Like all of Robert Harbison's works, Eccentric Spaces is a hybrid, informed by the author's interests in art, architecture, fiction, poetry, landscape, geography, history, and philosophy. The subject is the human imagination—and the mysterious interplay between the imagination and the spaces it has made for itself to live in: gardens, rooms, buildings, streets, museums and maps, fictional topographies, and architectures. The book is a lesson in seeing and sensing the manifold forms created by the mind for its own pleasure.
Palaces and haunted houses, Victorian parlors, Renaissance sculpture gardens, factories, hill-towns, ruins, cities, even novels and paintings constructed around such environments—these are the spaces over which the author broods. Brilliantly learned, deliberately remote in form from conventional scholarship, Eccentric Spaces is a magical book, an intellectual adventure, a celebration.
Since its original publication in 1977, Eccentric Spaces has had a devoted readership. Now it is available to be discovered by a new generation of readers.
About the Author
Robert Harbison has lectured widely on architecture at the Museum of Modem Art in New York, the University of Toronto, Stanford University, Cornell University, and the Architectural Association, London. His previous books include Eccentric Spaces, Deliberate Regression, and Pharaoh's Dream.
"Eccentric Spaces . . . makes me want to rush out in every direction at once and reexamine all I have ever seen. You can hardly ask a book to do more than that."
—Anatole Broyard, New York Times
"It awakens the reader to the space around him, and it is a reminder of how much we want from the world."
—Richard Todd, Atlantic Monthly