Michel De Certeau Quotes

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Michel De Certeau Quotes & Sayings

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Michel De Certeau Quotes #175132
#1. The media transforms the great silence of things into its opposite. Formerly constituting a secret, the real now talks constantly. News reports, information, statistics, and surveys are everywhere.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #153405
#2. Can the vast technology beneath our gaze be anything but a representation? Any optical artifact ... The city panorama is a theoretical (ie visual) simulacrum: in short, a picture, of which the preconditions for feasibility are forgetfulness and a misunderstanding of processes.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #1467585
#3. More than its utilitarian and technocratic transparency, it is the opaque ambivalence of its oddities that makes the city livable.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #51552
#4. Far from being writers - founders of their own place, heirs of the peasants of earlier ages now working on the soil of language, diggers of wells and builders of houses - readers are travellers; they move across lands belonging to someone else, like nomads poaching their way across fields they did not write, despoiling the wealth of Egypt to enjoy it themselves.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #1087608
#5. Along with the lazy man ... the dying man is the immoral man: the former, a subject that does not work; the latter, an object that no longer even makes itself available to be worked on by others.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #318426
#6. To walk is to lack a place.
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#7. The trace left behind is substituted for the practice. It exhibits the (voracious) property that the geographical system has of being able to transform action into legibility, but in doing so it causes a way of being in the world to be forgotten.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #489085
#8. His [the pedestrian's] elevation transfigures him into a voyeur. It puts his at a distance. It transforms the bewitching world by which one was 'possessed' into a text that lies before one's eyes. It allows one to read it, to be a solar Eye, looking down like a god. The exaltation of a scopic and gnostic drive: the fiction of knowledge is related to this lust to be a viewpoint and nothing more.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #549929
#9. When he grew old, Aristotle, who is not generally considered a tightrope dancer, liked to lose himself in the most labyrinthine and subtle of discourses […]. 'The more solitary and isolated I become, the more I come to like stories,' he said.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #247037
#10. A place (lieu) is the order (of whatever kind) in accord with which elements are distributed in relationships of coexistence. It thus excludes the possibility of two thing being in the same location (place). The law of the 'proper' rules in the place: the elements taken into consideration are beside one another, each situated in its own 'proper' and distinct location, a location it defines. A place is thus an instantaneous configuration of positions. It implies an indication of stability.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #741848
#11. To practice space is thus to repeat the joyful and silent experience of childhood; it is, in a place, to be other and to move toward the other ... Kandinsky dreamed of: 'a great city built according to all the rules of architecture and then suddenly shaken by a force that defies all calculation.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #790317
#12. Places are fragmentary and inward-turning histories, pasts that others are not allowed to read, accumulated times that can be unfolded but like stories held in reserve, remaining in an enigmatic state, symbolizations encysted in the pain or pleasure of he body. 'I feel good here': the well-being under-expressed in the language it appears in like a fleeting glimmer is a spatial practice.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #240144
#13. Political organizations have slowly substituted themselves for the Churches as the places for believing practices. Politics has once again become religious.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #510925
#14. It seems thus possible to give a preliminary definition of walking as a space of enunciation.
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#15. The same is true of stories and legends that haunt urban space like superfluous or additional inhabitants. They are the object of a witch-hunt, by the very logic of the techno-structure. But [the extermination of proper place names] (like the extermination of trees, forests, and hidden places in which such legends live) makes the city a 'suspended symbolic order.' The habitable city is thereby annulled. Thus, as a woman from Rouen put it, no, here 'there isn't any place special, except for my own home, that's all ... There isn't anything.' Nothing 'special': nothing that is marked, opened up by a memory or a story, signed by something or someone else. Only the cave of the home remains believable, still open for a certain time to legends, still full of shadows. Except for that, according to another city-dweller, there are only 'places in which one can no longer believe in anything.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #1449373
#16. Finally, the functionalist organization, by privileging progress (i.e. time), causes the condition of its own possibility
space itself
to be forgotten: space thus becomes the blind spot in a scientific and political technology. This is the way in which the Concept-city functions: a place of transformations and appropriations, the object of various kinds of interference but also a subject that is constantly enriched by new attributes, it is simultaneously the machinery and the hero of modernity.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #569611
#17. Everyday life invents itself by poaching in countless ways on the property of others.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #1591785
#18. It is as though the practices organizing a bustling city were characterized by [city practitioners', everyday citizens'] blindness. The neworks of these moving, intersecting writings compose a manifold story that has neither author nor spectator, shaped out of fragments of trajectories and alterations of spaces: in relation to representations, it remains daily and indefinitely other.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #708236
#19. The only freedom supposed to be left to the masses is that of grazing on the ration of simulacra the system distributes to each individual.
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#20. The sick man is taken away by the institution that takes charge not of the individual, but of his illness, an isolated object transformed or eliminated by technicians devoted to the defense of health the way others are attached to the defense of law and order or tidiness.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #987823
#21. The created order is everywhere punched and torn open by ellipses, drifts, and leaks of meaning: it is a sieve-order.
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#22. Every story is a travel story – a spatial practice.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #1397894
#23. Reading thus introduces an "art" which is anything but passive.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #1421499
#24. They become liberated spaces that can be occupied. A rich indetermination gives them, by means of a semantic rarefaction, the function of articulating a second, poetic geography on top of the geography of the literal, forbidden or permitted meaning. They insinuate other routes into the functionalist and historical order of movement. Walking follows them: 'I fill this great empty space with a beautiful name.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #1576645
#25. The long poem of walking manipulates spatial organizations, no matter how panoptic they may be: it is neither foreign to them (it can take place only within them) nor in conformity with them (it does not receive its identity from them). It creates shadows and ambiguities within them. It inserts its multitudinous references and citations into them (social models, cultural mores, personal factors). Within them it is itself the effect of successive encounters and occasions that constantly alter it and make it the other's blazon: in other words, it is like a peddler carrying something surprising, transverse or attractive compared with the usual choice. These diverse aspects provide the basis of a rhetoric. They can even be said to define it.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #760776
#26. New York has never learnt the art of growing old by playing on all its pasts. Its present invents itself, from hour to hour, in the act of throwing away its previous accomplishments and challenging the future. A city composed of paroxysmal places in monumental reliefs.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #1163627
#27. The panorama-city is a 'theoretical' (that is, visual) simulacrum, in short a picture, whose condition of possibility is an oblivion and a misunderstanding of practices.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #1161653
#28. The walking of passers-by offers a series of turns and detours that can be compared to "turns of phrase" or "stylistic figures." There is a rhetoric of walking. The art of "turning" phrases finds an equivalent in an art of composing a path.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #227142
#29. Moreover, the question at hand concerns modes of operation or schemata of action, and not directly the subjects (or persons) who are their authors or vehicles. It concerns an operational logic whose models may go as far back as the age-old ruses of fishes and insects that disguise or transform themselves in order to survive, and which has in any case been concealed by the form of rationality currently dominant in Western culture.
Michel De Certeau Quotes #448640
#30. A memory is only a Prince Charming who stays just long enough to awaken the Sleeping Beauties of our wordless stories.
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#31. An absence of meaning opens a gap in time.

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