ruminations about architecture and design

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

magical realism

I was going to discuss Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the context of urban planning, but I may not be able to make a clear set of associations.  But, here goes:

Macondo is a real place. Marquez did not create it because he based it on reality, and if we examine his descriptions we can realize that he did not intend to be a controller of that space, but an observer. By wrapping narrative about people into the Place that was more real than anything that could be derived from pure memory he defied the label of fiction author. His career as a journalist proved his ability to make stories from non-fiction. The Buendia family can be viewed as part of a larger structure. They, like Marquez, were subordinate to the Place.

Its relation to the BP oil spill also proves that Fate has a good sense of humor.

So what about urban planning? No amount of propaganda can overcome structural deficiencies in a place that has been forsaken. Generations have to pass before people can find a reason for re-claiming a lost place. Pure abandonment, usually for environmental reasons, is a the better alternative. Don't go confusing paradise for that home on down the road.

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