i've been reading Postmodern Geographies by soja, and, in it, he is talking about how previous geographical work of a social level (in relation to spatial areas) were linked to history. history would form how they were talked about, how they were discussed, they were linked to a piece of history from which the space had originated. like saying the reason the western suburbs is the western suburbs is because when the convicts and naval officers divided up the area, the convicts were strap bang onto the west side. but of course, soja is saying that this is not necessarily true, that the history of a space does not give the reasons for it in the present.
or something close to this. i'm only half way through the book. forgive any incorrectness.
but, it got me thinking: when you read books on cities, they are almost always tied to a history of the place. here is where this happened and has influenced in such and such. but often, i think, the history of a city is the present, the now, it is being defined as a place in the now. salman rushdie's Fury captures this in its descriptions of new york, i believe.
the only problem with that? well, in rushdie's case, in the representation of everything now, everything happening in that moment of the city, it becomes dated very quickly.
so, as i do not wish to do a work that draws heavily on history (i, like soja, don't think that the history of an area defines it), but rather it is defined by the present. but id on't want to date myself so quickly. a thin line to walk, i think.