No past revolution, she says, can be attributed to professional revolutionaries. Usually it was the other way around: “revolution broke out and liberated, as it were, the professional revolutionaries from wherever they happened to be – from jail, or from the coffee house, or from the library.”
Five great amateurs whose work changed the world, from author of The Amateur, Andy Merrifield.
In this excerpt from The Amateur: The Pleasures of Doing What You Love, author Andy Merrifield explores how he likes to live in a city through the poetry of the Beats and the joys of what amateur urbanist Jane Jacobs called ‘the intricate sidewalk ballet’.
The Amateur: The Pleasures of Doing What You Love by Andy Merrifield is 40% off until Sunday, June 18 at midnight UTC.
Using figures like Jane Jacobs, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Edward Said, Guy Debord and Hannah Arendt as guides, Merrifeld shows us how to resist bureaucracy and authority and embrace a liberated life where passions guide you.
This year sees the Golden Jubilee of Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Both are darkly pessimistic texts that speak to our times. They pinpoint the shortcomings of the 1960s generation as much as embody its utopian desires. They transmit a strange optimism, a backdoor sense of hope, and offer another take on what our lives might be.
In this essay Andy Merrifield, author of The Amateur, looks at the importance of these texts on their 50th Anniversary.
This piece originally appeared in Jacobin. Modernism in the Streets and all available books by Marshall Berman are 40% off until Saturday April 29th at midnight UTC. Click here to activate your 40% discount.
In the early 1990s, when I first met Marshall Berman, he told me he was working on a book called Living for the City — “after the Stevie Wonder song.”