Critical Contexts for Writing : a reading list
December 14, 2012 6:55 AM   Subscribe

I've been asked to put together a longish reading list for a BA Art/Literature module, and I'd love some ideas for texts outside my current knowledge. The list should cover a series of genres and contexts, with writing from, and about, the history and theory of art, journalism, academia, design, architecture and film. Writing on design and architecture are particularly outside my knowledge. What innovative and critically significant writings can you recommend across any of these subject areas?

A few ideas so far to show where I'm coming from:

Susan Stewart - On Longing
David Lodge - Consciousness and the Novel
Christopher Vogler - The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers
Aldous Huxley - Ape and Essence
Jonathan Lethem - The Ecstasy of Influence
Charles Bernstein - Content's Dream
Roland Barthes - Mythologies / Barthes on Barthes
Henry Lefebvre - Critique of Everyday
Early Dada and/or Futurist writings, and perhaps some poetry by Kurt Schwitters, concrete poets and/or fluxus artists
Some Oulipo writings (ideas welcome!)
Cabinet Magazine (essays/articles)

Keep in mind this is for 1st/2nd year Bachelor of Art students.

Thanks in advance!
posted by 0bvious to Education (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Christopher Alexander's A Pattern Language or The Timeless way of building.
posted by leibniz at 7:26 AM on December 14, 2012

Best answer: Air Guitar - Dave Hickey
Technics and Civilization - Lewis Mumford
Oulipo Compendium by Harry Mathews
posted by mattbucher at 8:20 AM on December 14, 2012

Best answer: John Berger, Ways of Seeing
posted by scody at 8:40 AM on December 14, 2012

Best answer: oh, and also Hans Richter, Dada: Art and Anti-Art. Richter was one of the original Dadaists, and wrote this in the '60s looking back at the original Dada movement as well as considering the neo-Dada/Fluxus/Pop movements of the moment.
posted by scody at 8:42 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Don't forget to take advantage of your local librarian. Call, text or visit and ask the same question. We/they are here to help you!
posted by crepeMyrtle at 9:48 AM on December 14, 2012

Best answer: Delirious New York.
The practice of everyday life.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:46 PM on December 14, 2012

Best answer: Italo Calvino - Six Memos for the Next Millennium
David Shields - Reality Hunger: A Manifesto
Kenneth Goldsmith - Uncreative Writing
Mary Flanagan - Critical Play: Radical Game Design
Lev Manovich - The Language of New Media
Scott McCloud - Understanding Comics
John Heskett - Design: A Very Short Introduction
Gaston Bachelard - The Poetics of Space

Other writers I'd like to include but can't recommend specific texts: John Cage, Guy Debord, Jorge Luis Borges, Edward Tufte
posted by oulipian at 6:41 PM on December 14, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you everyone. Some great ideas...
posted by 0bvious at 8:57 AM on December 15, 2012

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