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Venice Afloat

An observer of a Spenglerian bent might just write Venice off, taking the floods that afflict the city with increasing frequency as the finishing touches on a long-running spectacle of political, economic, and cultural decline. That decline, spanning half a millennium, has by now reduced the city to . . . . Continue Reading »

An Ordinary Life

The Old French word ordinarie, meaning “ordinary, usual,” derives from the medieval Latin ordinarius (“customary, regular, usual, ordinary”), which derives in turn from the classical Latin ordo (“row, rank, series, arrangement”). Originally, it had no pejorative . . . . Continue Reading »

Building to No Purpose

Architecture can reflect the progress of a civilization, but Hudson Yards is not about civilization. Its buildings reflect the futility of a “progressive” design sensibility cut off from the past and wedded to novelty and formal dissonance as ends in themselves. The mixed-use development rises . . . . Continue Reading »

Stefan Zweig, European Man

The Collected Novellas of Stefan Zweig by stefan zweig translated by anthea bell pushkin, 384 pages, $30 The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig by stefan zweig translated by anthea bell pushkin, 720 pages, $14.99    The World of Yesterday by stefan zweig translated by anthea bell . . . . Continue Reading »

Crimes in Concrete

Making Dystopia:  The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism by james stevens curl oxford, 592 pages, $60 In a recent debate in Prospect magazine on the question of whether modern architecture has ruined British towns and cities, Professor James Stevens Curl, . . . . Continue Reading »

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