Thursday, March 5, 2015

"The Eiffel"

"LOOK at the great line before you and note these evidences of a mind at work. Here, on your right, monstrous, grotesque, and dramatic in the extreme, rises that great ladder of iron, the Eiffel, to its thousand feet; it was meant to be merely engineering, and therefore christened at its birth by all the bad fairies, but it yet contrives (as though the spirit of the city had laughed at its own folly) to assume something of grace, and loses, in a very delicate grey, in a good curve, and in a film of fine lines, the grossness which its builders intended. It stands up, close to our western standpoint, foolishly. It is twice as high as this hill of Valerian from which we are looking; its top is covered often in hurrying clouds, and it seems to be saying perpetually: "I am the end of the nineteenth century; I am glad they built me of iron; let me rust." It is far on the outskirts of the town, where all the rest of the things that Paris has made can look at it and laugh contentedly. It is like a passing fool in a crowd of the University, a buffoon in the hall; for of all the things that Paris has made, it alone has neither wits nor soul."

~Hilaire Belloc: Paris, p. 5. (1900)
● Free e-book, Paris

Eiffel Tower, c. 1900. (photographer ?)

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