The Necessity for Ruins, and Other Topics

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Univ of Massachusetts Press, 1980 - Architecture - 129 pages

Essays examine the way we perceive landscape, the effect of gardens and cities of the past on the landscapes of the present, and the way American architecture has broken with tradition. Discussion relates the importance of space to relativism throughout time.


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Learning About Landscapes
Nearer than Eden
Gardens to Decipher and Gardens to Admire
The Discovery of the Street
Landscape as Theater
The Sacred Grove in America
The Necessity for Ruins
The Domestication of the Garage
How to Study the Landscape

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Page 6 - And representation — whether in the service of pleasure or of knowledge — was posited as a form of repetition: the theatre of life or the mirror of nature, that was the claim made by all language, its manner of declaring its existence and of formulating its right of speech.
Page 6 - It was resemblance that largely guided exegesis and the interpretation of texts; it was resemblance that organized the play of symbols, made possible knowledge of things visible and invisible, and controlled the art of representing them. The universe was folded in upon itself: the earth echoing the sky, faces seeing themselves reflected in the stars, and plants holding within their stems the secrets that were of use to man.

About the author (1980)

J. B. Jackson was born in 1908 and lived until 1996. Raised and educated in Massachusetts, Jackson studied geography and architecture until he launched the combination of these subjects in his magazine, Landscape. Jackson went on to publish Discovering the Vernacular Landscape (1984), The Essential Landscape: The New Mexico Photographic Survey (1985), and A Sense of Place, a Sense of Time (1994), which won the 1995 PEN International award for the best collection of essays.

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