novel architecturale/bilocation/content/labyrinth

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2014.08.25 09:56
23 August
What does concern me is the date stamp that every post automatically receives, thus whatever I 'write' here has a distinct point within the space-time continuum, and a lot of historical ambiguity is eliminated.

2014.09.12 13:54
How to read like an architect.
I'm currently in the process of taking apart a 1823 edition of Durand's Précis des Leçons d’Architecture. It's never easy taking apart a book (literally and emotionally), but I'm doing it this time to optimally scan all the engravings.
When I'm done with the scanning, I could sell the engravings individually at eBay (and make back maybe 5 times the amount I paid for the book), yet I'll probably just keep it all and rearrange it with other (taken apart) books to create strange and new architecture books.
I never counted all my books, but it's a lot, kind of too much. What's weird now is what books I have more than one of:
Architectural Theory
Out of the Ordinary (one from the Free Library for 25 cents)
Adjusting Foundations
Pewter Wings, Golden Horns, Stone Veils
Lotus 19
Lotus 22
Letarouilly (two 1980s, one 1910s)
Buhlmann's Classic and Renaissance Architecture
Schinkel's Collection of Architectural Designs (both 1981 folio box edition size)
El Croquis MDRDV 1991-2002
Le Corbusier's Oeuvre Complete vol. 1
Le Corbusier's Oeuvre Complete vol. 8
Norberg-Schulz's Baroque Architecture (big)
Tafuri and De Feo's Modern Architecture/2 (small)
Architecture and Utopia
If I took apart all those 'extra' books and then rearrange them, that would be quite a new library of architecture books.

from How Fiction Works
If the book has a larger argument, it is that fiction is both artifice and verisimilitude, and that there is nothing difficult in holding together these two possibilities. That is why I have tried to give the most detailed accounts of the technique of that artifice--of how fiction works--in order to reconnect that technique to the world, as Ruskin wanted to connect Tintoretto's work to how we look at a leaf. As a result, the chapters of this book have a way of collapsing onto one another, because each is motivated by the same aesthetic: when I talk about free indirect style I am really talking about point of view, and when I am talking about point of view I am really talking about the perception of detail, and when I am talking about detail I am really talking about character, and when I am talking about character I am really talking about the real, which is at the bottom of my inquiries. (xiii-xiv)
Flaubertian realism, like most fiction, is both lifelike and artificial. It is lifelike because detail really does hit us, especially in big cities, in a tattoo of randomness. ...
The artifice lies in the selection of detail. In life, we can swivel our heads and eyes, but in fact we are like helpless cameras. We have a wide lens, and must take in whatever comes before us. Our memory selects for us, but not much like the way literary narrative selects. Our memories are aesthetically untalented. (56-7)
I am now made to wonder about an aesthetically talented memory, whether there even is such a thing? I think artistry comes from aesthetically talented memories.
But how to push out? How to animate the static portrait? Ford Madox Ford, in his book Joseph Conrad: Personal Remembrance, writes wonderfully about getting a character up and running--what he calls "getting a character in." He says that Conrad himself "was never really satisfied that he had really and sufficiently got his characters in; he was never convinced that he had convinced the reader; this accounting for the great lengths of some of his books." I like this idea, that some of Conrad's novels are long because he couldn't stop fiddling, page after page, with the verisimilitude of his characters--it raises the specter of an infinite novel. (96)
James Wood, How Fiction Works (2008).

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