Saturday, January 12, 2013
January 12, 2013: Crowd-sourcing American Homes
[This AmericanStudier is about to move into a new home, with all the possibility and uncertainty that that transition entails. So this week’s series has highlighted some AmericanStudies connections to ideas and images, ideals and limitations, of home. This crowd-sourced post is drawn from the responses, suggestions, and home-ly ideas of fellow AmericanStudiers—add yours below, please!]
On Twitter, following up Monday’s post, Jason Parks highlights some of his favorite Modernist texts portraying returns home: “The novel No-No Boy by John Okada, Hemingway's "Soldier's Home," & various characters in Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio.”
As an Architect’s Daughter (her caps), Irene Martyniuk responds to the series by writing, “It seems to me that the aporia in your posts is the actual physicality of a home/house itself. America boasts some amazing houses in a number of categories. There are the super indulgent ones that people can now tour in Newport, but there are also the homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, and others (like the Glass House in Connecticut) that dot our landscape. These buildings have challenged us to rethink what space is and what is lived in space. I know my father is groaning at my clumsiness in writing this, but how we enclose space is vital to how we live. Architects encourage us to rethink space—how we use it, how we live in it, how we make it our own. The idea that there is a perfect space for everyone is balderdash, of course. Different cultures also have vastly different kinds of homes. The Peabody Essex Museum has a walk-through of a Chinese house, and most of us learn about Native American houses when we are growing up. The idea is that the physicality of space as it relates to a home is vastly different from culture to culture, but within a culture as well. … I guess my point is that architecture and architects should not be left out of the AmericanStudies discussion when it comes to homes and houses.”
Special post tomorrow,
PS. American images, ideas, and themes of home you’d add to these? Share ‘em please!