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Paris, Capital of Modernity by David Harvey

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CHAPTER FOURTEEN

NATURAL RELATIONS

That man’s physical and spiritual life is linked to nature means simply that nature is linked to itself, for man is a part of nature.

—MARX

Haussmannization did not leave the pastoral longings of Balzac’s utopianism unrequited. Nor did it ignore the legitimacy to be conferred by appeal to the medieval, Gothic, and Christian origins of the French state (the architect and great restorer of Gothic cathedrals, Viollet-le-Duc, twice decorated Notre Dame, once (hurriedly) to celebrate the declaration of Empire and once, at Haussmann’s invitation, to celebrate Louis Napoleon’s marriage). Haussmann also responded to the emphasis upon health and hygiene, upon the revitalization of the human body and the psyche through ...

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