Contrasts (agency and difference) in nineteenth-century writings on architecture and design: Pugin, Ruskin and Wilde

van der Plaat, Deborah (2012). Contrasts (agency and difference) in nineteenth-century writings on architecture and design: Pugin, Ruskin and Wilde. In: Stuart King, Anuradha Chatterjee and Stephen Loo, Fabulation: Myth, Nature, Heritage: The 29th Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference. Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference, Launceston, TAS, Australia, (1179-1193). 5-8 July 2012.

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Author van der Plaat, Deborah
Title of paper Contrasts (agency and difference) in nineteenth-century writings on architecture and design: Pugin, Ruskin and Wilde
Conference name Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference
Conference location Launceston, TAS, Australia
Conference dates 5-8 July 2012
Proceedings title Fabulation: Myth, Nature, Heritage: The 29th Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference
Place of Publication Launceston, TAS, Australia
Publisher University of Tasmania
Publication Year 2012
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status
ISBN 9781862956582
Editor Stuart King
Anuradha Chatterjee
Stephen Loo
Start page 1179
End page 1193
Total pages 15
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
The juxtaposition of style or historical epochs (Gothic against Greek, past against
present) is a common attribute of nineteenth century architectural criticism. While
Pugin's Contrasts; Or, A Parallel Between the Noble Edifices Of The Fourteenth
And Fifteenth Centuries, And Similar Buildings of the Present Day
(1836) provides
an explicit example of this methodology a similar reliance on stylistic and/or
temporal binaries is also evident in the later writings of John Ruskin and Oscar
Wilde. The aim of this paper is to compare Pugin's Contrasts with those of Ruskin
and Wilde. Initially adhering to the romantic proposition that all objects are
dependent on the development of an 'opposite' for their representation and being,
the treatment of this 'other' by each critic reveals divergent stylistic motives
ranging from the hierarchical (asserting the authority of one by the denigration of
the other), appropn'ation (where opposites combine to generate a third and
superior category) and analogical (the simultaneous acknowledgement and
autonomy of similarity and difference). Acknowledging a third conceptualisation of
the 'other' (analogy) that fails to conform with postcolonial models of appropriation
and denigration, the paper will also demonstrate the methodological importance of
'difference,' and the varying tolerances to it, within internal critiques of English
architectural practice throughout the nineteenth century.
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Thu, 12 Jul 2012, 16:58:47 EST by Deborah van der Plaat on behalf of School of Architecture