am 27. März 2000
For those who are interested and curious about where our modern habits attitudes about our bodies and its interactions in urban space this is the book for you. Easy to read, and informative, yet very poignant and it is a book that is able to be read on many different levels.
Richard Sennett takes us from ancient Athens and its fixation with voice, logos, and democracy. Why sitting in the theatre is weakness and brings man to a passive posture. With pit-stops in Imperial Rome, Venice, Revelutionary Paris, and other cities, Sennett layers his logic and builds from the ground up a forceful argument to the reader. The last stop is modern New York City, a multi-cultural center full of dissonace and passivity. This chapter is especially powerful, because it strikes a chord in our psyche.
Each chapter is a pit-stop in history displaying the condition of the flesh in response to the stone of the city. Sennett's thesis is that the continual acceleration of life due to, in part by forces of capitolism, have made man a passive player in life. He discusses this against the backdrop of christianity and its change and flux due to forces of the state and commerce. A very interseting thesis that forces you to challenge your beliefs in the world, and maybe your own religion. It may irk some that this book has such a Christian-oriented slant, but Sennett comes right out and states why he is doing in in the beginning.
This book deals also with the philosophy of Phenomenology. Other readings by Howard Kunstler, Derrida and Heidigger are also recomended, but not necessary. Overall, a very suberb book.