From the Four Corners

From the Four Corners

3.25 (16 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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Four extracts from Morris's book "Among the Cities", called "Manhattan", "Delhi", "Sydney" and "Vienna."
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Product details

  • Paperback | 96 pages
  • 102 x 134 x 8mm | 40.82g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0146000056
  • 9780146000058

Rating details

16 ratings
3.25 out of 5 stars
5 19% (3)
4 19% (3)
3 31% (5)
2 31% (5)
1 0% (0)

Our customer reviews

From The Four Corners is a penguin 60s booklet of four essays by Jan Morris, taken from her collection Among The Cities. The first, and longest essay is The Islanders Manhattan 1979 and is a series of personal observations about the population and atmosphere. Morris describes Manhattan as cosmopolitan with ethnic enclaves, surreal, with a wasplike buzz rather than a leonine roar. Central Park, she tells the reader, is interesting, but the antithesis of what a city park should be. Her comments about how she imagines the end of the world come eerily close to presaging the events of 9/11. In the second essay Mrs Gupta Never Rang, Delhi 1975, Morris describes Delhi variously as a city of pathos, full of Britishness, antique, a city of dead and tombs, imperial, military, a city of power and corruption, a city of planners. And that "The capital is essentially apathetic to the nation: the nation is aloof to the capital. In the third essay, Over The Bridge, Sydney 1983, Morris tells the reader that Sydney's stature resides in its unchallengeable Australianness. She describes it as one of the most beautiful in the world, at the same time complacent and tentative, the Stockholm of the South, located on a fjord-like harbour. She comments on the Australian language, the youthfulness of the city, and feels sorry for the Aboriginal. She calls it the city of numbed reflex, of blank eye. In the fourth essay, A Baleful Parable, Vienna 1983, Morris calls Vienna a city of consequence, obsessed and obsessive, snobbish, nostalgic, maudlin and rather cheap. A conglomerate of neurosis. Not often do I resent the time I spend reading a book: this is a rare book indeed, 89pages I wish I had not bothered with; or perhaps I was in the wrong frame of mind for more
by Marianne Vincent
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