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Henri Lefebvre, thinker of urban modernity

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Chapter Summary

Henri Lefebvre's discovery of 'modernity' seems fully to confirm Fredric Jameson's thesis that modernity can only be perceived as such from an 'exterior' which is identified with a 'pre-modern enclave'. The everyday - the town - the urban - re-production - space, are the sequences of the enactment of emancipation, conceived by Lefebvre as the advent of 'total man', the universal communion of individuals liberated from alienation. In reality, the categories that govern Lefebvre's narrative are directly transposable from one object to another - from the everyday to the urban, from space to globality, from one historical period and type of society to those that preceded, and those that will succeed, it. This chapter examines more closely two sources of aporiae that directly affect the problematic of urban space: the opposition between use-value and exchange-value and the aetheteticisation of everyday life as the paradigm of an emancipated society.

Keywords: Fredric Jameson; Henri Lefebvre; urban modernity



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