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Why is architectural theory so hard to read?

Jun 9 '12 67 Last Comment
vahe
Jun 9, 12 11:18 am

I just finished my first year of M. Arch education. While everything is new and exciting... I have been really struggling to understand why almost every single text on architecture theory I've been given or come across seems like it was written for a PHD student with a masters in English.

Can anybody enlighten me as to why architectural thinkers can't keep their language simple? 

It could also be the case that I'm just too stupid to understand their writings, and everyone else can...??

How is it that Alvar Aalto seems to explain everything in such simple and easy to understand terms, but modern day writers feel the need to make me go look up every other word.

I'd appreciate some insight

- V

 

metal
Jun 9, 12 11:34 am

Most of the time it is because theory is written from a frame of reference that the reader is not always aware of. A writer might just assume you know what they are talking about, or that you are familiar with where they are coming from.

The thing with Aalto is that while he was a prolific builder he wasn't an academic-type of writer. Whereas someone like Moneo does both.

What are you reading that is so challenging?

citizen
Jun 9, 12 11:55 am

Several things leap to mind here.

  • Writing is difficult to do.  And good, clear writing is even more difficult and time-consuming.  Many academics and practitioners lack the skill or interest to accomplish this.  And academic presses, squeezed for resources, don't provide all the editorial help needed to turn a complicated and dense manuscript into good, clear writing.
  • Writing about theory -- vague and speculative relationships between ideas and things, and change over time -- is especially challenging.  Frequently the (possibly) brilliant theorist isn't capable of, or interested in, taking the time to clearly explain.  Some great thinkers are terrible writers.
  • Some academics write more for their mentors, peers and competitors (other academics) than for a wider audience.  As a result, complexity may be valued over clarity in the process of seeing whose rhetorical dick is bigger.

None of this means that theory is always simple to understand.  Many times it's not.  But lazy or disinterested writing doesn't help.

afrdzak
Jun 9, 12 1:08 pm

I was challenged in the same manner when I started my M.Arch due to my lack of frame of reference, poor vocabulary and poor exposure to jargon. Your comprehension does get easier as you read on, have dialogue about the text, and start making connections, but I suggest taking a focused, aggressive learning approach such as underlining every word you don't understand, looking the up and writing their definition in the margins then re-read the text. Sound daunting? Perhaps, but it helped me tremendously. And, perhaps, start with more palpable text such as those by Zumthor, Rasmussen and Pallasmaa. (They're all advocates of Aalto, by the way)

Or... maybe you'll come to the conclusion theory is a bunch of BS and move on.  :-)

Stephanie BraconnierStephanie Braconnier
Jun 9, 12 3:10 pm

I make a point of purposely misunderstanding obfuscated architecture jargon. The majority of it is bullshit. Don't waste your time... Jargon in any form exists to boost the egos of a select group of people while alienating others (I learned that when I studied cults). 

i r giv up
Jun 9, 12 4:19 pm

what stephanie said.

most theorists (i'm looking at you kwinter) must hide from the rest of the world, or else risk being exposed as illiterate retards.

design
Jun 9, 12 5:05 pm

Funny you mentioned Kwinter. I was really stumped as to why he was so popular a little while ago., really curious to hear why

I kind of get him now, but as far as appreciating......
He speaks proactively and makes some interesting connections, but the fact that he's in a permanent/isolated state of reflection is a turn off. His breed of people definitely engages in academic politics of the highest order who are kept alive by all the architecture Phd students.

 

to op, Deep theory helps architects sound smart. But its definitely important to see which theorists can make the most interesting connections and which ones like to use confusing flowery language to ask simple questions. Sometimes its better to look outside the field in that regard.

design
Jun 9, 12 5:10 pm

Maybe all that kwinter does, is he tries to introduce ideas from outside the field of architecture to architects. In that vein, maybe we don't really need him.  haha

Onigiri
Jun 9, 12 5:18 pm

I think that nowadays you can't finish your studies without a good theorical knowledge in the architecture field. Even if those writings are difficult to read, you must make efforts to adapt yourself to the way autors write. When you read Deleuze and Guattari, most of what they write is very difficult to understand, but it's just a question of practice. The more you read theorical essays, the more you learn how to understand them.

When you're projecting architecture, the theorical field makes you understand the real debate : why making architecture ? How can we make architecture ? It's very usefull to improve your own design and the way you present your concept.

I have a rule that help me when I want to study architectural theory. If I can't understand anything, that means this is not time to read it. I'll be back to read it when my mind will be ready. Now I'm reading Lucan....I think this is not the good moment to read it...I don't understand anything...

Try to begin with the most understandable essays : Zumthor, Botta, Maeda, Mestelan, ...

gwharton
Jun 9, 12 5:55 pm

Impenetrable prose is a dead give-away that the writer is feeding you bullshit.

Rusty!
Jun 9, 12 5:57 pm

Rule number one to theoretical writing: better to fly over everyone's heads than to be acused of being naive.

Why yes, the terroir of this green roof is indisordinatious.

i r giv up
Jun 9, 12 6:01 pm

since: yeah, that's what kwinter does. except he misinterprets 99% of what the talks about by imposing archaic frameworks onto whatever those ideas are trying to get at.

on top of that, he's a shitty writer.

onigiri: no. just no.

cocococo
Jun 9, 12 7:03 pm

I do think you should try to understand a thing before you dismiss it entirely. If you're assigned a reading and have no real investment that might be fine but there is value in understanding if it's for your own exploration.Even if it's so that you can argue against it yourself. The writing may be poor but the ideas may have merit.

From a background of literary and critical theory I feel like all you can do is to try. Some things may take a slow reading or a re-reading, and some things will escape you entirely, but try to understand anything you can. Talking about it helps; find out how others interpret it and see whether you agree or disagree. And then read more, different theory. Things will connect and you may find on going or thinking back that you get more than you realized.

No doubt you will find that there's a lot of "bullshit," but it's because of the arguments behind the jargon rather than the jargon itself. Dismissing it all is kind of a funny way of putting yourself above those who we think are trying to put themselves above others. That's my take on it, but admittedly I haven't started on architectural theory yet.

Brian HenryBrian Henry
Jun 9, 12 9:11 pm

After hearing about the study that said congressional speeches are the level of a high school sophomore, I'm tempted to say it isn't the writing, it's the reader. But I've been in the same situation and I've always tested above my peers in reading comprehension so let's agree that it is the writing.

I've mentioned this before but ... the best advice I was given with regard to reading and comprehending theory is to read it the the first time without worrying about understanding it all. Just try to get the big picture. Once you have an idea of the big picture go back and see if anything else makes sense that didn't the first time. 

I think the tendency to look up every word we don't understand is normal but ultimately steals the focus from understanding the writer. It also helps if you understand the context of the writing and the author's background. If I remember correctly Architecture Theory Since 1968 had a short introduction for each article that attempted to explain a little of this before giving you the article and I found it more helpful than otherwise. 

Finally, your comment that theory, "seems like it was written for a PHD student with a masters in English," may not be too far off base. However, it may not be the author's fault. Not everyone who writes about theory speaks English as their primary language and many of the articles you'll come across were written in a different language before being translated into English. In a lot of these cases the words used in the primary language are a lot better at explaining the slight nuances that characterize the author's thoughts. In some of these cases the English language doesn't have comparable words (or at least words that non-PhD students understand) that translate directly. If you've ever looked through a dictionary that translates from English to another language you'll notice that most of the words have multiple translations. Quite simply sometimes the best translation is one that we don't use everyday as English has evolved differently from others and consequently the translated article is harder for the average English-speaking person to understand.

Ultimately the more you read the better you'll get at understanding it ... keep at it.

aphorismal
Jun 10, 12 4:25 am

It's to create a barrier to entry.  Anyone who can't fully grasp the latent tectonics of post-industrial landscape urbanist revivalism can't possibly be worth two shits as an actual practicing architect, amirite?  The higher the barrier to entry, the safer and more secure a given "in-crowd" feels.  In this case, the barriers to entry take on the vague silhouette of an ivory tower...

Oh by the way, if you every actually need to write some of this crap, the urbanism bullshit generator (http://www.ruderal.com/bullshit/bullshit.htm]landscape) is a great place to start.

accesskb
Jun 10, 12 5:34 am

Don't denounce it until you've grasped the texts and know enough to decide whether its verbal diarrhoea or has some merit to it.  You won't better yourself if all you read is simple texts.  Stick to it, re-read them a few times because difficult texts cannot ever be grasped the first time, highlight the main thesis and supporting ideas, then judge the texts based on your own understanding.  That is the only way to read and learn from a book.  I assure you, the more you do this, the easier it will become for you to read difficult texts.

Mind telling us what you're required to read?  Then we might be able to tell you whether the books are jargon or you need to improve your reading skills.  Its too bad most architecture schools don't require students to read philosophy texts and other classics.  It would surely improve one's reading and critical thinking skills.  Too much emphasis is put on learning so and so software. 

i r giv up
Jun 10, 12 6:18 am

don't assume i haven't poured over my bits of theory. i can understand works of theory fairly easily.

 

it's still shitty writing hiding shitty ideas.

will gallowaywill galloway
Jun 10, 12 12:54 pm

a lot of the writing in the 90's was difficult to understand on purpose.  Decon was such a funny thing.  Deleuze and Guattari and the writers from that time still had things to say worth reading about.  It's just the starting point is a bit weird.

That does not explain why louis kahn was such a horrid writer, nor why he was allowed to write so much.  i blame it on robert frost.

 

my phd advisor used to give heck to his students for trying to write overly-complicated text, and i agree.  there is no need for it.  doesn't mean that kwinter is an idiot. opposite is more likely, all things considered.  he's just writing for a different audience.  Probably it is best to get over it and move on.  it isn't going to affect your practice much.

Orhan AyyüceOrhan Ayyüce
Jun 10, 12 2:28 pm

Architectural theory is not a singular reading. It helps to be informed about its periphery and references. It is impossible to decode density of the writing if you don't step out of it. If you want to take all that time and understand what it is, start reading all the time. Also, it helps to check it against your own experiences and visualizations, that, helps you to sort bullshit from the real theoretical ideas. A lot of it is constipated writing exercises. It has to have a great bigger idea behind it. What we have is a lot of scholars writing densely about other's ideas.

Quondam
Jun 10, 12 6:41 pm

 

Louis I. Kahn was not so much an architectural writier as he was an architectural speaker. The vast majority of Kahn's architectural texts are transcripts of lectures he gave. And as a lecturer, Kahn was in great demend, thus invited to give lectures all over the world.

The sense that I get is that Kahn did not prepare his lectures as something completely written out. I don't doubt that he wrote perparatory notes, but the lectures themselves were given ad libitum, 'at one's pleasure'. And it was indeed Kahn's uncanny ability to deliver architecture extemporaneously that amazed those that saw and heard him.

 

I've only heard Kahn speak, via tape recordings. The department head of the school I went to was a student of Kahn's, and he had several cassette tape recordings of Kahn's class lectures. One night while some of us second year students were staying overnight in studio, we found the tapes out in a box. All I said was "Can you imagine if someone added something to those tapes?" [This was like 1978 and we all had tape recorders (to play music) in studio.] About an hour later, "sound engineer" Steve Devlin came over to my desk as said, "Play this." I looked at the cassette and saw it was one of the Kahn lectures, and said, "You didn't!?" "Just play it," said Steve. There was Kahn, lecturing away when suddenly there was a bang, like a gun shot, and then "voice-over actress" Sue Dixon yelling, "Oh my God! Lou's been shot!" with lots of anguished yelling et cetera in the background. The thing is, it sounded so real and that made it doubly hilarious. By the end of the night the tape was put back in the box. A year later, the tape came out its box and was listened to in a lecture class... It was like the shot heard around the whole school.

 

Xenakis
Jun 10, 12 8:09 pm

same here - in school, one of my professors also had some recordings of Kahn - We read a lot of Kahn -" Idea of order" was my favorite - and I had Salk Institute a mile a way for my case studies.

toasteroven
Jun 10, 12 10:01 pm

I have been really struggling to understand why almost every single text on architecture theory I've been given or come across seems like it was written for a PHD student with a masters in English.

 

this is more a question for your profs - if they can't give you at least some guidance on what they're hoping you'll get out of the readings, then they shouldn't be assigning that reading in the first place.  Just make sure you're mature about it (pull them aside one-on-one - don't accuse them of anything - just say you're having trouble understanding the reading - if they act douche-y and say some stupid shit like "you're a masters student," then you know they have no f-ing clue either - these profs aren't worth your time - and might feel threatened enough to say something to the class like "since someone didn't understand the reading, we're going to select some new readings from the collection of the great theorist dr. seuss."  yep - some people in academia are that dickish).

 

once you start working for a firm people are going to be much vaguer, and you really cannot pretend you know what they're talking about - especially at the beginning.  no shame in asking questions.

abcd
Jun 11, 12 1:06 am

"Impenetrable prose is a dead give-away that the writer is feeding you bullshit."

+1

CultureofCon
Jun 11, 12 2:37 am

I generally read intense, theoretical, literature really hastily the first time through and then come back to it a LONG time later to read it with some scrutiny.  This lets me understand the general idea.  Then I can apply it to my thoughts about, well... pretty much anything.  Then when I have soaked in MORE theory and contemplation, I can return to the original literature with greater insight and comprehension.  Any theory worth reading will reveal something new to the reader every time it is reread.

The most important part of reading difficult, jargon-bloated, literature is to try your best to enjoy it.  I've been working on The Poetics of Space and I find it really intriguing, but only if I read it in little bits at a time.  I've been working on it for a year now and I'm only halfway through but so what?

Also, here's a really great article about architecture jargon in the New York Times:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/why-dont-we-read-about-architecture/

monterey
Jun 11, 12 6:10 am

 avoid french philosophers.

vahe
Jun 11, 12 8:38 am

Thanks for all the response! and the suggestions. I appreciate the dialogue. 

 

I know this is late addition but the text I'm struggling with is called The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture by Pier Vittorio Aureli... 

 

- V

toasteroven
Jun 11, 12 9:16 am

@vahe - there are some smart people on these forums - if you are struggling through a text it might also be worth posing questions here to spark discussion.  Chances are someone has read the text and/or someone might be able to decipher it's meaning.

 

However - I think it's probably best to start a study group for your class...  Do people do this anymore?

David Cuthbert
Jun 11, 12 9:41 am

There are two points to note; the first is that most of architectural theories are not written by architects much less directly directly about architecture. The second that when architects do  write it is from the framework from which they practice, ie. they put into writing what they do, so if you are unaware of the less tangible aspects of their work you are unlikely to get a clue about what they are talking about.

There is however a recognition that not everyone absorbs these ideas quickly nor can seemless make the link between theory and practice, which is why almost every årchitectural publisher has a reader series (Heidegger for Architects, Architectural Theory made easy, etc) 

trace™
Jun 11, 12 9:44 am

Don't worry too much, you'll forget everything in 10 years anyway.  Get through the classes, absorb what you find interesting, discard the rest.

 

If it were easy then the "theory" professors would be out of a job.  Generally, must of it is over-intellectualized blah blah.  There are some inspiring points here and there, unfortunately you have to sift through the piles and piles of bs to find a kernel (probably digested and regurgitated) of inspiration.

 

To each their own, though.  Personally I find inspiration in the execution of the idea, not the round and round discussion of one.  Show me, or it doesn't count.  :-)

chhess
Jun 11, 12 10:45 am

A lot of this comes down to accessibility, limiting architectural theory to those who study it.

metal
Jun 11, 12 5:40 pm

V
Aurelli is a thinker along the lines of Italian rationalism/Aldo Rossi. His constraints are such that some may think his work deprivates the senses.

What I gather from that book, which does get wordy - it's about the history of designing buildings with the city in mind. He says that the buildings of urban architects have more to offer a city than sweeping generic urban plans do. Think of Koolhaas vs the landscape urbanists. When he argues for architecture as a political act, he is basically advocating for more courtyards or spaces that promote interaction with life around the building.

EKE
Jun 11, 12 8:58 pm

I think there is a game internal to modern movements in architecture where you are rewarded for making your reasoning as obscure as possible.  If the theory behind your work is easily understandable, then you will not be able to stay novel and unique for very long.  And, as we know, novelty is everything.

Quondam
Jun 11, 12 9:49 pm

vahe, I just read chapter 3 of The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture (now for the fourth time) this afternoon, and I reread the Introduction and the footnotes this morning. It is not an easy book, especially for a relative novice of architecture. If you want to discuss the book here within this thread, I'm game.

The notion of the city as archipeligo is worthwhile, although not at all original to Aureli--see "Cities within the city" in Lotus International 19 (1978) by Ungers, Koolhaas et al for the origins of the notion. Aureli's finding of "archipeligos" within instances of architecture of the last 500 years is a little forced, and the 'history' that goes along with Aureli's hypothesis can make the overall analysis seem somewhat more dense than it really needs to be--a nimity of academic trappings which in the end may well prevent "what opens the potential for imagining it differently."

I have already commented (within archinect/forum) on various aspects of the this text  on four occasions: 2011.01.31, 2011.02.01, 2008.12.30 and 2008.12.31.

 

Brian HenryBrian Henry
Jun 11, 12 11:24 pm

{Shameless plug for a thread I started to discuss theory, you're welcome!} Theory Central

Shameless plug aside, it annoys me slightly that people always come back to the idea that theorists are intentionally obfuscating their ideas. This is unthinkably contrary to the idea of why they are writing in the first place. If they just wanted a repository of their own thoughts where no one could understand them, they'd save a password-protected file on their computer (or in a safe deposit box, or locked chest, etc.), not publish it in books and scholarly journals.

Saying that an author is using big words to intentionally limit their audience is like the kid in comic below saying that the Midvale school is always locked and he can therefore not attend. Before you misinterpret me, I'm not saying those of you saying architectural theory is intentionally hard to understand don't have an appropriate level of intelligence in order to understand theory. Intelligence aside, I am saying that if you want to understand the theory you won't make an excuse for why you can't understand and then give up trying. Comparatively, the next step for the kid below might be to look up the word "pull" in the dictionary, or pull out his cell phone and make a call to a fellow student or a professor, or he could also pick up a rock and break the window.

Brian HenryBrian Henry
Jun 11, 12 11:27 pm

I don't know why the image isn't showing up. Here's a link to it.

citizen
Jun 12, 12 12:43 am

I'll reiterate here my points from up top.  Bad (or sloppy or lazy) writing is much easier and faster to do than good writing.  And thinking/ theorizing and writing/ explaining are two different skill sets: related, but different.

Impenetrably dense writing is probably more often unintentional than deliberate.  This explanation does three things: 1) it lets (most) confused readers off the hook for failing to comprehend; 2) it exonerates (some) authors from the charge of elitism; and 3) it recognizes the difficulty of writing as its own distinct creative task.

This doesn't argue that all theory should be simplistic, only that much of it could be better explained with more effort on the part of the authors.

adolfLOOS
Jun 12, 12 7:44 am

i would agree with brian.  theory is difficult.  many people denounce it as bull shit, but if you have a good teacher, it can be very fulfilling to learn.  the trick is, it is nearly impossible to learn just by reading.  as others have mentioned, there are frameworks and references that must be understood to truly comprehend what theorist are saying.  having an expert (usually a phd student or higher) to help answer questions is very important.

theory is so vague and speculative that often words have connotations specific to the discipline, or at least they are used in a certain context. 

It is actually kind of annoying to hear people complain about "inaccessibility".  Would you walk into a medical school and say "i cant understand you! this is all bullshit!" 

I think most people who are complaining have just not been taught theory by the right people.

theory is also important, because it allows you to analyze objects with in much, much larger networks and distill what sort of negative, accepted paradigms they might be reinforcing. in a foucaultian sense ;)

all that said, there are definitely some really bad writers out there who are spewing complete garbage, but to lump all "theory" together under the umbrella of "bullshit" is dead wrong.

b3tadine[sutures]
Jun 12, 12 9:38 am

right now i am reading Warped Space, and like most of the architecture books i read, it's not the penetrability of the text i have a problem with, it's the shear density of material i need to read in order to understand the depth Vidler has traveled just to write this text.

toasteroven
Jun 12, 12 10:14 am

it's the shear density of material i need to read in order to understand the depth Vidler has traveled just to write this text.

 

what's the point in writing something if you need the reader to read all the shit you read to come to those same conclusions?  it seems like a colossal waste of the average reader's time.  Plus - you can pick apart and interpret readings on their own merit with your own depths of perspective instead of sourcing all of the exact same f-ing material.  If something requires you to read multiple something elses in order to achieve even some level of understanding you have FAILED as a writer.

adolfLOOS
Jun 12, 12 10:21 am

toast, 

I agree.  There does seem to be a fetishization of research among architectural academics. It is like a game to see who can cite more shit, not who can make the most logical and interesting argument. 

In fact, a quick flyby of an obscure text would certainly help an argument, but to an academic it would be a sign of weakness.

The Great Northern
Jun 12, 12 10:34 am

As always, The Onion nails it first.

toasteroven
Jun 12, 12 10:41 am

right - the goal is to have the reader be curious enough to WANT to read your source material - not be forced to read it just to understand WTF you're talking about.  it's the pretentious posturing that the hoi polloi rightly get all worked up about.  Although you also get the same sort of BS in practice with the technical people.

citizen
Jun 12, 12 11:41 am

That hilarious Onion piece makes many of the points discussed here.  Thanks again, Onion!

boy in a well
Jun 12, 12 12:52 pm

Funny.

Pierre Menard was actually trying to write a book about Don Quixote. But he was worried people wouldn't, you know, 'get it' - so he figured it be best if he included all of Don Quixote in the beginning of his book. The one that was just supposed to be just be about the other.

Oh, and then

Then he drew a map, but like he drew it really big, like, until it was as big as what it was supposed to be about.

toasteroven
Jun 12, 12 2:33 pm

It is like a game to see who can cite more shit, not who can make the most logical and interesting argument.

 

bingo!

 

or is this a scavenger hunt?

Quondam
Jun 12, 12 2:36 pm

 

For lots of reviews of The Possibility of Absolute Architecture google search aureli “absolute architecture”. There’s even a link to an almost 2 hour video of Aureli speaking on the subject, and google/books offers a substantial preview of the book.


Lotus International 19 happens to be the first Lotus magazine I ever bought, so its contents are (still) fairly well ingrained within my memory. Looking over “Cities within the city” (again) last night reminded me of another subsequent Ungers essay--”Architecture of the Collective Memory”--also published within Lotus, this time Lotus International 24 (1979). I personally remember this essay as  something I really connected with, something that I really liked the idea of, but I don’t think I’ve (re)read the essay in many years. Of course, I reread “Architecture of the Collective Memory--The infinite catalogue of urban forms” last night, and wow, it like blew me away because what Ungers relates is exactly how I’ve come to see Piranesi’s Ichnographia Campus Martius, that is, as a whole city of architecture of collective memory, indeed an infinite catalogue of urban forms (e.g, 3178, 3179, 3180, 3181). Interestingly, such a view of the Ichnographia Campus Martius is what Aureli (and Eisenman) do not (want [you] to) see the Ichnographia Campus Martius as.

Being restless, I continued to read more of The Possibility of Absolute Architecture. I read the Boullèe chapter and stated the Ungers/OMA chapter (five). Ten pages into chapter five you encounter material on the Havellandshaft, which is how Ungers ends “Architecture of the Collective Memory,” yet Aureli nowhere mentions the “collective memory” aspect of the Havellandshaft (nor does Aureli footnote reference “Architecture of the Collective Memory--The infinite catalogue of urban forms” in Lotus International 24).

I now feel inspired to write a book entitled The Reality of Convenient Memory Architecture, theory even.

 

 

“Architecture of the Collective Memory” begins with these passages:

In his book Invisible Cities Italo Calvino invented an imaginary conversation between the Venetian traveler Marco Polo and the great emperor of a distant country. “At this point Kublai Khan interrupted him or imagined interrupting him, or Marco Polo imagined himself interrupted, with a question such as: ‘You advance always with your head turned back?’ or ‘Is what you see always behind you?’ or rather 'Does your journey take place only in the past?’”

All this so that Marco Polo could explain or imagine explaining or succeed finally in explaining to himself that what he sought was always something lying ahead, and even if it was a matter of the past it was a past that changed gradually as he advanced on his journey, because the traveler’s past changes according to the route he has followed: not the immediate past, that is, to which each day that goes by adds a day, but the more remote past. Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreigness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign unpossessed places.

 

t a m m u z
Jun 12, 12 2:41 pm

why approach this exclusively from a writerly point of view and not admit the possibility of a naive readerly one?

anyway, its practically impossible to discuss this topic decently because it is not case-specific on the writerly front and we have nothing to go by for evaluating the OP's reading aptitude  (with all due respect to the OP) .

there is bad literature everywhere, even in good literature. you could summarize a whole lot of bataille (who talks, ironically, about economies of excess) down to bullet points if you choose. yeah, sure its bad literature if you look at it this way. borges is bad literature as well, you can't even derive bullet points...just a lot of weird shit for its own sake. how about all these classics that you read and admire...like the bachelard book, or the calvino book, or the seres book, or the marquez book....what  have they done for your architecture? no, seriously, one's own bullshit aside-and not that of the authors' - was it not like an indulgent shower for you; the words doused you with their warm wetness and now,  dry...it is like it never was?

i say this because there is that possibility that someone who wastes himself  on pointing out bullshit where it may not even be there in the first place (and, yes, perhaps it may), could probably be regardlessly bullshitting himself when he thinks he's not.

boy in a well
Jun 12, 12 2:53 pm

wasnt a citation game.

i thought it was logical and interesting

and succinct.

you can treat it like bingo if you want.

Rusty!
Jun 12, 12 2:54 pm

tammuz, your writing style is incredibly painful to read. Always has been. You should do a book! stat.

t a m m u z
Jun 12, 12 3:00 pm

no need for more extensive procedures Rusty.  performing the literary equivalent of anal fissurectomy on you suffices.

J. James R.J. James R.
Jun 12, 12 3:09 pm

sphincterotomy*, FTFY

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