Like all of Robert Harbison's works, Eccentric Spaces is a hybrid, informed by the author's interests in art, architecture, fiction, poetry, landscape, geography, history, and philosophy. The subject is the human imagination -- and the mysterious interplay between the imagination and the spaces it has made for itself to live in: gardens, rooms, buildings, streets, museums and maps, fictional topographies, and architectures. The book is a lesson in seeing and sensing the manifold forms created by the mind for its own pleasure.
Palaces and haunted houses, Victorian parlors, Renaissance sculpture gardens, factories, hill-towns, ruins, cities, even novels and paintings constructed around such environments -- these are the spaces over which the author broods. Brilliantly learned, deliberately remote in form from conventional scholarship, Eccentric Spaces is a magical book, an intellectual adventure, a celebration.
Since its original publication in 1977, Eccentric Spaces has had a devoted readership. Now it is available to be discovered by a new generation of readers.
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I remember in Robert Harbison's class at the Architectural Association while going through excerpts of Eccentric Spaces...he enthusied and played Wagners " Isolde's Liebestod" and as memory is indeed spatial.....these recollections soundtrack and visual gardens unfolded whilst watching the recent film Melancholia......the fondness of a revisited wine and the space one imbibe's
City Planning and Built Worlds
Museums and Catalogues