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Description: Wasteland: A History
~This book would never have come into being without the guidance, wisdom, and care of my teachers. My greatest debt is to Robin Middleton. Robin introduced me to the eighteenth century, shaped my ideas about it, and infused me with a love of its books. In the years since I first became his student, he has been a mentor, a staunch supporter, a generous reader, and a...
PublisherYale University Press
Acknowledgments
This book would never have come into being without the guidance, wisdom, and care of my teachers. My greatest debt is to Robin Middleton. Robin introduced me to the eighteenth century, shaped my ideas about it, and infused me with a love of its books. In the years since I first became his student, he has been a mentor, a staunch supporter, a generous reader, and a friend. My thanks to him go beyond words. Barry Bergdoll has been an inspiration to me ever since I first took a class with him in graduate school. As my colleague at Columbia, he has been my guide, and I am profoundly grateful for the advice and support he has given me over the years. Richard Brilliant encouraged my interest in English landscape from the very beginning. He nurtured the growth of this book with a steady stream of articles, reviews, and other assorted clippings (one of which became an epigraph), and always pushed me to clarify my arguments and ideas. In many ways and for many years Hilary Ballon has been a mentor, a champion, and an exemplar. I am deeply grateful for her continuing encouragement. Mary McLeod has supported my work in more ways than I can express. Her enthusiastic and questioning spirit has been an inspiration; her friendship has kept me going in the toughest of times. All of these extraordinary teachers not only taught me by example, but they all have also read various earlier incarnations of this book. I am grateful for their time, comments, criticisms, and suggestions; any sins of omission or commission are mine alone.
I have also learned a great deal from my colleagues at Columbia. Elizabeth Hutchinson and Matthew McKelway both deserve a special mention for things both tangible and intangible. Holger Klein, Stephen Murray, and Esther Pasztory read my work at various points with care. Particular thanks are due also to Zainab Bahrani, Francesco Benelli, Jonathan Crary, Vidya Dehejia, David Freedberg, Cordula Grewe, Bob Harrist, Anne Higonnet, and Reinhold Martin. The late Caleb Smith explored two New York City wastelands with me, and took beautiful photographs of the remaining unconverted section of the High Line. At Columbia I also have been fortunate to work with some wonderful students, and am thankful for many stimulating discussions with Ricky Anderson, Charles Kang, Elsa Lam, Yates McKee, Al Narath, Carol Santoleri, Meg Studer, Daniel Talesnik, Robert Wiesenberger, Alena Williams, and Carolyn Yerkes.
Among my colleagues at the School of Architecture of the University of Southern California, I would particularly like to note the support of Dean Qingyun Ma, Diane Ghirardo, Amy Murphy, Jim Steele, Marc Schiler, and Victor Jones.
I am greatly indebted to those people who are at once friends and colleagues. From my graduate student days at Columbia, I would like to thank Gökhan Karakus, Victoria Sanger, Shaalini Stone, Edward Wendt, and Richard Wittman for their camaraderie and continuing friendship. Diana Periton has been my collaborator since I first taught with her at the Architectural Association; she continues to be my inspiration. Sarah Jackson and Susan Jenkins were both essential to all aspects of my life during my time in London. Other colleagues from my London days who deserve special mention are Katharina Borsi, Helene Furján, and Barbara Penner. Mari Hvattum and Mari Lending invited me to Oslo and made my stay there (with a small Taddeo in tow) both stimulating and delightful; Kate Bentz, Juliet Koss, and Janike Kampevold Larsen have done the same for me in New York. David Hays, Eduardo de Jesús Douglas, and Veronica Kalas provided intellectual and other sustenance during our time together at Dumbarton Oaks. The enduring friendship of Anna Acconcia, Lara Belkind, Jean-Gabriel Henry, Sarah Martin, and Anne Hayden Stevens has sustained me for decades.
Molly Aitken deserves a very special thanks for introducing me to her wonderful editor at Yale, Michelle Komie. Michelle has been a champion of this book since the very first, and has steered the manuscript wisely and well. The book benefited greatly from editor Deborah Bruce-Hostler’s keen and careful eye, and I would like to acknowledge her along with the rest of those at Yale University Press who helped my words to take tangible form. I would also like to thank the anonymous readers of my manuscript, and in particular Jedediah Purdy, for their erudite and constructive comments as well as for their support of this book.
My research has been generously supported by a number of institutions. Fellowships from Dumbarton Oaks; the Yale Center for British Art; the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library; the Huntington Library; the Canadian Centre for Architecture; the Institute of Form, Theory, and History of the Oslo School of Architecture; the Department of Art History and Archaeology of Columbia University; and Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences have all generously contributed to this project at various points. I have also had the pleasure of working in Avery Library, the Bodleian Library, the British Library, the National Archives in Kew, the archives of the Bedfordshire County Record Office, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust archives, and the archives of the Royal Society of London.
Convention dictates that we thank our nearest and dearest last. This book could not have been completed without the generosity, strength, and love of Ted Abramczyk. He has been my anchor throughout the long process of writing of this book, and the life we have built together with our son Taddeo has brought me the greatest possible happiness. Taddeo’s infancy and the coming into being of this book were two adventures lived in parallel. He is my joy, my steady light, my hope for the future.
My mother, Francine Barban, and my father, Beppe Di Palma, come at the end, but it is to them that I owe my first and deepest thanks. I would not be who I am today if not for their care, sacrifice, encouragement, and sustaining love. This book is for them.
Acknowledgments
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