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Lewis Mumford

Date de naissance: 19. octobre 1895
Date de décès: 26. janvier 1990
Autres noms:Льюїс Мамфорд

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Lewis Mumford est un historien américain, spécialisé dans l’histoire de la technologie et de la science, ainsi que dans l’histoire de l’urbanisme.

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Citations Lewis Mumford

„Now life is the only art that we are required to practice without preparation, and without being allowed the preliminary trials, the failures and botches, that are essential for the training of a mere beginner.“

— Lewis Mumford
Context: Now life is the only art that we are required to practice without preparation, and without being allowed the preliminary trials, the failures and botches, that are essential for the training of a mere beginner. In life, we must begin to give a public performance before we have acquired even a novice's skill; and often our moments of seeming mastery are upset by new demands, for which we have acquired no preparatory facility. Life is a score that we play at sight, not merely before we have divined the intentions of the composer, but even before we have mastered our instruments; even worse, a large part of the score has been only roughly indicated, and we must improvise the music for our particular instrument, over long passages. On these terms, the whole operation seems one of endless difficulty and frustration; and indeed, were it not for the fact that some of the passages have been played so often by our predecessors that, when we come to them, we seem to recall some of the score and can anticipate the natural sequence of the notes, we might often give up in sheer despair. The wonder is not that so much cacophony appears in our actual individual lives, but that there is any appearance of harmony and progression.

„Bloodshed kept pace with iron production“

— Lewis Mumford
Context: Bloodshed kept pace with iron production: in essence, the entire paleotechnic period was ruled, from beginning to end, by the policy of blood and iron. The brutal contempt for life was equalled only by the the almost priestly ritual it developed for inflicting death. Its "peace" was indeed the peace that passeth understanding: what was it but latent warfare. Ch. 4, sct. 5

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„If we are to create balanced human beings, capable of entering into world-wide co-operation with all other men of good will — and that is the supreme task of our generation, and the foundation of all its other potential achievements — we must give as much weight to the arousal of the emotions and to the expression of moral and esthetic values as we now give to science, to invention, to practical organization. One without the other is impotent.“

— Lewis Mumford
Context: If we are to create balanced human beings, capable of entering into world-wide co-operation with all other men of good will — and that is the supreme task of our generation, and the foundation of all its other potential achievements — we must give as much weight to the arousal of the emotions and to the expression of moral and esthetic values as we now give to science, to invention, to practical organization. One without the other is impotent. And values do not come ready-made: they are achieved by a resolute attempt to square the facts of one's own experience with the historic patterns formed in the past by those who devoted their whole lives to achieving and expressing values. If we are to express the love in our own hearts, we must also understand what love meant to Socrates and Saint Francis, to Dante and Shakespeare, to Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti, to the explorer Shackleton and to the intrepid physicians who deliberately exposed themselves to yellow fever. These historic manifestations of love are not recorded in the day's newspaper or the current radio program: they are hidden to people who possess only fashionable minds. Values for Survival (1946)

„By fashion and built-in obsolescence the economies of machine production, instead of producing leisure and durable wealth, are duly cancelled out by the mandatory consumption on an even larger scale.“

— Lewis Mumford
Context: Unfortunately, once an economy is geared to expansion, the means rapidly turn into an end and "the going becomes the goal." Even more unfortunately, the industries that are favored by such expansion must, to maintain their output, be devoted to goods that are readily consumable either by their nature, or because they are so shoddily fabricated that they must soon be replaced. By fashion and built-in obsolescence the economies of machine production, instead of producing leisure and durable wealth, are duly cancelled out by the mandatory consumption on an even larger scale. Myth of Megalopolis <!-- p. 545 -->

„Today our world faces a crisis: a crisis which, if its consequences are as grave as now seems, may not fully be resolved for another century.“

— Lewis Mumford
Context: Today our world faces a crisis: a crisis which, if its consequences are as grave as now seems, may not fully be resolved for another century. If the destructive forces in civilization gain ascendancy, our new urban culture will be stricken in every part. Our cities, blasted and deserted, will be cemeteries for the dead: cold lairs given over to less destructive beasts than man. But we may avert that fate: perhaps only in facing such a desperate challenge can the necessary creative forces be effectually welded together. Instead of clinging to the sardonic funeral towers of metropolitan finance, ours to march out to newly plowed fields, to create fresh patterns of political action, to alter for human purposes the perverse mechanisms or our economic regime, to conceive and to germinate fresh forms of human culture. Instead of accepting the stale cult of death that the Fascists have erected, as the proper crown for the servility and brutality that are the pillars of their states, we must erect a cult of life: life in action, as the farmer or mechanic knows it: life in expression, as the artist knows it: life as the lover feels it and the parent practices it: life as it is known to men of good will who meditate in the cloister, experiment in the laboratory, or plan intelligently in the factory or the government office. Introduction

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„Modern industrial design is based on the principle of conspicuous economy [but] the bourgeois culture which dominates the Western World is founded... on the principle of conspicuous waste.“

— Lewis Mumford
Lewis Mumford (1930) Modern American design. R.L. Leonard, & ‎C.A. Glassgold (eds.), ‎American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen. p. 9; As cited in: V.T. Clayton et al. Drawing on America's Past, p. 28

„It is our utopias that make the world tolerable to us: the cities and mansions that people dream of are those in which they finally live.“

— Lewis Mumford
The Story of Utopias, Chapter One http://books.google.com/books?id=846mSPr_kaUC&q=%22It+is+our+utopias+that+make+the+world+tolerable+to+us+the+cities+and+mansions+that+people+dream+of+are+those+in+which+they+finally+live%22&pg=PA11#v=onepage (1922).

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