revolution (1970) quietly celebrated its 50th birthday under lockdown, and our greatest ever urban revolution, the Paris Commune (1871), just toasted its 150th. … Continue reading

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GOGOL’S NOSE

Today, 212-years ago, on April Fool’s Day, the writer Nikolai Gogol was born in the Ukraine. As his birthdate might suggest, Gogol was never a man to miss an opportunity to joke, and in this essay I pay homage to … Continue reading

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A PORTRAIT OF GOGOL

On the mornings when I used to walk my daughter to school, years gone by now, we would pass by a little pub called “The Prince Albert,” along a narrow old lane, near the town centre, by the cathedral. On … Continue reading

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FUNGAL POLITICS — Dreams from Underground

“Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground.You cannot tell always by looking what’s happening…Penetrate quietly as the earthworm that blows no trumpet.Fight persistently as the creeper that brings down the tree.Spread like the squash plant that overruns the garden…For … Continue reading

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Reclaiming Public Values in the City

These days, with lockdown, I don’t get out much. But I can still talk and meet people—across the airwaves, on Zoom. A few weeks ago, I was in Seoul—well, sort of. I’d been there before, for real, five years back, … Continue reading

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Beyond Plague Urbanism

Our most insightful urban commentators generally agree that the liveliest cities are those with greatest diversity. Diversity of activities, diversity of people. Jane Jacobs long ago highlighted the link between economic diversity and social vitality; how the former fuels the … Continue reading

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September 11

Today, September 11, is a terrible date in New York’s collective memory, a day of mass death and destruction surpassed only by the coronavirus. But September 11 is also awful for New York in another sense: seven years back, the city’s … Continue reading

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Easy on Main

Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to participate in a Zoom book launch of Mindy Thompson Fullilove’s latest creative endeavor, Main Street. I plead guilty to a certain partisan partiality here, because I wrote its foreword. A hundred-plus kindred … Continue reading

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ANDRÉ GREGORY — Living With His Art

Review Essay of André Gregory, This Is Not My Memoir (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, November, 2020) “Ah yes. My impulsiveness had its consequences, my dear Mr. Brack” —Ibsen, Hedda Gabler Theater director André Gregory has had an eye gouged out in … Continue reading

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Surrealist Encounters—When We Could Still Have Them

In June 1933, launching the first issue of the Surrealist magazine, Minotaure, [1] poets André Breton and Paul Éluard conducted a survey that posed two questions to its readers: “What do you consider the most important encounter of your life? … Continue reading

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