Lit Without Buildings

I came across this passage in Ian McEwan’s Saturday, and thought it an especially optimistic and eloquent outlook on the modern city.

…gazing towards Charlotte Street, towards a foreshorteened jumble of facades, scaffolding and pitched roofs, Henry thinks the city is a success, a brilliant invention, a biological masterpiece – millions teeming around the accumulated and layered achievements of the centuries, as though around a coral reef, sleeping, working, entertaining themselves, harmonious for the most part, nearly everone wanting it to work.

Now if only we could agree on exactly how it should work.