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Thomas Block Humery

Self published

Publication date : 2023/10/01
Weight 330 g / Dimensions 21 x 29.7 cm / 64 pages
ISBN 9791041525898

“Houston” is a book like no other. Through the unique medium of autobiography, it invites us to explore, or imagine, the least known of the great American megalopolises. Compared to Los Angeles, New York, Miami or Chicago, this Texas town is nothing like a postcard city. It may even be the antithesis of that, with its sprawling neighbourhoods, its motorways that divide it, not to say slice it up, and its ‘downtown’ overwhelmed by the heat in summer. Yet it is here that Thomas Block Humery invites us to think of the city beyond urbanistic, socio-economic or cultural considerations, by emphasising the intimate dimension as a dynamic of knowledge. He sees the city above all as a place for projecting the self, validated by love, ambition, self-fulfilment, aesthetic comfort and other great hopes that are difficult to quantify.

The city is linked here to feeling and emotion. In this proposal, the author goes beyond descriptions of human geography, made up of demographic curves, economic statistics or activity rates, to retain only the individual perspective made up of feelings, adaptation, sharing, possible links, changing visions, shot through with the contingency, delicacy and even fragility of experience. The urban space unfolds according to the modalities of the encounter, which plays a catalytic and accelerating role. Houston becomes the scene of an interaction in which knowledge of the space goes hand in hand with the intensification of the relationship.

The author returns ten years after this episode and takes stock of this specific acquaintance where habits had taken root and bonds had been forged. Houston is a theatrical setting in which real scenes were played out, a setting that has itself changed, transformed by the inherent and specific forces of American cities, for which a decade is already a significant fraction of time. The city and its visitor are like two lovers who can no longer really communicate. It is said that criminals always return to the scene of their crime. What about the person who returns to the scene of a past crime?


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