The Shape of a City

Julien Gracq

The most original book of Julien Gracq’s later output is about Nantes. It begins with a quotation from Baudelaire that Gracq repeats and distorts: “The shape of a city, as we all know, changes more quickly than the mortal heart.”

Gracq’s later work, set provocatively in verifiable land- and cityscapes, seems profoundly challenged by Proust’s synthesis of realism, reverie, and remembrance.