Writing atmospheres

Literary methods to investigate the thresholds of architectural experience

Authored by: Klaske Havik

The Routledge Companion on Architecture, Literature and The City

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781472482730
eBook ISBN: 9781315613154
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315613154-17

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Abstract

The low afternoon sun, straight from the west, ahead of me, lit the pavement and facades of the Grotemarktstraat as if to set them on fire. No flames, just warmth. The pedestrians and cyclists all became evenly soft and dissolving figures, actors in the scene of an old movie, and I was one of them, just until the shock of recognition made me stop. I had to turn, step out, walk back and stay in that very moment for just a little longer in order to fully grasp it, to frame, take notice how the street was alive and brought to life by light and figures. I had to stop to be able to write about it now, a day later in an airplane to other cities, I had to stop since she not only offered me that moment but also demanded me to receive it and to reveal it, to you: she made me act. The city speaks, and I reply in silent words, later, on a page.

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