Here, Sennet examines the relationship between the human body and the urban environment it inhabits, looking at the differing attitudes to nudity, burial, sanctuary and urban planning in ancient Greece and Rome, Medieval and Renaissance Europe, and concluding with a fuller analysis of how the link between flesh and stone has altered with the ...
Here, Sennet examines the relationship between the human body and the urban environment it inhabits, looking at the differing attitudes to nudity, burial, sanctuary and urban planning in ancient Greece and Rome, Medieval and Renaissance Europe, and concluding with a fuller analysis of how the link between flesh and stone has altered with the advances in science and medicine. It is, as the author says in the introduction, "more than an historical catalogue of physical sensations in urban space", offering fresh insights and ideas for anyone interested in the city or civic life.
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Publishers Weekly, 1994-07-25 Sennett (The Fall of Public Man) has produced an engrossing history of the city told through its people's movements: how they dressed, bathed and made love, where they ate, what they saw and heard. He first examines Athenians' celebration of nakedness and the Romans' use of geometrical images derived from the human body to impose order on their imperial realm. Next he brings us to the 13th-century Paris of Notre Dame Cathedral, where burgeoning enterprises challenged the Christian sense of place and community. A New York Univeristy sociologist, Sennett discusses the creation of Venice's Jewish ghetto in the 16th century, then links William Harvey's discoveries about blood circulation to individualized movement and bodily freedom in revolutionary 18th-century Paris. In the modern multicultural metropolis, he says the buildings contribute to a lack of emotional connection, as well as monotony and sensory deprivation. Sennett forces us to rethink architecture, social history and urban design and planning. Photos. (Sept.)
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