A town, like a person, almost ceases to have a face once you know it intimately, and visual modifications are skin-deep; the character is determined largely by its inhabitants, and a good deal of time is required to change their attitudes and behavior.
Since I returned here in 1947 I have spent a good many hours wandering through these passageways (incidentally learning to distinguish the thoroughfares from the impasses), busily trying to determine the relationship between Tangier and myself.I have not discovered very much, but at least I am now convinced that Tangier is a place where the past and the present exist simultaneously in proportionate degree, where a very much alive today is given an added depth of reality by the presence of an equally alive yesterday.Their upright piano had fallen off a donkey during its transport up to the Old Mountain to the house which they had rented in Sidi Masmoudi, but the piano was soon repaired but badly tuned, and they settled down to write music in earnest.Gertrude Stein, who Bowles had associated with in Paris, recommended he try Tangier as a place to live and work.Untold visitors have made pilgrimages to Tangier to meet him, perhaps inspired by reading some of his novels or short stories; and after his death most guide books for tourists mention something about Bowles's association with Morocco and his literary works.
Today there is a Tangier, with its mild, subtropical climate and superb beaches, eventually grew into a popular summer resort and now has more than one million people.
The back streets of the Medina, crooked, sometimes leading through short tunnels beneath the houses, sometimes up long flights of stairs, lend themselves to solitary speculative walks.
With nothing more dangerous than pedestrians and an occasional burro to worry about bumping into you, you can devote part of your mind to coming to grips with your ideas.
In the summer of 1931, Gertrude Stein invited me to stay a fortnight in her house at Bilignin, in southern France, where she always spent the warm months of the year.
At the beginning of the second week she asked me where I intended to go when I left.
Since the war it has been primarily a free-money market; and the new autonomous Moroccan government will probably take an increasingly active part in the economic life of a city without currency control.