Friday, January 6, 2006

JOHN RUSKIN, ANYONE?

BUILD FOR EVER. Here's a John Ruskin (1819-1900) quote: "When we build, let us think that we build for ever. Let it not be for present delight, nor for present use alone; let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say as they look upon the labour and wrought substance of them, 'See! this our fathers did for us.'" -- from The Seven Lamps of Architecture

LATE DISCOVERY. So, how do I make it into middle adulthood without becoming familiar with John Ruskin? Well, here I am. I've read bits and pieces of his thoughts lately, and I am intrigued by his perspective. Irwin Miller, an Indiana legend and lover of great architecture, used to quote Ruskin liberally. I picked up a little book by Ruskin at a bookstore today titled On Art and Life. The publisher, Penguin, puts it in the category of one of 12 "great ideas" books by radicals, change agents, and/or visionaries. We'll see. In the meantime, anybody who knows of John Ruskin or can recommend a book, feel free to leave a comment.

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