Inventing Le Corbusier

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Following up to “Inventing T.S. Eliot“.

According to Mark Lamster

We don’t know much about Le Corbusier’s biography because the architect wanted it that way. His persona was as much a construct as one of his buildings, beginning with his fabricated name, chosen in part for its implied ability to bend (courber) others to his immense will. “I have created my identity on my own foundations, on my own terms,” he wrote to a friend in 1921, after assuming the pseudonym. He was 34 years old at the time, and erasure was a theme that preoccupied him personally and professionally. The man who was born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris in a nondescript Swiss town loathed nothing so much as his bourgeois roots. He renounced his Swiss citizenship and reinvented himself as a French cosmopolitan […]

The architect had good reason to shield the public from his personal history […] Weber reveals the architect to have been an insecure, amoral, misogynistic, xenophobic, and vainglorious careerist; a man blinkered to the consequences of his actions and oblivious to the world around him; a philandering husband who destroyed the finances of his parents and drove his wife to alcoholism; a provocateur who professed a martyr’s injury at the slightest criticism

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