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Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan Paperback – December 1, 1997
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Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the quirkier (and frankly, awesome/bravadoish) aspects of "Delirious" is Mr. Koolhaas's analysis of Coney Island: an "incubator for Manhattan's incipient themes." As a reader, one initially questions the inclusion of such a trashy place in such a lofty manifesto. However, as the chapter progresses, you start to see Mr. Koolhaas's iconoclastic brilliance. He pays an amazing homage to "the laboratory" that was Coney Island, illuminating the vital role it played in the building philosophies that would emerge later in Manhattan.
Scattered throughout "Delirious," also, are compelling supporting images that Mr. Koolhaas clearly spent a lot of time digging up. In fact, flipping through the book for the images alone makes for a near-equivalent, and fun, learning experience.
However, unlike his tasteful use of images, Mr. Koolhaaas's flamboyant use of scholarly English makes his writing difficult to digest at times:
"It is probably inevitable that a doctrine based on the continual simulation of pragmatism, on a self-imposed amnesia that allows the continuous reenactment of the same subconscious themes in ever new reincarnations and on inarticulateness systematically cultivated in order to operate more effectively..."
Given Mr. Koolhaas's journalism background (and assumed mastery of writing), I suspect he made the conscious decision to remain somewhat inaccessible to preserve his "lofty" image. While such a decision may be understandable, his brilliance as a writer often gets overshadowed by the sheer irritation of trying to understand him.Read more ›
This publication is a perfect starting point for any exploration into the past or the future of urbanism, architecture, and of course New York City and the people who helped to shape this ever growing marvel.
A must read, and a perfect gift for anyone who is even remotely touched by New York.
What is the function of the skyscraper? During the economic boom of Reagan cycle, it is the symbol of the financial subcess, next the last crisis every skyscraper must give us a proper value. That is true, but it can mean a return to the original sense of the City, and to an architectural function of the open spaces.
The book itself then and its' structure; it starts off with a chapter on Coney Island, as being the laboratory for Manhattan; if one can make it through this first chapter, one is well positioned for the next chapters dealing with Manhattan's development, until the last one, where the author shifts gears suddenly, to get into the heads of two European celebrities of the Art & Architecture community, and basically finishes off the 'Manhattanism' process/period described in the previous chapters, thru the tales and eyes of these two. In terms of reading, a somewhat discontinuous experience, and asking the reader (once more), to find his/her bearing on a new 'platform' of thought(s) / thinking, this time centered around a newly introduced idea of a so-called 'Paranoia-Critical-Method', and the aspects of Paranoia itself. It is not quite clear why this shift is needed in view of the preceding chapters and history, and does not contribute to its core story, imho.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Add this to your collection ASAP. I have a new appreciation for New York, Rem and urbanism in general. Highly recommend.Published 1 month ago by Brooke
A rambling, disturbing, revealing look at New York's evolution. Why the skyscraper, why the grid, why the congestion? Read morePublished 10 months ago by R. Pollak
Fascinating from start to finish. This is a gripping history of the city of New York, tracing its architectural evolution from the Dutch's rational plotting the grid of Manhattan... Read morePublished 13 months ago by DS
Lucidly written, it manages to be simultaneously clear yet poetic. The book manages to be cynical of the phenomenon that is New York while at the same time clearly being in... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Andre
This classic is a must read for every architect, urbanist and New York aficionado. Although written may years ago, the essence of the city, which Koolhaas correctly sensed and... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Xavier Atlas
an artsy fartsy, overly pretentious SNORE of a read, I believe some of the words used in this book don't even really exist at all, but the author simply wanted us to believe he... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Douglas B. Barr