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The Domestic Space Reader

The Domestic Space Reader

Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 448
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  • Book Info
    The Domestic Space Reader
    Book Description:

    The Domestic Space Readerdemonstrates how discussions of domestic spaces can help us better understand our inner lives and challenge our perceptions of life in particular times and places.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6194-3
    Subjects: Architecture and Architectural History, History, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xii)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. Permissions
    (pp. xvii-2)
  6. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 3-16)

    ThisReadergathers together significant writing on domestic space through history and across cultures and disciplines, ranging from anthropology to fiction. As its Latin source (domesticus; domus) suggests, ‘domestic’ signifies of/belonging to the home, house, or household. And so the concept, ‘domestic space,’ as presented in thisReader,takes into account the material, psychological, spiritual, gendered, social, cultural, and political aspects of house, home, and garden in the context of the everyday and of human relationships within and beyond the house.

    Incorporating foundational sources as well as contemporary and occasionally controversial contributions, theReaderdemonstrates how discussions of domestic space...

  7. CHAPTER TWO The Idea of Home
    (pp. 17-72)

    The diversity of ideas of home is indicated in the following samples, which range across historical periods, geographical locations, and cultures. Ideas of home are contingent on place and time, reflect religious and cultural practices, and are modulated by economic and social factors; they shape and are themselves shaped by kinship structures and gender roles. In one of the seminal texts on domestic space,The Poetics of Space,Gaston Bachelard evokes the phenomenological significance of the image of the house – its attics, cellars, doors, windows, hearths, drawers, corners, and nooks and crannies – and the ‘primitive hut’ – for our intimate being...

  8. CHAPTER THREE Interiors
    (pp. 73-120)

    The selections in this chapter sketch the development and varieties of domestic interiors from Roman to modern times and across different cultural practices. As underscored by these selections, the history of the interior is a history of the mapping and crossing of boundaries. Architectural historian Joseph Rykwert argues that the primitive hut, a key element in myths and rituals and a source of fascination for both Bachelard and Heidegger, is displayed by all peoples at all times (see also Marc in this volume), and continues to serve as a paradigm for judging buildings. Turning to first-century Rome, Clive Knights elaborates...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR House/Body/Psyche
    (pp. 121-150)

    Whether in painting, literature, or architectural theory, the house has served as a recurring metaphor for the human persona, engendering numerous analogies between the house and the body and the house and the psyche. In ‘Representation by Symbols in Dreams – Some Further Typical Dreams,’ Sigmund Freud drew attention to the house as a favourite image of oneiric fantasy, and opened the floodgates to multifarious interpretations of domestic spaces.¹ This chapter presents a sampling of the ways in which such interconnections among house, body, and psyche have been inscribed.

    Beginning with the Roman architect Vitruvius, who had developed an analogy between...

  10. CHAPTER FIVE Gendered Spaces
    (pp. 151-198)

    Because of the enduring and inevitable association of home and woman, many of the selections in thisReadernaturally allude to issues of gender. In the following selections, however, the relationship and performance of sexuality and gender in domestic spaces come to the fore to be analysed, critiqued, and deconstructed. Thus in the essay that opens this section, Bart Verschaffel enters the interiors of seventeenth-century Dutch painters to probe the unsaid in their narratives and to interrogate the too often taken for granted relationship between femininity and domesticity. Deborah Cohen demonstrates how even though it became a cliché in the...

  11. CHAPTER SIX Home Parts
    (pp. 199-246)

    This chapter takes us inside the domestic space to investigate specific objects, rooms, and arrangements. John Crowley’s sketch of the development of the chimney fireplace implicitly queries Rybczynski’s (see section 3.4 this volume) evolutionary approach to the history of home; Crowley traces the origins of privacy in residential architecture in the requirement to provide a private space for prayer in corporate religious institutions during the Middle Ages. Edgar Allan Poe, in his essay published while editor ofBurton’s Gentleman’s Magazine,starts with a sprightly catalogue of various countries’ deficiencies in interior decoration – sparing only the English – and launches a vehement...

  12. CHAPTER SEVEN Liminal Spaces
    (pp. 247-284)

    This chapter looks at those spaces that negotiate the relationship between inside and outside, private and public, such as doors, gardens, or windows. Georg Simmel describes the functions, metaphysics, and aesthetics of the door in relation to and as a kind of ‘bridge.’ He differentiates between the door and the window, contending that, although doors and windows are similar in that they both connect the interior to the exterior, the window is only meant for looking out. The door, which forms a link between human space and the outside, is however, a mode ofbothseparation and connection. Simmel’s perspective...

  13. CHAPTER EIGHT Contested Spaces
    (pp. 285-320)

    This chapter presents a selection of domestic spaces that are sites of appropriation, rebellion, or subversion in which normative or conventional views and uses of home and house are challenged. In her astute critique of the home at the turn of the twentieth century, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the famous advocate of a domestic revolution that would allow for women’s full participation in public life, frames her criticism of female unpaid labour through economic and social arguments that show up present domestic arrangements as anachronistic and wasteful. Paige Raibmon notes how, paradoxically, Aboriginal domestic space in the Canadian and American northwest...

  14. CHAPTER NINE Literary Spaces
    (pp. 321-376)

    From the Bible through fairy tales to the contemporary Japanese manga, all genres and periods of world literature are permeated and shaped by representations of houses and the concept of home. Writers and critics have repeatedly described literature and the process of writing in architectural terms and images. Moreover, many literary terms, features, and genres are linked to domestic architecture: structure, aspect, outlook, character, interior, content (contents of the house, content of the novel), liminal, threshold, entry point, style, perspective. In addition, literary genres are named after architectural features and domestic spaces and objects such as closet dramas, gothic novel,...

  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 377-410)
  16. Index
    (pp. 411-422)