- Topic: “fortification”
Alice’s Brain: Xenotheka Library
Comments: Way too farfetched. Too many results, too often way off topic. Useless.
- Topic: “Fortification of castles, defensive architecture”
Alice’s Brain: Architecture Library
Comments: Still going far off Topic. But relevant ones, too.
Relevant literature found: Szabo, The Bayeux Tapestry. A Critically Annotated Biblio
- Topic: “war architecture middle age castles”
Alice’s Brain: Architecture Library
Comments: Alice is good at showing anything only remotely close to what I typed in. switched to manually filtering for valuable information and found a lot!
Relevant literature found: Brown. 287. The Architecture of Castles: A Visual Guide.
Guffey, Designing Disability Symbols Space and Society
I conducted more searches after this, but I found out that Alice is very good at finding literature that is related to the information you feed her with. BUT she is not very good at sort of listing the results by relevance, which for example google excels at (rarely anybody needs to go to page 2 of a google search. It’s either on page 1 or Google didn’t find what you are looking for). Example: When I typed in “castle”, Alice kept giving me as a first result a book where there is a passage comparing an Englishmen’s castle to a New Yorker’s apartment as their last refuge. The “castle” in this sense is used metaphorically, so it’s not relevant to the topic I searched for, yet it showed very high up in the results all the time. So, I manually filtered Alice’s search and found some interesting pieces of literature and pictures.
The two books of my choice I compared to my book Nouvelle Maniere de Fortifier les Places are:
- The Architecture of Castles: A Visual Guide, by R Allen Brown, 1984
I chose this specific book because it is about the same topic as my book, but compared to the work of Francois Blondel, it is very recent. It retrospectively analyzes the same type of architecture, therefore. This creates a remarkable dynamic: While Francois Blondel was confronted with the topic as an army member, seriously dealing with the topic and trying his best to help the French army win real armed conflicts, Brown could ironically be called a recreational war architect – compared to Blondel. He pictures and describes ancient castles as a fascinating matter of architecture. He writes about development and the fall of castle architecture and is so distant to the former – and probably experiences by Blondel – seriousness of the topic. It feels like talking about this kind of architecture as if it was not created to prevent or cause death and destruction.
- Designing Disability Symbols Space and Society, by Elizabeth Guffey, 2020
I chose this book by Guffey because at first glance, it might be a strange finding Alice made, not related to my book at all, but at the second look, there might be more similarities than I thought. For example, as described before, Blondel must have had a very serious view to his topic simply by being affected, he’s very “into” what he writes about. The first book I compared was a complete contrast to this, yet treating the same topic of castles. This book now is about a different topic, but from this same “affected” kind of viewpoint Blondel worked his book on. Guffey writes about the invention of the wheelchair for example, whose breakthrough didn’t happen until wars caused many casualties and created a huge demand in mobility for disabled persons. And in a way, the design and construction of devices like a wheelchair have a lot in common with architecture. A wheelchair can mean space and home, much like architectural compositions try to.