New York metropolitan: Urban modernity in The Age of Innocence | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2050-9790
  • E-ISSN: 2050-9804

Abstract

Edith Wharton consistently uses ‘metropolis’ as her crowning label of urban modernity. Throughout her body of work, she applies the word to two cities: Paris and New York, which is reflective of a broader trend in humanistic representations of the modern metropolis and urban modernity. In her 1920 novel , Wharton identifies and writes New York metropolitanism, laying the foundation for the later widespread representation of New York as the capital of the twentieth century, as Paris has been the emblematic capital of the nineteenth century. Her work connects our present urban modernity to the urban modernization projects of the nineteenth century, while , in particular, narrates the myriad forms the modern metropolis has taken over the last century, ranging from metropolitan geographical expansion, to the centre of culture, the centre of fashion (commercial and artistic) and the technological metropolis. Wharton’s is a compelling example of how the modern metropolis was used historically to represent the height of modern urbanity. It provides an exemplary case study of the concept as it became a part of the modern urban lexicon.

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2022-06-01
2024-05-22
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