On Architecture, Volume II: Books 6-10

bookshelves: architecture, how-to, published-27bc, skim-through, skoolzy-stuff, nonfiction, e-book, roman-civilisation

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Simon Keay
Recommended for: Chris Ethier
Read from May 26 to 27, 2014

 

Read here: http://academics.triton.edu/faculty/f…

Okay, because I can be very silly, this second group of books will start off with Vitruvian Penguin:

The proper opening to Book Six is thus: It is related of the Socratic philosopher Aristippus*, that being shipwrecked and cast ashore on the coast of the Rhodians, he observed geometrical figures drawn thereon and cried out to his companions: ‘Let us be of good cheer because I see the traces of man.’

Corinthian atrium from #Pompeii at the House of M. Epidius Rufus …

The reason for visiting Vitruvius is the question of concrete, and did the Romans use it. The answer lies in the first chapter of Book VII:

First I shall begin with the concrete flooring, which is the most important of the polished finishings, observing that great pains and the utmost precaution must be taken to ensure its durability.

HUZZAH! Job done.

*Aristippus glorified bodily pleasure and Epicurus glorified intellectual pleasures – Aristippus may have been the forefather of the sexual revolution. Both believed there was no afterlife for the Gods to exact revenge in.

Aristippus had a nose to the carnal.

Aristippus, Rome Palazzo Spada

On Architecture, Volume I: Books 1-5 by Vitruvius

bookshelves: dip-in-now-and-again, skim-through, ancient-history, architecture, e-book, how-to, nonfiction, history, published-27bc, roman-civilisation, rome, skoolzy-stuff

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Simon Keay
Recommended for: Chris Ethier
Read on May 26, 2014

 

Read here: http://academics.triton.edu/faculty/f…

After a rather understandably brown-tongued humble preface we are then advised that architects should know their history, music, art, philosophy, astronomy and medicine.

The Temples of Minerva, Mars and Hercules will be Doric, since the virile strengths of these Gods make daintiness entirely inappropriate to their Houses.

Book Two opens with Dinocratus who had quite the idea – make Mount Athos into a statue of a God. Looksee here:

Timotheus: a sculpture of Leda and the Swan in which the queen Leda of Sparta protected a swan from an eagle, on the basis of which a Roman marble copy in the Capitoline Museums is said to be “after Timotheus”.

The basis of a Björk dress:

The Mausoleum at the ancient city of Halicarnassus was the tomb of the king, Mausolus.

As for “wattle and daub”, I could wish that it had never been invented.

Basilica, Pompeii

Vitruvian Etruscan temple model. – Archaic Etruscan – In his book, On Architecture, Vitruvius set out the rules for designing Tuscan temples.

Vitruvian Harmonics

Aspendos

Tepidarium at Pompeii

The Invention of Brazil by Misha Glenny

bookshelves: spring-2014, published-2014, nonfiction, travel, politics, filthy-lucre, anthropology, casual-violence, environmental-issues, fradio, gangsters, slaves, under-10-ratings, true-grime, south-americas, sleazy, revolution, religion, recreational-drugs, radio-4, music, lifestyles-deathstyles, history, colonial-overlords, bullies, brazil, art-forms, architecture, adventure, plague-disease, roman-catholic, sport, suicide

Read from May 02 to 19, 2014

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b042jcxs

Description: Forget the beach volleyball, carnival, and the rest – here’s the truth about Brazil. The murder rate is among the highest in the world. The economic inequality is visible wherever you go. Behind the happy cultural imagery there lies a much darker Brazil, the result of an extremely dark colonial history when this land was little more than a giant farm worked by slaves.

Misha Glenny and producer Miles Warde travel from the favela of Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro up the coast to Salvador, the first capital of Brazil, and then back to Sao Paulo, economic powerhouse of the south. On the way they meet contributors including the anthropologist Peter Fry; Americo Martins of Rede TV; historian Lilia Schwarz; and bestselling author Laurentino Gomez. Further contributions from Luciana Martins, David Brookshaw and Patrick Wilcken, author of Empire Adrift.

From the team behind The Invention of Germany and The Invention of Spain.

Salvador. Most of the slaves to Brazil landed here. At that time, Salvador was the capitol.

São Paulo is a sprawling mass and is the modern economic hub of this vast country. It was from this area that the slavers worked to capture indigneous indians. Think ‘The Mission’, Portugeuse style.

Episode 1: BBC DESCRIPTION: In The Invention of Brazil, Misha Glenny traces the gaps between the image and reality, beginning with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1500. More slaves were transported to Brazil than anywhere else, more than the United States, more than anywhere. “There were many Africans who served as interpreters,” Joao Reis explains, “who could tell the slaves: ‘You are not going to be eaten by those whites’. And that was the African fear – that they were being brought to an unknown world by whites where they would be eaten.”

Rocinha, the biggest slum in South America.

The favela borders Gavea, one of the richest areas of the city. The contrast is stark.

Episode 2: BBC DESCRIPTION: Misha Glenny continues his exploration of the little known but extraordinary events that have shaped Brazil. This week, two unexpected events in Brazil’s path to independence. The first occurred in 1808, when the entire Portuguese court moved across the Atlantic to escape Napoleon. They lived in Rio de Janeiro, which they enjoyed so much that they stayed on for another 13 years. The second occurred in 1822 when the King of Portugal’s son, Dom Pedro, declared ‘Independence or Death’, breaking Brazil free from her European overlords. We reveal that the British were heavily involved in both events.

Episode 3: BBC DESCRIPTION: From giant factory farm for Europeans to modern BRIC economy, the story of Brazil’s transformation is captured in this final programme in the life of Getulio Vargas – moderniser, dictator, and finally democratically elected president. In the final part of the Invention of Brazil, Misha Glenny explores the life of Vargas, the man who changed Brazil.

“I was struck by how short he was … the crowd went wild with adulation, an enormous mass of people. Their spontaneous shouts made me think I was in Italy, watching one of those fascist rallies.” Unnamed public official, seeing Vargas for the first time.

Vargas came to power in 1930 and proved an expert at keeping himself in power. Initially he styled himself on Mussolini – the story of why he took Brazil into the Second World War on the side of the Allies is central here. As also are the events leading up to his suicide while still in power. With contributions from anthropologist Lilia Schwarz, Professor David Brookshaw, Peter Fry, and author Ana Maria Machado whose father was arrested by Vargas several times.

“As quid pro quo for escorting the Portuguese across the Atlantic, the British ended up arm twisting the Portuguese royal court into signing a very one sided treaty, which in fact ended up giving the British more rights than the Brazilians themselves.” Patrick Wilcken, author Empire Adrift.

I enjoyed this three part documentary, however flister Laura, a Brazilian herself, rated this 2* so maybe this is not a rounded portrayal.

The Tribe by Stephen Poliakoff

bookshelves: play-dramatisation, published-1996, spring-2014, film-only, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, under-10-ratings, london, britain-england, cults-societies-brotherhoods, adventure, architecture, contemporary, lifestyles-deathstyles, ouch, casual-violence

Read from April 07 to 08, 2014

 

Description: The Tribe – Stephen Poliakoff (1998)
In this psychological drama, a real estate developer buys an old house in London, only to discover a group of bohemian squatters happen to be living there. While the developer intends to evict them, he soon finds himself intrigued by their lifestyle of free love and drug-fueled philosophical experimentation, and the longer he observes them, the more he longs to become a part of their world. Produced for the BBC, The Tribe stars Joely Richardson, Jeremy Northam, and Anna Friel.

From the interview with The Independent newspaper published today:

Poliakoff, the son of a Russian-Jewish father and Anglo-Jewish mother, grew up in a cultured household and attended Westminster School and Cambridge University. His fascination with the past stems from his parents, who were relatively old when he was born. “Their stories came from the 1920s and 1930s. They were both born just before the First World War, so that made all of the 20th century available.”

Chislehust caves.

Down House, today in the London Borough of Bromley was Darwin’s home.

3* Shooting the Past
2* Soft Targets
4* She’s Been Away
4* Playing with Trains
3* A Real Summer
WL Joe’s Palace
WL Capturing Mary
4* The Tribe

History of London Prisons. Geoffrey Howse by Geoffrey Howse

bookshelves: e-book, spring-2014, tbr-busting-2014, published-2012, nonfiction, london, history, britain-england, architecture, bullies, casual-violence, dip-in-now-and-again, execution, eye-scorcher, gorefest, gulp, lifestyles-deathstyles, medical-eew, mental-health, newtome-author, nutty-nuut, ouch, plague-disease, recreational-homicide, religion, revenge, spies, tragedy, true-grime, under-10-ratings

Read from April 04 to 08, 2014

 

Description: London has had more prisons than any other British city. The City’s ‘gates’ once contained prisons but probably the most notorious of all was Newgate, which stood for over 700 years. The eleventh century Tower of London was used as a prison for a variety of high profile prisoners from Sir Thomas More to the Krays. Discover the background of a variety of historic places of incarceration such as The Clink, the Kings Bench Prison; and debtors prisons such as the Fleet Prison and the Marshalsea. ‘Lost’ prisons such as the Gatehouse in Westminster, Millbank Penitentiary, Surrey County Gaol in Horsemonger Row, The House of Detention, Coldbath Fields Prison and Tothill Fields Prison are also described in detail; as are more familiar gaols: Holloway, Pentonville, Brixton, Wandsworth and Wormwood Scrubs. In his A History of Londons Prisons Geoffrey Howse delves not only into the intricate web of historical facts detailing the origins of the capitals prisons but also includes fascinating detail concerning the day-to-day life of prisoners – from the highly born to the most despicable human specimens imaginable – as well as those less fortunate individuals who found themselves through no fault of their own ‘in the clink’, some soon becoming clients of the hangman or executioner.

Opening: The original function of the Tower of London, built for William I (William the Conqueror) and completed in 1097, was to act as a power base for the King within the City of London itself.

When I first went to the Big School, Kay, my bestie, brought to school a book she had pinched off her dad about implements of torture. Hidden in her satchel she would flash me diagrams, pull a grimmace, then laugh wildly and flick through some more. It is a fact: older children and newish teenagers love this the way young children love the horror of fairytales.

This book has aspects of that ‘can’t bear to watch but can’t look away’ mesmerism. Coming to this I see there is only one other rating here on grramazon, and that is a 5* too.

I still think it is sad/unjust about Raleigh.

The Kill (Les Rougon-Macquart, #2)

bookshelves: published-1872, winter-20132014, e-book, france, incest-agameforallthefamily, filthy-lucre, paris, series, architecture, families, lit-richer, classic, cover-love

Read from February 09 to 13, 2014

Recommended by Lisa Hill, Brazilliant, Wandaful etc etc

Description: The Kill (La Curée) is the second volume in Zola’s great cycle of twenty novels, Les Rougon-Macquart, and the first to establish Paris – the capital of modernity – as the centre of Zola’s narrative world. Conceived as a representation of the uncontrollable ‘appetites’ unleashed by the Second Empire (1852-70) and the transformation of the city by Baron Haussmann, the novel combines into a single, powerful vision the twin themes of lust for money and lust for pleasure. The all-pervading promiscuity of the new Paris is reflected in the dissolute and frenetic lives of an unscrupulous property speculator, Saccard, his neurotic wife Renée, and her dandified lover, Saccard’s son Maxime.

Is there a free download to be had? Sorted by the sleuthing skills of Wandaful: http://alfalib.com/book/181378.html

Opening: On the way back, in the crush of carriages returning via the lakeshore, the calèche was obliged to slow to a walk. At one point the congestion became so bad that it was even forced to a stop.

As much as I like descriptive prose Zola’s version of that in this first chapter seems forced, self-conscious, even experimental, I hadn’t noticed this aspect before. However it turns out there was a very specific reason why these gardens were described at such length: (view spoiler)

When the revolting Aristide Saccard is looking down on Paris from a restaurant on the Heights of Montmatre and describes with a cutting motion the new layout, I envisage that this is just how Zola fore-planned his novels.

Looking forward to ‘The Masterpiece’ very much: The Masterpiece is the tragic story of Claude Lantier, an ambitious and talented young artist who has come from the provinces to conquer Paris but is conquered instead by the flaws of his own genius. Set in the 1860s and 1870s, it is the most autobiographical of the twenty novels in Zola’s Rougon-Macquart series. It provides a unique insight into Zola’s career as a writer and his relationship with Cezanne, a friend since their schooldays in Aix-en-Provence. It also presents a well-documented account of the turbulent Bohemian world in which the Impressionists came to prominence despite the conservatism of the Academy and the ridicule of the general public.

++++

As always, introductions and forewords I leave to the end because they always kill off enjoyment of the personal research.

Georges-Eugène Haussmann, Baron Haussmann was the Prefect of the Seine Department in France, who was chosen by the Emperor Napoleon III to carry out a massive program of new boulevards, parks and public works in Paris, commonly called Haussmann’s renovation of Paris. Critics forced his resignation for extravagance, but his vision of the city still dominates Central Paris.

From page 14 of Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist Era

‘ In a Figaro column, Zola claimed to find adultery rampant among all bourgeois women: “Among the bourgeoisie, a young girl is kept pure until her marriage; only after the marriage does the effect of her spoiled surroundings and poor education throw her into the arms of a love: it is not prostitution, it is adultery, the difference is only in the words.” ‘

Engrossing from start to finish but that last line was on a page by itself and the abruptness, the dismissal was very harsh. Seems that Zola doesn’t care for his characters, just uses them as examples and if the author doesn’t buy in, then how can the reader be expected to. For this reason my rating is somewhere in the realms of 3.75*

As a silly – have you seen James Joyce in this cover art:

The actual painting is by Gustave Caillebotte

4* Thérèse Raquin (1867)
TR The Fortune of the Rougons (1871)
3.75* La Curée (1872)
OH The Belly of Paris (1873)
WL Nana (1880)
4* The Ladies’ Paradise (1883)
5* Germinal (1885)

The plan is that I read all again in my rocking-chair days.

Crossposted:
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Rustication

books-with-a-passport, giftee, published-2013, architecture, author-love, britain-england, families, eye-scorcher, gothic, lifestyles-deathstyles, lit-richer, love, mystery-thriller, paper-read, period-piece, recreational-drugs, victoriana, archaeology, dodgy-narrator, betrayal, bettie-s-law-of-excitement-lost, bucolic-or-pastoral, bullies, casual-violence, doo-lally, epistolatory-diary-blog, gambling, gangsters, gorefest, medical-eew, mental-health, ouch, revenge, sleazy, suicide, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, washyourmouthout-language, winter-20132014

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Laura
Read from May 08, 2013 to January 26, 2014

 

Synopsis: Christmas 1863. Seventeen-year-old Richard Shenstone has been sent down from Cambridge under a cloud of suspicion. Addicted to opium and tormented by disturbing sexual desires, he finds temporary refuge in the creaking old mansion inhabited by his newly impoverished mother and his sister, Effie, whose behaviour grows increasingly bizarre. Threatening letters circulate among the locals, where almost anyone can be considered a suspect in a series of crimes and misdemeanours ranging from vivisection to murder. Fans of Charles Palliser’s books, as well as readers of Sarah Waters and Michel Faber, will delight in this, his first new novel in over ten years. Hailed for fiction that is “mesmerizing, meticulous” (Entertainment Weekly), Palliser confirms his reputation as “our leading contemporary Victorian novelist” (The Guardian).

Another blurb: Charles Palliser’s work has been hailed as “so compulsively absorbing that reality disappears” (New York Times). Since his extraordinary debut, The Quincunx, his works have sold over one million copies worldwide. With his new novel, Rustication, he returns to the town of Thurchester, which he evoked so hauntingly in The Unburied.

Rustication:

1. To go to or live in the country
2. Used at Oxford, Cambridge and Durham Universities to mean being sent down

Well, that was a tricksy tale, and the core of Rustication being small town maliciousness, ugly letters and heinous crimes redolent of that within ‘Arthur and George’. Not that I need to have a cast of adorables peopling my fiction, however it was odd that there was no-one at all here to cheer for, to get behind. A technically clever novel that was bereft of any heart.

NB – for those who have marked this as horror, it is not.
3* no more, no less

5* Quincunx
4* The Unburied
3* Rustication
3* Betrayals
1* The Sensationist

Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

bookshelves: teh-brillianz, fantasy, re-visit-2014, winter-20132014, published-1983, paper-read, fraudio, new-york, north-americas, picaresque, amusing, adventure, architecture, art-forms, epic-proportions, eye-scorcher, love, magical-realism, period-piece

Read from January 01, 1992 to January 23, 2014

 

woot – magical realism has a new benchmark in my humble opinion! This is superb stuff, all the characters are so fully realised.

Revisit via audio before the film comes out 14th Feb 2014 and this is narrated by Oliver Wyman. Given the unusually cold weather, dubbed artic vortex, that is subsuming the north americas at this time one could think, at a stretch, that this is a marketing ploy by the movie house sponsor.

“The shelf was filled with books that were hard to read, that could devastate and remake one’s soul, and that, when they were finished, had a kick like a mule.”

Film trailer

Film theme tune is ‘Wings’ by Birdy

The song I would prefer because I’m an Essex fan since first row, west end opening night of Jesus Christ, Superstar

The inscription on the monument refers to the bridge as the “eternal rainbow”, a simile used by Jackson Mead.

It is strange having Golem & Jinni on my bedside ipad and this on my daytime mp3 – both are set in an alternative New York City at the turn of the century. Also, I shall have to revisit The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard) to see which thief I prefer.

One book always leads to another, doesn’t it!?

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