Letter to the Editor of The Times

Sir, The Times has just announced the projected demolition of the Chinese quarter in London.

We protest against such moral ideas in town-planning, ideas that must obviously make England even more boring than it has become in recent years.

The only pageants you have left are a coronation from time to time, an occasional royal marriage that seldom bears fruit -- nothing else. The disappearance of pretty girls, of good family especially, will become rarer and rarer after the razing of Limehouse. Do you honestly believe that a gentleman can amuse himself in Soho?

We hold that the so-called modern town-planning that you recommend is fatuously idealistic and reactionary. The sole end of architecture is to serve the passions of man.

Anyway, it is inconvenient that this Chinese quarter of London should be destroyed before we have had the opportunity to visit it and carry out certain psychogeographical experiments we are at present undertaking.

Finally, if modernization appears to you, as it does to us, to be historically necessary, we should counsel you to carry your enthusiasm into areas more urgently in need of it, that is to say, to your political and moral institutions.

Yours faithfully,

(Published in Potlatch #23, 13 October 1955.)

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