ARCHITECTURE

THE NATURAL AND THE MANMADE

A brilliant distillation of the ideas of the man called by Philip Johnson ``the most influential architecture teacher ever.'' Here, Scully (Art History/Yale; Pueblo, 1974) surveys with charm, eloquence, and philosophical reflection the history of the symbolic structures that mediate between the human beings who created and use them and the natural world. Scully's major theme is that architecture either imitates natural forms, as in pre-Hellenic Greece and in early as well as contemporary America, or contrasts with them, separating humans from nature, as in classical Greece and Rome, Renaissance Italy and France, and 18th-century England. Starting with a lyrical description of the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan, drawing analogies with the sacred mountains and building of the Southwest Indians, he tours with pleasure, insight, and familiarity the Acropolis, the pyramids and the Romanesque Hagia Sophia, leading to the achievement of the Gothic cathedral—which Scully sees as an incarnation of the City of God and the human body, indeed of ``multiple truths,'' a cumulative concept that, he says, ``human beings seem afraid to acknowledge.'' He expresses this syncretism in his vision of Chartres: ``It lifts itself singing out of the wheat, within which the poppies, the blood of Adonis, grow.'' In spite of his eclecticism, Scully excludes from his architectural pantheon the ``brutalist buildings'' of the International School and Le Corbusier because, he says, they have no human relevance. Throughout, Scully reveals himself as a gifted writer, rising from a crisp structural analysis of Notre Dame to an incantatory reading of a whole urban landscape, coming to rest on the ultimate meaning of the Vietnam Memorial in D.C., designed by his own student Maya Lin. In its interaction between the living and the dead, between nature and humanity, the memorial is very much a reflection of Scully's teaching. Thoughtful, passionate, and visually exciting—a work that will unquestionably encourage others both to create meaningful monuments, buildings, gardens and to understand them. (Over 500 illustrations, including 200 color and 200 b&w photographs.)

Pub Date: Nov. 22, 1991

ISBN: 0-312-06292-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1991

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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