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Contemporary architecture is deployed at the service of cities to offer competitive distinction in the global economy. This phenomenon is discussed primarily within the context of consumption, but only occasionally in light of aesthetics. This paper puts forward a set of ideas about urban distinction, created by singular works of architecture that embody a particular form of the sublime, called convulsive beauty by the surrealist Andre Breton. Convulsive beauty stands in direct contrast todoi:10.1080/02665439608559398 fatcat:rlwayeaywvaobggadsrktarbby