Talking Book (Stevie Wonder)

Tags on the frivolous I’ve done, tags about books definitely not my territory. Firstly, my only reading material nowadays tend to be the daily newspapers I grab off the racks of 7-Eleven, that too only of articles with attention-grabbing pictures or really bold headlines. I’m usually done with all the flimsy pages by the time I’m halfway to work. Well, sometimes all the way to the showroom if Tuesday’s DL or Saturday’s sale advertisements manage to widen my attention span.

I used to read a lot … way, way back in primary school when I would buy a book everyday from a bookstore in Tanjong Pagar with my hard-earned pay of $5 after helping my mum at her stall. My favourites back then were those by Enid Blyton and I would usually be finished with them over a few hours. Sad to say, my whole collection was sold to the local rag and bone man for a small sum when my family moved to Hougang. Not a single one to pass down to Ooyah.

In recent years, I sometimes buy books whenever I find myself inside Borders or Page One, real thick ones at times, with the intention of actually reading them someday. Truth be told, they’re still in immaculate condition inside the study room’s book shelves. Maybe a few with some stains because Ooyah managed to grab them after eating her porridge. 😛

So Bavani … since you did give me some leeway with regards to the type of books I can feature, here goes …

1. Pick up the nearest book.

Let’s make it easier. I’ll just pick the one I last read to the end (about 5 years ago). It’s Vitruvius’ The Ten Books On Architecture.

2. Open to page 123.

Page 123 is just 1 page shy of a full graphic one. That would have been sentenceless. 😉

3. Find the fifth sentence.

But if such a temple is to be constructed in peripteral form, let two steps and then the stylobate be constructed below.

4. Post the next 3 sentences.

Next, let the cella wall be set up, recessed within the stylobate about one fifth of the breadth thereof, and let a place for folding doors be left in the middle to afford entrance. This cella, excluding its walls and the passage round the outside, should have a diameter equivalent to the height of a column above the stylobate. Let the columns round the cella be arranged in the symmetrical proportions just given.

5. Tag five people, and acknowledge the person who tagged you.: Forget five, I’m tagging every single person on all the beaches around the world who find reading much more enjoyable than plunging into the open sea. Bavani tagged me one.

I know. The sentences are rather mathematical in a way, and that’s precisely what the book is all about, an English translation emphasising the principles of symmetry, harmony and proportion in architecture, as set by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, a Roman architect in the first century B.C.. It is basically the Bible by which later famous architects like Michelangelo and Palladio adhere to and a major influence on major buildings around the world. Personally, it instilled within me a greater love for architecture and made me anal-retentive when it came to my own designs. Must be symmetrical … must be anthropometric … you get the gist.

Enough said. Should you ever find yourself inside a building like the Pantheon, Coliseum and the likes, just look around you and appreciate the structure that led to their majestic form.

That was Vitruvius’ philosophy at play.

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~ by blackcadillac73 on June 8, 2008.

2 Responses to “Talking Book (Stevie Wonder)”

  1. It wasn’t that hard right? Hey, I may actually like your book if it is a little mathematical. (The nerd in me speaks). I love symmetry in things (structures) – some people find that boring – but I see beauty in it.

  2. So far that is the only book that I had to crack my brain cells to comprehend, though eventually worth the read. I have another book that I might just try reading called ‘The City of Falling Angels’, about my beloved Venice.

    I’ll do a post about that one … perhaps in another 5 years time. 😉

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