Anuradha Chatterjee’s book tries to unlock the complex issues involved in Ruskin’s consideration of the fabric of architecture as hinted in the title of the book. She covers the literature relevant to Ruskin’s take on fabric and the importance of the theory of dressing with an eye to the gender dimension of the body and its association with architecture. Page after page the author attempts to relate the reader with Ruskin through a presumed historiographic sense of transparency that does not exist. Under the umbrella of “intertextuality,” she weaves Ruskin’s writings on dressing with various historians’ and critics’ discussions of Ruskin’s theorisation of architecture as a planar ornament, to the point that at times her voice disappears within a list of quotations until she is heard again introducing another relevant subject. What later became clear to this reviewer is that the author has read only the major classics and limited contemporary literature on the subject of dressing and the body as analogical precedents. Missing, for example, is Gottfried Semper’s emphasis on industriousness as part of his discourse on dressing.
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Fabrications: the journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand|
|Publication status||Published - 28 Nov 2019|