By Lawrence Venuti, Aldo Rossi
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Additional resources for A Scientific Autobiography
It is dimcult for me to compare myself with my contemporaries because I am increasingly aware of differences in place and time. This was my first intuition ofthe analogous city, and it was subsequently developed as a theory. I believe that place and time are the first conditions ofarchitecture and hence the most difficult. I have long had an interest in modeni architecture, but I think that perhaps this style of architecture is linked in my mind with some buildings of my childhood—a villa or a residential block at Belo Horizonte in BraziI.
L was interested in how the anatomical theaters and the Globe Theatre made the human figure centrat as in fact aIl small amphitheaters do. The Roman theater, on the other hand, had a fixed back wall, and this wall was comparable to the retablo in the Spanish churches, which serves as both the altar and the backdrop for b'turgical action. Yet in the amphitheater a back wall was not necessary because aJI the interest was focused on the play and principally on the animal, man or beast. The same thing was true of the anatomical theater, where the boards of the stage, because of the focus of the action, rose mechanically from below with the cadaver.
These relationships become fixed in a memory, and memory soon becomes symbol: for example, before the present tourist boom, there used to be yellowed photographs of honeymoons, generally spent in Venice, which could be seen decorating the sideboards of kitchens or living rooms. These points of connection between personal and public history have always appeared to me laden with significance. Today I love to collect albums of these photographs, whieh, however, have become devalued as a result of those glossy manufactured photographs ofcommercial publishers which we find so distasteful.
A Scientific Autobiography by Lawrence Venuti, Aldo Rossi