Night Walk

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Steidl, 2014. First edition.
Clothbound hardcover with dust jacket, 173 x 232 mm, 162 pp., 107 b/w illustrations. Photographs by Ken Schles.

Twenty-five years after his seminal 1988 book, Invisible City, Ken Schles revisits his archive and fashions a narrative of lost youth: a delirious, peripatetic walk in the evening air of an irretrievable Downtown New York as he saw and experienced it. Night Walk is a substantive and intimate chronicle of New York’s last pre-Internet bohemian outpost, a stream-of-consciousness portrayal that peels back layers of petulance and squalor to expose the frisson and striving of a life lived amongst the rubble. Here Schles embodies the flâneur as Susan Sontag defines it, as a “connoisseur of empathy ... cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes.” We see in Night Walk a new and revelatoryUlysses for the twenty-first century: a searching tale of wonder and desire, life and love in the dying hulk of a ruined American city.

 


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