On Edward Eigen

Detail: “Narrative Lines.” From Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (London, 1762)

One of the prosaic memories I have of my time in grad school is of standing by the entry of the School of Architecture and smoking cigarettes with Professor Ed Eigen. The absence of serious discourse characterized these occasional respites which occurred no more than I can count on one hand.

Recently, I started reading his book On Accident: Episodes in Architecture and Landscape published by MIT Press. And I think I had a grin on my face the entire time I read his preface. What a delightful mind to process such infinite sources and compose an erudite narrative that is diffused yet so cogent! I realized that reading this book in a slow leisurely manner is the best way to appreciate the fantastic sights and landscapes that his words were building in my mind.

The current project I am working on may not have a direct connection or correlation with the thesis of his book. However, I hope that there may be meandering inspirations in the intellectual companionship between the author and reader. It is as if silent laminar flow lines of smoke rising in the air become scholarly discourse.