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Polyphilo, or The Dark Forest Revisited, An Erotic Epiphany of Architecture

Perez-Gomez, Alberto

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ISBN 10: 026216129X / ISBN 13: 9780262161299
Published by The MIT Press, 1992
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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Explores the origins of architectural beauty in the dynamic of sexual desire, retelling the love story of the famous Renaissance novel/treatise Hypnerotomachia Poliphili in late 20th century terms: the text of the book made paralleled to a running sequence of photographic collages merging the body and the machine. Abundantly illustrated in b&w. xxvii, 311 pp. Fine Hardcover in full black cloth w/ Fine dj. Bookseller Inventory # 1133

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Polyphilo, or The Dark Forest Revisited, An ...

Publisher: The MIT Press

Publication Date: 1992

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Book Type: University Press

About this title

Synopsis:

This remarkable book explores the origins of architectural beauty in the dynamics of sexual desire. It is a daring departure from the conventional genres of architectural writing and a completely original reflection on the erotics of architecture. Pérez-Gómez retells the love story of the famous Renaissance novel/treatise Hypnerotomachia Poliphili in late twentieth-century terms. The original work, long a cult book among architects and regarded as one of the most enigmatic books ever published, takes place in a forest. In the retelling, the forest has been replaced by the high tech and pop environment of appliances and airports. Both versions exist somewhere in the borderland between fiction, theory, and pornography. The text is paralleled by a running sequence of photographic collages merging the body and the machine.

The original hero of Hypnerotomachia, Poliphilo, is lost in a dark forest searching for his lover Polia, for harmony and order in a vast maze of ruined antiquities - caverns, pyramids, theaters, and temples that are described with an almost fanatic erudition and unbridled lust. This modern version of the tale imaginatively frames our own dark forest in terms of the technology that has become our "nature." The hero finds himself in the most inhospitable and uncontrollable of spaces, the space of contemporary travel: in an airport and in flight. His voyage does not take him to real buildings, but rather to a jungle of deconstructivist forms - metal grids, plastic domes, computer hardware, blueprints, construction sites, and paintings where the erotic roots of architectural meaning are disclosed and the limitations of a world subjugated by doctrine and tradition are revealed. The sites visited range from the Carceri of Piranesi and the works of Ledoux, Boullée, and Lequeu to recent theoretical and architectural projects by Hejduk, Rossi, Libeskind, and Eisenman.

Alberto Pérez-Gómez is the Saidye Rosner Bronfman Professor of the History of Architecture at McGill University. He has published two volumes of poetry and three books on architecture, the most recent of which, Architecture and the Crisis of Modern Science, received the Society of Architectural Historians' Alice Davis Hitchcock Award.

About the Author:

Alberto Pérez-Gómez is Saidye Rosner Bronfman Professor of the History of Architecture at McGill University. He is the author of Architecture and the Crisis of Modern Science (MIT Press, 1983) and (with Louise Pelletier) Architecural Representation and the Perspective Hinge (MIT Press, 1997).

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