Thesis Dump :: Intro

Posted in Uncategorized by johnsnavely on June 11, 2007

Everything is New

It was so quiet in Victor’s that you almost heard the temperature drop as you came in the door. On a bar stool a woman in a black tailormade, which couldn’t at that time of year have been anything but some synthetic fabric like orlon, was sitting alone with a pale greenish-colored drink in front of her and smoking a cigarette in a long jade holder. She had that fine-drawn intense look that is sometimes neurotic, sometimes sex-hungry, and sometimes just the result of drastic dieting.

Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

Pastiche is, like parody, the imitation of a peculiar or unique, idiosyncratic style, the wearing of a linguistic mask, speech in a dead language. But it is a neutral practice of such mimicry, without any of parody’s ulterior motives, amputated of the satiric impulse, devoid of laughter and of any conviction that alongside the abnormal tongue you have momentarily borrowed, some healthy linguistic normality still exists. Pastiche is thus blank parody, a statue with blind eyeballs.

Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism: The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism


In 1914, a small theater was constructed in Williamsburg Brooklyn. In the 1920’s it was converted to a cinema. From 1950’s to 1970’s the theater gradually declined, at first screening popular marquee films but later grind-house Mexican wrestling movies. The theater closed in 1985. The building was reopened as a retail business in the 1990’s, changing hands several times. Today the building holds a 99 cent store. The neighborhood is poised to change yet again, in terms of the cultural demographic, economic condition, and most importantly, the stylistic concerns of its inhabitants. In this paradigmatic example of urban aesthetic and programmatic obsolescence, developing strategies for the deployment of pastiche offers a way of respecting the constant variety of demands made upon architecture.


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