Friends with an old book
Architettura civilie – Guarino Guarini
Getting friend with the book “Architettura civile” wasn’t that easy. Even though it was a challenge it was a pleasant task to get in touch with this work, getting to know more about architecture and the thoughts behind their appearances in the real world.
The most difficult challenge was to overcome the linguistic hurdle. This book was written in old-fashioned Italian, so there was little for me to read in this book. Even though I tried to translate the book into English or German the translation wasn’t that precise which could not represent the exact information of the text.
Thus, there is quite a lot of information lost due to linguistic gap between me and this book.
Even though there was this linguistic gap the book could be understood by just “reading” the wonderful geometrical illustrations, architectonical cross views, plans and views. This vast collection of drawings enabled me to get friend with this book und to get to know it better.
A depiction of the author of this book, Gurino Gurarini, made it also a lot easier to get this bond between the work and me, knowing how the guy looked like.
The other side of the coin is that there is a slight possibility that I misinterpreted the drawings and illustrations and got the meaning wrong. So again, this outlines that understanding the text is very essential to understand the whole book.
Thanks to this book I’ve also got an insight into how architecture was made back then, when Guarini was still living. It makes it easier to follow and understand their thoughts, how they made their decisions and on which basis. It was quite surprised when I got to know how many geometrical structures and mathematical thoughts were “hidden” behind architectonical elements such as façades, views and ground-plans.
Due to this intense examination of this book I’ve acquired more historic and architectural knowledge which can be used to compare different styles in architecture and lead a debate on such subjects on a more professional level.
The most interesting point was to get in touch with this book in real. This experience gave me more insight into how book where published in the 18th century. The physical encounter provided me more information about how the layouts looked like, how the book was organized, how the book was wrapped, etc. Thus, it was more than just physically touching the book but also get to know how things those books were made (paper productions, copperplate engravings, book bindings, etc.).
Regardless of my book I was also stunned how well some vintage books looked after all this time, knowing that some books were made up from organic materials such as leather. The visit to the library in Einsiedeln was therefore quite unique experience.
Overall, the friendship with my old book was quite interesting and informative. This bond enabled me to view architecture from a different point of view and to get a wider insight into the 18th century.