A Kind of Touching Beauty
Text by Jean-Paul Sartre
“Everyone is free here. . . . The cities are open. They are open to the world and to the future. That is what gives them all an air of adventure; and . . . a kind of touching beauty.” So wrote the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre on a 1945 trip to the United States during which he crossed the country and dove deep into the soul of the American city. In this new volume, Sartre’s reflections on the distinctly American quality of cities in the United States are accompanied by Pedro Meyer’s photographs of American cities, offering similarly sharp insights, but through a different historical lens: that of the late eighties and early nineties. Together, the photographs and essays articulate the enduring essence of American urban existence—its relationship with time, with labor and humanity, and with the open spaces emblematic of America.
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