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"Plagued by Fire" review
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Mark Hertzberg



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 836

PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:20 am    Post subject: "Plagued by Fire" review Reply with quote

I have had the opportunity to read an advance copy of Paul Hendrickson's forthcoming "Plagued by Fire" My review is now at www.wrightinracine.com

Mark Hertzberg
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9576

PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would not call that a review. It reads more like an encomium for Hendrickson.

There are a couple of interesting photos in the article, including the troubling image of Hickox with that tacked on porch. I wish that house could be as excellently restored as its neighbor.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 18255
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh-heh. Perhaps our reviewer takes as his model the fawning descriptions of Wright's work---and clients---that typify Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer's text and notes in the Monographs . . . ?

S
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Mark Hertzberg



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 836

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have thought a lot about the comments, above, and have reread my piece. I could leave the comments alone, but I want to respond once. The book has generated a lot of discussion on Facebook and other places. I have basically written what a journalist would write: a description of how the book was written with admiration for the incredible primary research. There was no deal between Paul and me about what I could write other than that I could not reveal any specifics...that is no different than other advance reviews I have read. The others take a different tack but I wrote this as a journalist. I would hope that the skeptics about my piece would agree that I have written a fair assessment of the research after they read the book (should they choose to read it). I have alway been interested in the process of how books are written and wrote several similar pieces for my former newspaper. That is another part of my web piece: what was the genesis of the book? Did you ever think that it had been subconsciously percolating in his mind since he was nine years old? I did not. I had assumed that he came to Wright late in life. So, to me one of the relevant things which it seems has been glossed over is that Wright's designs had a profound influence on a nine-year-old boy, an influence he did not act on professionally until he was in his 60s. Isn't that kind of influence what has drawn all of us to Wright chat rooms, to Wright Facebook groups, to conferences, to having extensive Wright libraries, etc.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 18255
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes; that is an interesting and perhaps under-explored aspect of any Wright enthusiast's story: how and when did he or she first become aware of Wright and his work.
Each of us has a unique tale to tell in that regard; a collection of them would make a nice little book in itself . . . ?

Thanks, by the way, for new photos of Bradley and Hickox---including a unique side view of the latter, as well as excellent shots of the Bradley "light screens" in silhouette.

S
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3833
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keeping all of our discussions about the Hendrickson book linked:

http://wrightchat.savewright.org/viewtopic.php?t=11651&highlight=hendrickson&sid=f6516f52f7009dc3ddc79de2d7db391b

The above link has links....

The Frank LINCOLN Wright thread touched on the upcoming book as well:

http://wrightchat.savewright.org/viewtopic.php?t=10746&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=lincoln&start=90&sid=04e2a7448075d0ac2e6f73dfbfbc4281
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 7176
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fire follows Frank Lloyd Wright in new book


David
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 7176
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul Hendrickson on the Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright


David
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 2775
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My pre-ordered copy from Amazon arrives this Thursday.
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Architecture’s Most Irredeemable Cad


David
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David C found this for us: http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/October-2019/The-Ghosts-of-the-Bradley-House/
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 4216
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NYTimes book review
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/books/review/plagued-by-fire-frank-lloyd-wright-paul-hendrickson.html
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jay



Joined: 02 May 2016
Posts: 219

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally have zero interest in these types of "the man behind the mask" biographies. But this NYT review is a headache as well.... Back in the day when I wrote for a music magazine, we used to say about Reviews: 'You either praise (an album) or you trash it, because nobody wants to read anything else'... But that's hardly the offensive aspect here, though I'm not surprised to see my old adage remains true.... What's striking here is the reviewer so easily makes her own allegations and generalizations about Wright, resorting to one of many versions of the 'mythology of Wright'. If Hendrickson says Wright was a flawed but redeemable human, well then the reviewer says Wright was a flawed and irredeemable human. She criticizes against the practice of evaluating the humanness of a famous figure (which I agree with), but then offers her own evaluation of said famous figure.

It's subjectivity squared.

And how about this gem:
"As in life, so in his architecture; Wright produced some beautiful objects, but he lacked genuine feeling for his fellow earthlings."

Which brings me to my other conclusion about Reviews: they often say more about the reviewer's viewpoints than the work being reviewed.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 18255
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's possible, in this case at least, to see past the reviewer's opinions (that's what they are, though in this case I would say grounded in some familiarity with Wright) and learn something---more certainly than we've heard so far---about the book and about the author---who apparently thinks we'll want to know all about his own introduction to Wright.

Quoting or reliably paraphrasing an author gives a direct view of the content of his book, doesn't it ?

Perhaps I found it a satisfactory introduction book because I was prepared, from previous exposure---largely via this thread---to arrive at a judgement not unlike that of the Times writer. Prejudgement of course is a trap ever ready to swallow the credulous . . .?

S
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 18255
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I'll grant you that much of the reviewer's opinion of Wright is unnecessarily (and I believe exaggeratedly) damning; I can see how you would find
that annoying---and unnecessary, irrelevant to the job of reviewing another's work on the man.

I do rise to applaud when I read, "Often it seems that “Plagued by Fire”’s subject is as much Hendrickson’s hunches and reverential fantasies as it is
Wright’s life"---and, "Because Wright experienced emotions, some of them painful, he must be a fundamentally decent person." Applaud not Wright, not
Hendrickson, but Miss Goldhagen, that is . . .!

S
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