Features March 2014
On style & order
Lessons from Camillo Sitte’s City-Building According to Artistic Principles
Camillo Sitte stamp from Austria
Man is originally beastly, but although the taint of savagery in him is never effaced, he has found out ways of bringing order to his life. Everyone can make his own list of the different kinds of orderliness that have been of use to him, instances in which the heterogeneous parts have been brought together in a relatively harmonious whole. The temple of Nike in Athens is a triumph of order, and so, in a different way, is a modern supermarket. The family embodies one sort of order, the nation-state another.
In a great work of order—a Bach fugue or a bottle of first-rate Burgundy—the discordant qualities of life are overcome, if only temporarily. The difficulty lies in finding out which methods of creating...
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