Lessons of The Ruins

Order the Kindle book here: The Secret in Locker 436

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TSIL436 = The Secret in Locker 436


ruins

The Ruins Lesson is a powerful new book by Princeton professor Susan Stewart.

This Washington Post review sums it up well–

How to explain our taste for ruins? Are we attracted to their echoes of transience and decay, and perhaps of our own mortality? Or are we moved by traces of a past that has not quite disappeared — messages from an era otherwise inaccessible? “We are so often drawn to the sight of what is broken, damaged and decayed,” notes Susan Stewart in her admirably researched and beautifully produced volume, “The Ruins Lesson.” Ruins excite our imagination with the lesson that our greatest structures will one day return to the ground, while reminding us that in their fallen states these sites are endowed with beauty, even redemption.

Stewart writes about the mid-18th-century Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi, who made heroic efforts to preserve ruins forever through printmaking.

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Like so many of us with our frenetic iPhone photography today, he sought to make the ephemeral somehow permanent … albeit moored in the virtual cloud, in the case of our many snaps.

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