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17th Century Commentary

Monday, 18 January 2016

Brutal, uninformed criticism is nothing new. These extracts from the diaries of 17th Century commentators show how resistant we can be to new architectural forms. Thanks to Paul Martin for the illustrations.

 

Sir Robert Aubrey 

Upon seeing this Heathen Monstrositie I fell to Violent Trembling, seeking release in 2 bottles Claret and 1 of Sack. It made me incline to vomit after 1 houre of taking, with much sweat and spitting. Drank wormwood beer for Dinner. I took spirit of urine and laudanum with milk for the Digestion. It was some Time before I could returne to my labours of fine draughtsmanship, Natural Philosophie and foetus-pickling.

 

Baron Phillipe du Pensants-Biens

Thus is Architecture, once Childeish, now made a slutte, and a Very Abomination in ye Sight of God. It made me straine but after 2 houres brought up nothing but blood. With drinking broth and a feather I vomited a little but head and eyes much worse. In ye afternoon I found myself much better, spitting much and also voyding by ye nose. Ye following night slept very little and disturbed, but sang prodigiously - hymnes to Our Lord and martial fancies - which made me not hear ye noyse in my head. Alas, my usual Whore is dead of ye Smallpox and I must Make Do with another.

 

Lord Malmesby of Walmesby

O'er land and sea have I travel'd, e'en to fair Cathay. And suche calumnies a-waitin' me in Peking! As soon as I clapped Eyes on this...this Arse o' Satanne - I blew blood out o' my right nostrille with a pain I had not experienced since they put up that great fuckin’ turdde in Pariss, which is called ye Cathedralle of Notre Dame. God D-m Their Foulle Catholicke Hearts! Was well refresht after vomit, tho cheated of a shitt. Slept ill. At airport, pewked a little.

 

Duke Robaldo Diodarti

Fie! Fie! Fie! A most bumptious endeavour! Shewed this to my Lord Chancellor of the Wardrobe, who swooned, bleeding out of his nose and also pissing much blood. For myselffe - drank a gallon of plain posset and vomited with a feather, much slime and tough fermenting flegme. Where is ye doore? Pah!

 

Donald Trumpys Esq

It was a Most Preposterous Notion that, in train of Ye Great Catastrophe of Dutch New York, we shoud besmirch ye sacred memory of ye departed. I myselfe was witness to that most malicious bloodie flame, which resembelled one entire arch of fire. It made me weepe to see it and my vital organnes did boil to behold thousands of Mohammedans fall to laughing at ye carnage. Yet what be now enbuildened? A Noxious 'Masterpiece Contemporary' by Sir Christopher Wren, whose Head is like unto an egg! No! We must tear asunder this monstrositie, for to rebuilden ye original, yet slightlie bigger. Ate Goose, not well rosted, made me very sick. I find tobacco doe no good without bitumen and sulphurre. Vomited black stuff after. Have caught a great cold, possibly by leaving off slippers. Much sweat. My wigge also stubborn and insolent. God bugger the Mohammedans, whose architecture must be extinguished forthwith.

 

 

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Published
Publication date: March 2017
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