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Le Corbusier, 1930
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Georges Perec
On the difficulty of imagining an ideal city
things 8
summer 1998

I wouldn't like to live in America but sometimes I would
I'd love to live on the Boulevard St Germain but sometimes I wouldn't
I wouldn't like to live on a coral reef but sometimes I would
I wouldn't like to live in a dungeon but sometimes I would
I wouldn't like to live in the East but sometimes I would
I love living in France but sometimes I don't
I'd love to live in Greenland but not for too long
I'd like to live to a hundred but sometimes I wouldn't
I wouldn't like to live in Issoudun but sometimes I would
I wouldn't like to live on a junk but sometimes I would
I wouldn't like to live in a ksar but sometimes I would
I'd have loved to go in a lunar module but it's a bit late
I wouldn't like to live in a monastery but sometimes I would
I wouldn't like to live at the Hotel Negresco but sometimes I would
I wouldn't like to live in the open air but sometimes I would
I love living in Paris but sometimes I don't
I wouldn't like to live in Quebec but sometimes I would
I wouldn't like to live by my own resources but sometimes I would
I wouldn't like to live in a submarine but sometimes I would
I wouldn't like to live in a tower but sometimes I would
I wouldn't like to live with Ursula Andress but sometimes I would
I wouldn't like to live in a village but sometimes I would
I wouldn't like to live in a wigwam but sometimes I would
I'd love to live in Xanadu but not for ever
I wouldn't like to live in the Yonne but sometimes I would
I wouldn't like us all to live in Zanzibar but sometimes I would

from Species of Spaces and Other Pieces
(reproduced by kind permission of Penguin Books).
Translated by John Sturrock


things 8, summer 1998

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