Fotograf Magazine

History, not people, flows through the small streets

Prague interview with philosopher, Miroslav Petříček

How can we define a town today? One can most certainly say that the age-old comparison of town vs. country no longer works? The countryside has lost its primary agricultural function; it’s not the opposite of a town.

This is true. However, take historically the phenomenon of the town as an important symbol of modern times already, in the view of the first sociologists, it fell outside  (the  definition  of)  being  an  opposite  of  the  country. It  was a phenomenon of its own sort and the deeper they analysed it, the more the contrast faded. They were interested foremost in how the main signs of modernity manifest themselves here, which is – to a certain degree – valid still today. A modern world has appeared here with all its confusion and chaos. When Simmel analyzed the city (large town) – Gro stadt is no longer anything other than a town – he watched the neurotic people bumping into one another, he noticed the density of the population, in which one cannot avoid physical contact with another person. From this – and also from the fact that people wish to settle here – neuroses occur.This can also be said of Prague, whose medieval blueprint does not give people many options for how to escape.

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Alena Kotzmannová, ze série Klasika, 2001–4

#15 Prague

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