Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
On the Ruins of BabelArchitectural Metaphor in German Thought$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Daniel Purdy

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801476761

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801476761.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 28 September 2021

Benjamin’s Mythic Architecture

Benjamin’s Mythic Architecture

(p.261) 10 Benjamin’s Mythic Architecture
On the Ruins of Babel

Daniel L. Purdy

Cornell University Press

This chapter describes how Walter Benjamin's writing responds to the German philosophical appropriation of Renaissance theory. From the start, Enlightenment revolutionaries looked back to the Vitruvian history of building to uncover a new genealogy of construction. This process began before the French Revolution but became more than a theoretical debate with the emergence of industrial technology. Benjamin's physiognomy of modern industrial cities builds on the architectonic model of correspondences between buildings and humans, intensifying the Renaissance's particular emphasis on the facade as parallel to the face, while allowing for many more differentiations in appearance and function than classical architectonics, which always presumed the existence of a single ideal type.

Keywords:   Walter Benjamin, Renaissance theories, architecture, modern cities, industrial technology, classical architectonics, construction

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.