The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project
Stephen Lauf

5 November 312
Eutropia took Helena to the Sessorium, and Helena decided to live there.

5 November 1778   Thursday

5 November 1812   Thursday

Thin fog which was soon dissipated leaving the ground and grass wet as from small rain and the sky clear. Wind S westerly, temperature 54° rose by noon to 72°+. Michael O Neale, a hired man, began today to dig trenches for planting a hedge from the NE corner of Northfield. I went to town PM. Searched for Marshall Key; he was gone to Chestnut Hill to see Redheffer's self moving Machine and had not returned. B. Warner undertook to see him in the morning and invite him to dine at SL's. It began to rain about 6 and continued with ...........[?] during the night.
Robert and myself having been employed this forenoon in transplanting fruit trees to the outer parts of the clearing in the south west front. Cherrie   Pears   Persimmon

5 November 2000

5 November 2011
Quondam's Fifteenth Anniversary

Lately I've been into Rorschach Ink Blot Test Architecture. Makes things a lot easier, like no more concerns over iconography, representation, indexicality, etc. It's whatever the beholder thinks it is.
...what came to my mind was the fluid associational glue that bonds icons and representation, hence the idea of Rorschach Ink Blot Test architecture. Yes, iconography is somehow always going to be there, but just maybe the associational glue could remain forever elastic as well. Or is it that the iconography remains forever elastic and the associational glue is somehow always going to be there?
Quondam's Fifteenth Anniversary
What I'd like to do more of is 'fictitious historical dialogue'.
As of yesterday, reading Duboy (again) along with ongoing Montesquieu and spotty Foucault--bricolage plus letters plus Las Meninas etc. Mix that with 'fictitious historical dialogue' and you have my next book project.
It's a book about all kinds of style. The working title is über œuvred e suicidal. Piranesi hires a Quaker lawyer to fix historical inaccuracies while the Quaker lawyer hires Piranesi to design an historically accurate house. Neither knew of the other's true propensity--playful double-meaning meets good-natured honesty--yet they discover themselves to be a formidable team. You'll think you're laughing and you'll laugh about thinking.
For almost two months now, I've had one meal a day (usually lunch) sitting next to one of the last people to have lived in Ury House. I'd love to talk with her, but she has pretty bad dementia. She can talk, but not with any coherence. Once, however, she told me, "You're full of it." I said, "What?!" She said, "Goodness."
On the way out of the dining room it's now tradition to share warm greetings with SR, a Holocaust survivor, who endured two years in a Nazi concentration camp until being released by US troops. He I can converse with, but not in any real depth. Apparently, he and my mother have breakfast together, and speak to each other in German, even.

5 November 2012
The Language of Architecture
Suggested reading:
The Language of Post-Modern Architecture (1977)
"language of the plans" (1996-2005)
"innuendo" (2000)
The Metropolis Dictionary of Advanced Architecture (2003)
Index Architecture (2003)
Atlas of Novel Tectonics (2006)

5 November 2016

Mount Stanley, Fox Chase Farm. Mount Stanley is opposite the hill of Ury Farm. Both hills are the same elevation, about 250 feet.

5 November 2017



5 November 2022   Saturday

Thermae Helenae   Amphitheatrum Castrense   Basilica Sessoriana   Aurelian Wall   Circus of Elagabalus

5 November 2023   Sunday

The reason for my reluctance was simply this: that I feared an anticlimax, a falling off of the fourth volume from the third. The latter, Joseph in Egypt, seemed to me unquestionably the artistic zenith of the work, if only on account of the humane vindication that I had undertaken in it, the humanization of the figure of Potiphar's wife, the mournful story of her passionate love for the Canaanite major-domo of her pro forma husband. I had no female character in stock to balance the Rachel of the first and second novels, the Mut-em-enet of the third, and it took a long time before I became aware that I had one after all. It was Tamar, the daughter-in-law and seductress of Judah, whom I made into Jacob's pupil, an Astarte-like figure, at the same time, with features from the Book of Ruth; and in half-humorous style I developed her into the prototype of historical ambition. Through her, who eventually gave her name to an entire section of the novel, a short story in itself, I found the fulfillment of the charms of the remaining material and the final incentive to continue the narrative. Even today I see no exaggeration in the sentence of the text that reads: "She might be called the most amazing figure in the whole story--few will be found to deny it."
Thomas Mann, Joseph and His Brothers (1948), pp. xi-xii.

I cut my brother's hair today, and that's probably the leading factor in my otherwise not painting today.

Regarding coincidences within The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project, my being in Rome (and Italy) August 1977 at the same time I was trying in August 2022 to write about events in Rome August 1778 spontaneously locked me more pointedly into the discovery story--degrees of separation were considerably lessened. Plus, my 1977 arrival at Rome morphed The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project into a daily chronicle. One year later, the 2023 arrival of Pierre-Adrien Pâris within The Discovery of Piranesi's Final Project furthermore coincided with my 1977 arrival at Rome. It was all like a little dance in space and time.

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