The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf

4 November 312
The Basilica of Maxentius is still under construction, and Constantine wants it finished, with new ideas added. The Temple of Venus and Rome is the most beautiful building any of them had seen before.

4 November 1778   Wednesday

4 November 1812   Wednesday

Morning without a cloud, wind NW, temperature 46, a white frost. About 10 the wind drew to N easterly and PM to SE whence it blew fresh. Temperature rose to 56° before noon, not observed PM. I read a note at 8PM from B. Warner, who renders it proper for me to go to town to see Marshall Key, nephew of Thomas Marshall at whose house at Washington, Kentucky my beloved son was most kindly treated two weeks during his illness.
These pages having been past over by inattention I propose to fill them with whatever I may recollect of things omitted worthy of note. Judge Morris of New Jersey District told me at Trenton the 1st of last month that the pin-oak of our forests make the best hedge in the world. Plant them at 2 feet apart and cut off the top at 2 or 3 feet from the ground, and the horizontal shoots may be tied together, the bark being .....[?] off each where they cross and they will unite so as to form as they grow stronger an impervious defense against cattle.

4 November 1993

Growning Pains

4 November 2003
Re: The Disney on PBS >> the ABC of politics
It is a serious mistake to contend that Paganism was never organized--just look at the religion of ancient Egypt to see organization of the highest and even most refined kind. And how many Roman Emperors were deified subsequent to their death?

4 November 2012
The Language of Architecture
For the most part, spoken languages still relate to quite specific geographic locations. Up until roughly 100 years ago, specific geographic locations, too, had their distinct architectures. Colonialism began to usurp 'native' architectures with European architectures. In the mid-20th century the 'International Style' became an architectural Esperanto.
Is architecture today composed mostly of many, many personal languages?
Are most of architecture's languages now lost?
What present architectures still relate to specific geographic locations?
What architectures are bilingual?
What architectures are multilingual?
What architectures exist also in translation?
What architectures now exist only in translation ?
What architectures are lost in translation?
Who speaks slang architecture? And is slang architecture ever appropriate?
Does anyone ever order language-salad architecture? Maybe that tastes best on Pentecost.
"I love my architect[ure]s because they often manage to say something I haven't heard before."

4 November 2013
Why won't you design what we (the public) want?
Was just inspired to write a 'historical' novel where Schinkel uses the 'influence' of the Crown Prince to get to do the designs he, Schinkel, wants. The Crown Prince figures out Schinkel's stratagem and thus starts changing his mind like every week or so as to what style a project should be designed in, just to drive Schinkel a little crazy, but also to see just how clever Schinkel can be. Schinkel, in turn, figures out the Crown Prince's stratagem and hence the architecture just starts getting more and more weird. Wolfhilde von Schlittenfahrt, the sexy, new intern in Schinkel's office quickly becomes aware of the dueling stratagems and immediately starts 'busting' in her own stratagems. Add to that that both Schinkel and the Crown Prince are obsessed with the life and works of Heinrick von Kleist and participate in a secret Von Kleist Society where all forms of strangeness ensue. Working title: Kohlhaas wo bist du?
Why won't you design what we (the public) want?
During the reign of (emperor) Augustus, there came a delegation from India to Rome. Augustus was busy building Rome into a "stone" city at the time. The design of tomb of Augustus is uncannily similar (even very similar in size) to the Great Stupa in India. I think the delegation brought along drawings to show where they came from. I guess you really wouldn't be an emperor if, after seeing someone else's great thing, you didn't immediately think, "I want one of them too."

4 November 2022   Friday
Morning dense with fog.
Was the divided-by-the-Aurelian-Wall Circus of Elagabalus the real inspiration for the covered-cemetery-basilica design? Obscure, to say the least.

4 November 2023   Saturday

Thanks to a search of the word 'lenses' within an online pdf of Joseph and His Brothers...

So, then, when Joseph had thus spoken with the eleven, they went out thence together from where he had revealed himself, to Asenath the maiden, his wife, to bow before her. And they saw their nephews Manasseh and Ephraim with the Egyptian youth-lock on their heads. Through the whole great house there was a bustling and much joyous laughter, for all the household staff had listened at the doors and Joseph needed to make no announcement, no, for everybody knew and one shouted to another that the provider’s brothers were come and the sons of his father had found their way hither from Zahi-land. It was the greatest fun for them all, especially because they could count on cakes and ale being given out to celebrate the event. But the scribes from the office had also listened and spread the news throughout the city, and it would have rejoiced the nimble Naphtali’s heart to see it run like a forest fire throughout all Menfe so that everybody was quickly on an equal footing of knowledge; they all knew something at the same time; that the troop of brothers of Pharaoh’s universal friend had arrived at his house. There was much jumping for joy in the streets and a crowd in front of Joseph’s house in the best suburb of Menfe shouting hurrahs and demanding the sight of him surrounded by his Asiatic kin. They were finally gratified: the twelve showed themselves on the terrace. What a pity Menfe’s folk knew not how to manipulate light-rays as we do, so that the group could be perpetuated in a photograph! They were satisfied with their own natural lenses and did not miss anything, because they could not even conceive of such an idea.
Thomas Mann, Joseph and His Brothers (1948), p. 1119.

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