The End of Tradition?

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Nezar AlSayyad
Psychology Press, 2004 - Architecture - 266 pages
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'Since the beginning of history, human beings have been fascinated with endings - the end of their lives, the end of seasons and the end of the world . . .', so says Nezar AlSayyad in his preface to The End of Tradition? But, he and his contributors argue, endings are also coupled with beginnings, and destruction is sometimes a precondition for construction or reconstruction, particularly where the built environment is concerned. Indeed, the end of tradition does not entail the death of tradition itself, only our conception of it - and the emergence of a need to re-evaluate its utility as a repository of authentic (and hence valuable) ideas to be handed down or preserved. Following an introductory chapter in which Nezar AlSayyad presents the current debates about 'endings', about 'tradition', and about the relationship between tradition and modernity, the book is divided into three parts. Part I, 'Traditions of the Modern', explores the ways in which the terms 'tradition' and 'modern' have become inextricably linked, while Part II, 'Invented Landscapes', chronicles how traditions are identified, manufactured, and deployed. The final Part, 'Programmes of Tradition', reveals how trad
 

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Contents

The End of Tradition or the Tradition of Endings?
1
Traditions of the Modern
12
Nostalgias of the Modern
63
Invented Landscapes
87
Exclusionary
116
Invocations of Tradition
144
Programmes of Tradition
171
Cultural Identity and Architectural Image in BoKaap Cape Town
187
On the Vicissitudes of Walls in Contemporary China
210
Seizing Locality in Jerusalem
231
Selected Bibliography
256
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