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Edited and with an introduction by Michael W.Meister

1995 xxiii+122 pp. figs, notes, appen., indexes, ISBN: 0-19-563805-0: Rs 650 (HB)

This volume presents the essays that best represent Coomaraswamy's rapidly developing thinking on the hermeneutics of architecture-its "why" not 'how". These can best be understood in the order in which they were written. From a discussion of the "Pāli Kaṇṇikā: Circular Roof-plate" of ancient wooden construction in 1930, Coomaraswamy moved on to a much more widely ranging metaphysical exploration of 'The Symbolism of the Dome" (1938). He made a conceptual leap to connect the physiognomy of costume with architectural meaning in his essay on "Uṣṇīśa and Chatra: Turban and Umbrella" (1938); profoundly connected "Decoration" to essential meaning in "Ornament" (1939); and extended the "significant form" of architecture to that which transforms men in "Svayamātṛṇṇā: Janua Coeli" (1939). A summing-up essay on "An Indian Temple: The Kandarīya Mahādeo" (1947), published in the year of his death, placed the form of the temple at the still centre of Coomaraswamy's thought.


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Copyright IGNCAŠ 1995


Distributor: Oxford University Press, New Delhi..