Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

More Literary Things

I've also been working through more of my book by Louis Sullivan. An amusing passage describes his first boss, Major William Le Baron Jenney:

[...] It is true that, scattered through the east were architects of book-attainment in fair number, and a few of marked personality and red blood--particularly one Henry Richardson, he of the strong arm and virile mind--sole giant of his day. In Chicago there were two or three who were bookish and timid, and there were some who wre intelligently conscientious in the interest of their clients. Among the latter may be mentioned Major Jenney. The Major was a free-and-easy cultured gentleman, but not an architect except by courtesy of terms. His true profession was that of engineer. He had received his technical training, or education at the Ecole Polytechnique in France, and had served though the Civil War as Major of Engineers. He had been with Sherman on the march to the sea.

He spoke French with an accent so atrocious that it jarred Louis's teeth, while his English speech jerked about as though it had St. Vitus's dance. He was monstrously pop-eyed, with hanging mobile features, sensuous lips, and he disposed of matters easily in the manner of a war veteran who believed he knew what was what. Louis soon found out that the major was not, really, in his heart, an engineer at all, but by nature, and in toto, a bon vivant, a gourmet. He lived at Riverside, a suburb, and Louis often smiled to see him carry home by their naked feet, with all plumage, a brace or two of wild ducks, or other game birds, or a rare and odorous cheese from abroad. And the Major knew his vintages, every one, and his sauces, every one; he also was a master of the chafing dish and the charcoal grille. [...]

Quite a character.

(Sullivan, you can probably tell, was not very fond of architects who hid behind their book learning.)

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