Futures & Ruins

So, parts of what my PhD brought along with it was a lot of research into ruins and ruin theory, and especially into the first appearances of what I refer to as ‘anticipated ruins’ – depictions of isochronically whole buildings in a future state of ruin. Hubert Robert is one of the first painters of such anticipated ruins, although not the earliest (known) painter of them (that distinction goes to Victor Louis, and his 1759 painting of The Church of Sant’Andrea de Vignola, transformed into a Roman ruin). However, Robert’s Vue imaginaire de la Grande Galerie du Louvre en ruines (1796) is really the most well-known early example.

So, when I found out that there’s a book about Hubert Robert’s works of anticipated ruination out there now, I could not resist investigating it, even though it was published too late to be integrated into my work. I ordered it on long-distance inter-library loan and what with one thing and another it arrived the day before I went adventuring, and had to be returned the day after I got back – so all I got to do was glance into it and see if it sounded interesting, or if the title had given me false hopes … and since it turned out looking like something I might enjoy reading at my leisure at some point in time I made a note of the title and publication details … and just now I gave in and ordered a copy for myself (rather than re-loaning it, which I have also pondered doing).

It took me a while to get around to ordering it, though – might this mean that my complete apathy towards academic writing connected to my PhD in particular and outside of essential to teaching-and-uni-work things in general is wearing off again? That’d be nice. Batteries, recharge! Still, six weeks of post-PhD-kind-of-apathy-towards-academia-pursued-only-for-myself … fair enough, huh. That was a bit of a mountain to scale after all, I guess, and as long as all it gave me was temporary exhaustion instead of permanent altitude sickness … I ain’t complaining.

I’ll post about what the book is like, once it gets here & I have time to read it. For now I gotta get back to finishing my musings about tomorrow’s classes (my class load has doubled this term, so it’s all kind of … intense right now) … we’ll be reading and discussing Edgar Allan Poe as well as founding our own fictive companies, it’s gonna be fun (one hopes) (Not in the same class, though)!


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