Monday, June 10, 2013

Genius Loci

I've recently started reading 'Genius Loci' by Christian Norberg-Schulz and it is immediately amazing. I wanted to share two things that have interested me already. First is the poem A Winter Evening by Georg Trakl:

Window with falling snow is arrayed,
Long tolls the vesper bell,
The house is provided well,
The table is for many laid,

Wandering ones, more than a few,
Come to the door on darksome courses,
Golden blooms the tree of graces
Drawing up the earth's cool dew,

Wandering quietly steps within;
Pain has turned the threshold to stone,
There lie, in limpid brightness shown,
Upon the table bread and wine.

The poem itself is very beautiful, but the analysis given by Heidegger, who Norberg-Shulz takes his philosophy from, is even more remarkable. This analysis, which I will not reiterate here, makes the first 23 pages of the book impossible to put down.

The second thing is the idea of Orientation and Identification. A quick synopsis being orientation is where you are and identification being how you are a certain place. I found this very interesting because it is saying that it is one thing to know and be comfortable with a place (orientation) and fully feeling a part of where you are (identification). This is very important for us  to realize so that we can be fully alive in where and how we are. I find this to be an absolute fundamental building block of how people interact with and relate to where they live and with those around them. Essential in an urban age.

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