Category Archives: Books and Culture

Huxtable versus Huxtable

Ada Louise Huxtable’s first collection of her New York Times criticism, Will They Ever Finish Bruckner Boulevard?, is subtitled “A Primer on Urbicide.” The widely admired book, first published in 1970, is less than the sum of its parts. It … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Books and Culture | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Architecture of love’s prose

Reprinting this long passage from Richard Steele’s essay No. 113 in The Spectator of Monday, July 10, 1711, is meant to amuse readers who might have become bored with the plain prose about architecture that is the meat and potatoes … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Books and Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gallagher: “If Venice Dies”

Mary Campbell Gallagher, founder of the International Coalition for the Preservation of Paris, has written a review of Salvadore Settis’s If Venice Dies for The New Criterion. Here is a direct link to her fine review, elegantly titled “La Serenissima” … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Books and Culture | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adam on classical language

Robert Adam in his book Classic Columns addresses a topic many have addressed but at far greater depth of perception.  Few can fail to perceive that classical architecture is a language and that it evolves slowly just as the English … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Books and Culture | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

S.J. Perelman in Wash. Sq.

Who hasn’t seen a musical that makes you want, in the spirit of the moment, to leap up and dance down that stone balustrade past the water fountain and into the dappled park, singing a Broadway tune to beat the … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Books and Culture, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deconstructing the matador

Here is something else from Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Jake Barnes is at a bullfight in Pamplona describing to Lady Brett, as they watch, the finer points of an impressive new, young, very handsome matador’s style: Romero never made … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Books and Culture | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hemingway on Paris, HLM

Before the scene shifts to Spain, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises has some bits about Paris and Mencken, two favorites of mine in the pantheons of cities and writers. Hemingway’s protagonist, Jacob Barnes, takes a cab in Paris (circa 1925), … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Books and Culture | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Swallow up R.I., circa 1862

The British writer Anthony Trollope, born in 1815, wrote over forty novels plus various nonfictional accounts, including a two-volume North America, published in 1862 and based on a nine months’ sojourn here. In 1823, his mother, Frances Trollope, wrote a … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Culture, Rhode Island | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Sussman on Corbu’s autism

One reason people prefer traditional to modern architecture is that their eyes literally refuse to look at blank walls. Shown a picture of a building with a blank wall, the eye of an observer will linger anywhere – on a … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Books and Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Behold the GPS landscape

In his recent essay in New York Magazine, “I Used to be a Human Being,” on how social media almost killed him, Andrew Sullivan wrote: Our oldest human skills atrophy. GPS, for example, is a godsend for finding our way … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Books and Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment