… people go quiet in the underground. It’s the only time we experience a combination of 21st-century technology (the trains), 19th-century technology and vision (the tunnels, the network) and our paleolithic deep self. A person on the underground is experiencing the rare chance to be a 21st-century Victorian caveman. She is doing something we don’t value enough, in the contemporary world: she is travelling in a direction we don’t prize. She is going down and in. Down under the ground, and down into the self; into the city, into the world, into the streets and also into herself. That, finally, is what the tube does most and does best. It takes us down and in.

Guardian, John Lanchester rides the London Underground


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