Author Archives: Andy Merrifield

Watching the Detectives

There’s awe-inspiring immensity down there. I’m looking out over Mexico City, from thirty-six floors up in the sky, a recumbent giant right before me, shimmering in glorious February sunshine. It’s a miracle I’m here, shacked up in this lux hotel … Continue reading

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Death and Life in Knausgaard

This essay first appeared in Review 31 on 24th January 2017 Storytellers, the late John Berger was wont to say, are ‘Death’s Secretaries’: they borrow their authority from the dead. Death hands storytellers the file, ‘full of sheets of uniformly black … Continue reading

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FIFTY-YEARS ON: The Right to the City

2017 marks the Golden Jubilee of Henri Lefebvre’s Right to the City, his “cry and demand” for a more participatory and democratic city life. It’s a cause both to celebrate and commiserate. But celebration and commiseration have typically been part … Continue reading

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Good to Know You! Tribute to John Berger

A tribute to John Berger, who passed away aged 90 on 2 January 2017. Posted originally on Verso Books blog, 3 January 2017. John died yesterday. I’ll remember his voice, his laugh, his charm and generosity. His words. Stripped-down words, … Continue reading

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Planetary Urbanisation — The Whole and the Remainder

This essay offers another take on debates about planetary urbanisation—or “planétarisation de l’urbain,” as philosopher-urbanist Henri Lefebvre calls it. I will come back to why I think he calls it that later on. Before then, I want to start out … Continue reading

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The Amateur of Life

One of my all-time favourite essays on “amateur reason” is by the French poet Charles Baudelaire: The Painter of Modern Life, published in 1863. Funnily enough, this set piece of art criticism has been celebrated for many things, especially as … Continue reading

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Towards a Metaphilosophy of the Urban

This essay was first published in Antipode Foundation on 4th December 2015 I suspect I’m not the only one thrilled by the prospect of seeing Henri Lefebvre’s great philosophical tract, Métaphilosophie, from half-a-century ago, finally make it into English. Thanks to the … Continue reading

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