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Architectural Involutions: Writing, Staging, and Building Space, c. 1435-1650
by Mimi Yiu
Northwestern University Press, 2014
Paper: 978-0-8101-3659-5 | eISBN: 978-0-8101-6773-5 | Cloth: 978-0-8101-2986-3
Library of Congress Classification PR658.D65Y58 2014
Dewey Decimal Classification 822.309357

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

Winner of the MLA Prize for Independent Scholars

Taking the reader on an inward journey from façades to closets, from physical to psychic space, Architectural Involutions offers an alternative genealogy of theater by revealing how innovations in architectural writing and practice transformed an early modern sense of interiority. The book launches from a matrix of related “platforms”—a term that in early modern usage denoted scaffolds, stages, and draftsmen’s sketches—to situate Alberti, Shakespeare, Jonson, and others within a landscape of spatial and visual change.

As the English house underwent a process of inward folding, replacing a logic of central assembly with one of dissemination, the subject who negotiated this new scenography became a flashpoint of conflict in both domestic and theatrical arenas. Combining theory with archival findings, Mimi Yiu reveals an emergent desire to perform subjectivity, to unfold an interior face to an admiring public. Highly praised for its lucid writing, comprehensive supplementary material, and engaging tone, Architectural Involutions was the winner of the 2016 MLA Prize for Independent Scholars.


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