mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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The Gotham of Tomorrow. (108)

The Metropolis of Tomorrow by Hugh Ferriss.

Obscure threefold plan
& sevenfold ascension:
Arts & Sciences.

Buildings like crystals.
Walls of translucent glass.
Sheer glass blocks sheathing a steel grill.
No Gothic branch: no Acanthus leaf: no recollection of the plant world.
A mineral kingdom.
Gleaming stalgmites.
Forms as cold as ice.
Night in the Science Zone.

I'll let Hugh Ferris, above, speak for himself. I've been a big fan of Ferris, using him to illustrate my Oubliette game & even using his work on the cover of my NaNoWriMo novel Watchtower Gothic. What is there to add? It is tricky, because Hugh Ferriss is a dangerous wizard, subtle & quick to anger. He chants out in 1929, & we the magicians hear his utterances now, & forever, amen. The Metropolis of Tomorrow is split into three parts-- the first, where he discusses actual buildings, circa the late Twenties, the second, where he extrapolates from style & zoning laws, & the third, where he just cuts loose & gets utopian about the future. The Science Zone! The Center for Philosophy! Bring it on! I'm quite glad that Dover keeps things like this book alive & in circulation. Ferris ends with a rendition of an inscription he claims he found many years ago: "THE CITY COULD BE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF MAN WHO IS MADE IN THE IMAGE OF" but the last bit of the message is obscured.

Tags: books, ferriss, haiku

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