The Point of Aimless Wandering
Andy Merrifield on cities, love, and identity.
At first, I was unsure what to think of this book. The last (and so far only other) book from Andy Merrifield I've read has been Magical Marxism. I thoroughly enjoyed it, at times even loved it. At others, I disagreed with it to the point of flinging it across a room.
In What We Talk About When We Talk About Cities (and Love), Merrifield quotes John Leonard's remarks about one of Marshall Berman's books: “I loved this book. I wish I believed it.” A beautiful and stinging admission. I suppose I rather felt the same way about Magical Marxism. Too much of it seemed to reflect a John Holloway-esque “change the world without taking power” kind of outlook. “I love this vision,” I would say to myself, “I only wish it could be accomplished in such a way. I only wish that constructing a world outside of capital's influence rather than having to take it head on were possible.”
Much of what Merrifield argued came from a place I am as preoccupied with as he: the role of the imagination in liberatio…