Musical interpretation of Room?

March 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

Came across this while working on my document:

From Wikipedia:

“Songwriter and founder of the band Neil Hannon has often claimed that both the film and book had a profound influence on much of his work and cites them as all-time favourites.”


March 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

Three C's

Because when you haven’t read the book, the book doesn’t matter.

Find the difference

March 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

Which of the following doesn’t fit?

  1. Know thyself.
  2. Beauty is chaos.
  3. Only connect….

If you chose “Beauty is chaos,” then you’re absolutely correct! “Know thyself” and “only connect” are actionable themes, whereas “beauty is chaos” is merely a statement—and an incredibly ambiguous and subjective one at that.

The inspiration for this outlier came from page 136, when Lucy tells Charlotte:

‘It makes such a difference when you see a person with beautiful things behind him unexpectedly. It really does; it makes an enormous difference….’

This idea is also supported by an article in The Independent, wherein Jay Merrick writes:

There is no ideal, dictatorial beauty in architecture, nor a precise definition of beauty—our experience of it is often momentary, unexpected, and contradictory. […] Beauty in any form always causes some form of emotional or intellectual chaos.

Nevertheless, a good verb is required. Something to do with muddle, perhaps? (And putting the quotes together for the first time, it becomes apparent that unexpectedness is key.) Whatever the final verbiage, though, the goal tied to this particular theme is to frame guests in momentary vignettes (à la Wes Anderson). Here’s a basic sketch to give you a better idea of what I mean:


Not beautiful yet… but they will be!

Simplify, simplify, simplify!

March 1, 2013 § Leave a comment



February 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

It began with a book. Or rather, it began with a book design, recently released:

David Pearson’s cover design for Orwell’s 1984

Sweet black foiling!

Awesome, no? Perhaps it was nostalgia for an old favorite, or perhaps I needed something to temper the lightness of Room, but it was decided that 1984 should be revisited. Several pages in, it hit me: these are the same! (Okay, not the same, certainly, but they do share some similar sentiments regarding personal connection.)

To dissemble your feelings, to control your face, to do what everyone else was doing, was an instinctive reaction.

Victorian etiquette!

His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, […] to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself—that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word “doublethink” involved the use of doublethink.

The submergence of feeling? The hypocrisy of knowing, but deliberately not knowing? Why, it’s Lucy!

This may amount to nothing more than a curious rumination. Then again, it may influence the design of the pension… A Room With a View + 1984 + Penguin Deluxe Classics?

Random Musing

February 23, 2013 § 2 Comments

A friend recently shared an article from The Atlantic entitled “There’s no such thing as everlasting love (according to science).” Personally, I think it’s a matter of semantics. Nevertheless, I’m posting it here because one particular passage called to mind Mr. Emerson and his approach to people.

Barbara Fredrickson believes that love is

[…] “a micro-moment of positivity resonance.” She means that love is a connection, characterized by a flood of positive emotions, which you share with another person—any other person—whom you happen to connect with in the course of your day. You can experience these micro-moments with your romantic partner, child, or close friend. But you can also fall in love, however momentarily, with less likely candidates, like a stranger on the street, a colleague at work, or an attendant at a grocery store.

Compare that to George’s reflection on his father, who has unintentionally driven away the Reverend Mr. Eager’s Santa Croce tour group:

‘My father has that effect on nearly everyone,’ he informed her. ‘He will try to be kind.’

‘I hope we all try,’ said she, smiling nervously.

‘Because we think it improves our characters. But he is kind to people because he loves them; and they find him out, and are offended, or frightened.’

That is all.

Next post will be back to process.

A Room With Absolutely No View Whatsoever

February 22, 2013 § 3 Comments

Bubbles 022113

Bust or blessing?

As I was making the transition from trace to Revit, it occurred to me that guest room number 7 (highlighted above) has zero windows. Eek! Is that even allowed? It certainly isn’t normal….

But as it turns out, there is such a thing as a windowless hotel room! Check out this capsule hotel in Japan for one extreme example:

The concept is spreading to Russia and the UK as well. NiteNite in Birmingham shows off their slightly larger but still windowless “cabins” here.

Translational relevance

Is there a reason to have a windowless guest room in the Pension Bertolini? It would be possible to add additional skylights, but this windowless thing is intriguing. And when you’re dealing with symbolic rooms and views, what better to signify a flat refusal to know oneself than a room with absolutely no view whatsoever?

Specific inspiration might be derived from the character of Cecil, whom Lucy associates with a drawing-room, sans view (99). (Another name note: Cecil means “blind.”) He deceives himself first in his love for Lucy. After calling off the engagement, she watches his retreat:

She watched him steal upstairs, while the shadows from the banisters passed over his face like the beat of wings. On the landing he paused, strong in his renunciation, and gave her a look of memorable beauty. For all his culture, Cecil was an ascetic at heart, and nothing in his love became him like the leaving of it. (162)

Cecil’s unbecoming love, exhibit A.

Prior to leaving,  Cecil thanks Lucy for showing him his true self (a person incapable of intimacy)—but the lesson seems lost on him. While Lucy later contemplates the reception of her elopement with George, she remarks:

‘I wish, though, that Cecil had not turned so cynical about women. He has, for the second time, quite altered. Why will men have theories about women? I haven’t any about men.’ (194)

Not that you can blame him, of course…. But critics make a persuasive argument that Cecil, with or without realizing it—but certainly not admitting it to anyone, least of all himself—is gay. Mr. Beebe, who was “from rather profound reasons, somewhat chilly in his attitude towards the other sex, and preferred to be interested rather than enthralled”(31), seems suspicious of this, as Lucy’s brother recounts:

‘You know Mr. Beebe’s funny way, when you never quite know what he means. He said: “Mr. Vyse is an ideal bachelor.” I was very cute. I asked him what he meant. He said: “Oh, he’s like me—better detached.” I couldn’t make him say any more, but it set me to thinking.’ (80)

Yet here is Cecil at the end of the book, hating women instead of loving men.

But what say you? “Windows be damned?” Or, “Dear God, who in their right mind would sleep in a room with no windows!”

A little extra quoting

Mrs. Honeychurch accuses Freddy of disliking Cecil out of jealousy, after which this gem follows:

The explanation seemed plausible, and Freddy tried to accept it. But at the back of his brain there lurked a dim mistrust. Cecil praised one too much for being athletic. Was that it? Cecil made one talk in his way, instead of letting one talk in one’s own way. This tired one. Was that it? And Cecil was the kind of fellow who would never wear another fellow’s cap. Unaware of his own profundity, Freddy checked himself. He must be jealous, or he would not dislike a man for such foolish reasons. (80)

What can I say? I like it dry.

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