Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"The Spiv and the Architect"

The Spiv and the Architect: Unruly Life in Postwar London The Spiv and the Architect: Unruly Life in Postwar London by Richard Hornsey


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Academic yes, but still full of life in its history. London can never be a dull subject, and when you add the post-war world of Gay Men in a new world - that was London, it is fascinating.

The "Architect" in the title is those who plan out the vision of London after the war. The Spiv is the outsider (Gay, criminal, boho, etc) who lives in that new world - or make it their own world somewhat or somehow.
Using ubran architecture, 1950's British films, Cheap paperback books and its industry, and the nature of the "bed-set room" is all told in a PHD manner, yet the subject is one of total interest.

How 'sub-culture' life exists in a world that is totally indifferent or in fear of them is an interesting tale. Richard Hornsey's thesis and paper is a must for those who are interested in British gay culture, but even more important how cities/architecture/books comment on a world that they can't control or contain.



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