Friday, March 26, 2004

historian, what they do
according to merriam webster online
Function: noun
1 : a student or writer of history; especially : one that produces a scholarly synthesis
2 : a writer or compiler of a chronicle

quoting history from Leopold von Ranke
You have reckoned that history ought to judge the past and to instruct the contemporary world as to the future. The present attempt does not yield to that high office. It will merely tell how it really was

.. and from Jeane Kirkpatrick
History is a better guide than good intentions

but i like Macaulay
[History] distinguishes what is accidental and transitory in human nature from what is essential and immutable

because architecture is a product of time. the ability to be able to distinguish from one architecture to the other is essential to understand architecture as part of civilization and of particular social processes. if charles jencks is an architectural theorist, his analysis of le corbus' work particularly of the Notre Dame Du Haut, Ronchamp blurs the boundary set by historian. if he is a historian, his analysis do not help in recognising the Notre Dame Du Haut as particular product of time.

jencks is a major fan of le corbusier. he has produced many written works about le corbusier since his college period. the most extensive compiled as Le Corbusier and the Colonial Revolution in Architecture in 320 pages.