FINDINGS AND KEEPINGS 1914-1936: Analects for an Autobiography by Lewis Mumford

FINDINGS AND KEEPINGS 1914-1936: Analects for an Autobiography

Email this review


Mumford has already ""confessed"" to writing the first half of his autobiography, begun circa 1956, and this is a miscellany of the flotsam and jetsam--some of it published ""bashfully"" long, long ago, some heretofore unseen--that turned up during the dredging. These notes, letters, journalistic fragments, etc., arranged chronologically and dating back to 1914 when Mumford was a bright, ambitious nineteen-year-old, are designed to work on a collage principle to illuminate Mumford's intellectual progress. A truly wide-reaching Mumfordian undertaking, this; and leafing through these pages (they're not to be read with strict linear concentration) the eye falls here and there on young Mumford's first tentative thoughts about cities or supermen, utopias, technology or the environment. And indeed the experiment succeeds thoroughly. You will also find here a long prose poem, ""The Little Testament of Bernard Martin,"" in which ""Bernard Martin"" is, detail for autobiographical detail, himself; a thoroughly enjoyable engineering romance in the form of a play describing ""The Builders of the [Brooklyn] Bridge,"" and a new essay dated 1975. His correspondents include Babette Deutsch, Patrick Geddes, wife Sophia Wittenberg, and Van Wyck Brooks. For connoisseurs.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1975
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich