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Architects in works of fiction

This week is promising to be a very busy one, with work deadlines colliding headlong (as usual) with my daughter coming down with a D&V bug. I was imagining myself curled up in the garden for long stretches reading Persephone books (aren't they like a comforting chilled milkshake in book form) but reality is going to be much more chaotic.

I may not be making much headway with reading, but I am enjoying reading everyone's reviews of various Persephone books. Verity at The B Files reviewed Bricks And Mortar yesterday; this caught my attention since it "tells the story of an architect over 40 years of his life in the 1890s". For those in the know, I'm an architect, and this book would hold great interest for me especially as Verity felt that Ashton got into an architect's way of thinking. One for my TBR list!

This, though, got me thinking about the paucity of architects in fiction. The only book I can think of is Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. This is a beautiful book and a classic, and also one of those books that every student of architecture must read. I think we all go through an idealistic phase of imagining ourselves as Howard Roark before real life and commercial pressures force us into turning into Peter Keating. I honestly cannot come up with any other book.

There are many more architects in films. Off the top of my head, there's Michelle Pfeiffer in One Fine Day (struggling to find childcare and present a design on the same day), Tom Selleck in Three Men And A Baby, Doug Roberts in Towering Inferno (who must bear the public's scorn even though it is the developer's cost-cutting that caused the inferno), David Murphy in Indecent Proposal (who auctions his wife because of financial difficulties), and Healy and Tucker in There's Something About Mary (both pretend to be architects to get the girl).

It's strange that authors rarely choose to make their protagonists architects although they are more popular with film-makers. Does anyone have any architect-centric books to recommend to me?

1 comment:

verity said...

I so enjoyed Bricks and Mortar, and love your post on this theme!