By Marc Auge
Travelers climb the Eiffel Tower to work out Paris. Parisians understand that to actually see town you want to descend into the metro. during this revelatory ebook, Marc Augé takes readers under Paris in a piece that's either an ethnography of town and a private narrative. Guiding us via historical past, reminiscence, and actual area, Augé juxtaposes the romance of the metro with the truth of multiethnic city France. His paintings is an element autobiography, with impressions from an entire life driving the trains; half meditation on self and reminiscence mirrored within the humans and areas beneath Paris; half research of a spot the place the 3rd global and the 1st international meet, the place remnants of cultures circulate and press jointly; and half a mirrored image on anthropology in an period of globalization and concrete improvement.
Although he's a pillar of French inspiration, within the Metro is Augé's first significant severe and artistic paintings translated into English. It indicates him to be firmly rooted in a practice of literary ethnography that reaches again to Claude Lévi-Strauss and Michel de Certeau, but additionally engaged in present theoretical debates in literary and cultural experiences. In Augé's idiosyncratic and leading edge technique, the act of gazing the quotidian is increased to an artwork. the author and his historical past develop into a part of the sector he observes, and anthropology interacts with a site-urban life-usually reserved for sociology and cultural stories. all through, Augé unearths a fondness for his milieu, seeing the metro as a spot wealthy with historical past and literature-an eclectic egalitarian society.
Marc Augé is the previous director of École des Haute Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and is the writer of various books, together with The struggle of goals (1999), Non-Places: advent to an Anthropology of Supermodernity (1995), and Les Formes de l'oubli (forthcoming in English translation from Minnesota).
Tom Conley is professor of Romance languages at Harvard college and the writer of The Self-Made Map (Minnesota, 1996).