Posts Tagged ‘A Tale of Two Cities’

Dickens December: We are the skyscrapers

December 13, 2010


I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out.

(Charles Dickens. A Tale of Two Cities.)

I see it, too.

Dickens December: Inaugural Edition featuring photographs by Alexey Titarenko

December 6, 2010


Photographed by Alexey Titarenko.

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable to this.

(A Tale of Two Cities.)


Photo credit again to Mr. Titarenko.

I think of this whenever I crest a hill as I drive through a major city. All the houses along the side of the highway, spreading out in either direction further than I can see — there are people in each of them, and every one has their own story, both the public and the private. It’s so inestimable and mysterious and profound. It’s like a miracle: it makes you sure that with so many intricate personal realities intertwining, this world cannot be an accident, and no one is meant to walk through it alone.