About my experience with «friends with an old book»
I remember the day we were given the task “friends with an old book”. I was amazed at the very extraordinary assignment. However, sadly my friendship with the book ended with the second exercise. The book was in maintenance at the bookbinder’s and so I was given the opportunity to get to know a new book.
My new book “Mémoires sur les objets les plus importante de l’architecture” was written by French architect and author Pierre Patte in 1769. So I repeated the first exercise again. I gathered basic information again and started to get to know my book.
I was then allowed to view and leaf through my new book in the ETH Library. Of course, only with extreme caution. I have to admit that before I did the task, I didn’t understand the meaning of the task exactly. Why should I stare into a book for 20 minutes that I don’t even understand because of the language? But in the end it was still a great experience. The ancient book, which has lived through so many years and has been read by a wide variety of people, found its way to me through this task. Several hundred years is a long time. Pierre Pattes name is still spoken today, who of us will ever succeed this?
However, I still had problems understanding the book. But as soon as I made the connection to Jacques-Francois Blondel that I began to understand something. Pierre Patte was an assistant to the great French architecture teacher. Then I suddenly noticed how everything is connected. All the big names and all the diffrent theories ultimately come together in some way.
So I started to understand the whole idea of “friends with an old book”. I finally saw a connection from the lectures to the books. Everything is connected. I really liked this idea. The book also enabled me to get to know the ETH library better. Unbelievable how huge their inventory is. I was also given the opportunity to visit the beautiful library in Einsiedeln, which was a great experience.
I don’t know for sure whether I really became friends with the book. I suspect I became more friends with his backgrounds and the people behind them.I had to guess the content of the book because of the foreign language, but I was able to make the origins, links and connections to other theoreticians, and that’s why I’m ultimately satisfied with the task of “friends with an old book”.