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Le Corbusier, my work

Author: Le Corbusier
Publisher: London : Architectural Press, 1960.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
From the introduction: He does not have the open expression and the easy smile of those who readily inspire sympathy; animation and grace are lacking; the eyes are dull, the voice is flat and uneven. But candour and strength reinforce an impressive demeanour seemingly built for defence, behind which he appears to withdraw, to watch and to observe. It is very hard not to feel respect and curiosity! He has known (and  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Le Corbusier, 1887-1965.
Corbusier, my work.
London : Architectural Press, 1960
(OCoLC)630179714
Named Person: Le Corbusier; Le Corbusier
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Le Corbusier
OCLC Number: 2362049
Notes: Stamped "Whitney Library of Design, imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications of New York."
Also published under title: Creation is a patient search, New York, Praeger, 1960.
Description: 308 [4] pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Contents: Introduction / Maurice Jardot --
Text and plates / Le Corbusier --
Part 1: Chronology. Homeland ; 1900-1918 ; 1919-1939 ; 1940-1960 --
Part 2: A profession. 1: Studio of patient research ; 2: Drawing (observing-discovering-inventing-creating) ; 3: No beginning and no end. a: Painting, b: Sculpture, c: Architecture and town and country planning : their supreme and interdependent role ; 4: Written and the spoken word ; 5: Those who helped.
Other Titles: My work
Responsibility: translated by James Palmes ; introduction by Maurice Jardot.

Abstract:

From the introduction: He does not have the open expression and the easy smile of those who readily inspire sympathy; animation and grace are lacking; the eyes are dull, the voice is flat and uneven. But candour and strength reinforce an impressive demeanour seemingly built for defence, behind which he appears to withdraw, to watch and to observe. It is very hard not to feel respect and curiosity! He has known (and still knows) incomprehension, hostility, betrayal and, worse still, gross injustice. For more than forty years he has had to wage war-on his own ground of architecture and planning-against the entrenched forces of academic thinking, to draw up an inventory of what is essential and possible, and then to stir into activity imaginations long tethered to weary insensibility. He has roused and shaken, he has condemned and disturbed and such things are not easy to forgive! Honour and success have admittedly not been denied him, but his real victory, which for some time now has been swaying French opinion and leaving its mark upon the best new buildings of the country, a victory unobtrusive, but broad and decisive, has been stolen from him by those who continually and brazenly wear his mantle as their own. He is revered, but brushed aside, and it almost always seems that the principles and solutions which he has elaborated are assigned for others to put into practice. Hence the porcupine manner with which he is sometimes reproached. But how can we expect a more engaging, a more sympathetic presence, in one who knows that he owes the principal difficulties of his life as an artist to those rare qualities which are peculiarly his? Although the circumstances in which he works link the architect-planner much more closely than the painter to his social environment, since it provides the former with the legitimate expectation of commissions, which the latter can more easily do without, it is none the less of Cezanne whom one thinks when faced with certain characteristics of Le Corbusier. There is the same expostulating abruptness, the same churlishness proclaiming more than it hides the quick resentments of easily ruffled sensibility, and all of the grafted on to an obstinate, patient, exemplary firmness of character; in each of them, a pride usually subdued, a humility sure of itself and the conviction, uneasily, but strongly, held (and so often justified) of being a leader among his peers; the same way, too, of giving and withdrawing, of seeking and evading contact, the constant fear in short of finding himself too closely involved, yet always actuated by a stubborn desire simply to occupy an undisputed place of his own.

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