Category Archives: Books and Culture

More on ‘Making Dystopia’

A book whose vile subjects have grown used to shucking off well-framed attacks for decades, and yet whose stranglehold on establishment thinking has loosened in recent years, is naturally offended by what could be their coup de grĂ¢ce. So it … Continue reading

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Aslet on classicism’s future

Clive Aslet, longtime editor of Britain’s tony Country Life magazine, has written a rosy assessment of prospects for the classical revival – that is, the return to prominence of traditional architecture after more than half a century of its suppression … Continue reading

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‘Making Dystopia’: Arrival

There it was. Sitting on my stoop. Wrapped in a plain brown postal envelope. I picked it up. Oof! It weighs a ton. It is not big but it is heavy. A brick of gold. Making Dystopia: The Strange Rise … Continue reading

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Curl to clobber “dystopia”

Printing now in Britain at Oxford University Press is James Stevens Curl’s jeremiad against modern architecture, called Making Dystopia: The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism. A review copy is on the way. As I informed Professor Curl in … Continue reading

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‘Dream of Venice in B&W’

JoAnn Locktov, the editrix and impresaria of photographic essays of Venice in book form, sends me another of her beautiful works: Dream of Venice in Black and White, the third in her “Dream of Venice” series, published by Bella Figura … Continue reading

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Our downtown writers’ club

The other day I was invited to the What Cheer Writers Club to look around the premises and sign my book, Lost Providence. The club was on the second floor of 160 Westminster St., a muted classical building that sits … Continue reading

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Hazlitt magazine: a mystery

This is not about architecture. Unlike some off-topic posts I write, there is no way to fabricate a link to this post’s normal subject matter. So far as I know, William Hazlitt, the critic of early 19th century London, friend … Continue reading

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Architecture’s debt to Wolfe

The possibility exists that someday architecture will shuck its cult status and return to its roots. If that day ever comes, the late writer Tom Wolfe will deserve much credit. His 1981 book From Bauhaus to Our House opened the … Continue reading

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The rest of Banham’s Wolfe

Here is a link to the rest of Reyner Banham’s review of Tom Wolfe’s From Bauhaus to Our House, in the London Review of Books. Readers may pick up where they left off in Banham’s “The Scandalous Story of Architecture … Continue reading

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Architecture and gossip

Gossip makes the world go round, nowhere more so than in the world of architecture. The arrival of #MeToo into architecture by way of modernist Richard Meier brings to mind the classicist Stanford White, who in 1906 was murdered in … Continue reading

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