11 Pages


ByJames A. Clapp

The great, sustained burst of Greek theater that still, after two and a half millennia, continues to govern us was born out of a city. Its themes, its sense of life, were inextricable from the notion of a city which, as it existed then, could be defined as the largest community that men could comprehend. In nineteenth-century America conquering the world meant going west. In the twentieth century, when Hollywood got started, it came to mean going to the city. There are a number of things wrong with Washington. One of them is that everyone has been too long away from home. The modern urban scene, especially that of a large city at night, is clearly the plastic equivalent of jazz. The larger our great cities grow, the more irresistible becomes the attraction which they exert on children of the country, who are fascinated by them, as the birds are fascinated by the lighthouse or the moths by the candle.