Architecture and Revolution: Contemporary Perspectives on Central and Eastern Europe

By Neil Leach | Go to book overview

15

Totalitarian city

Bucharest 1980-9, semio-clinical files

Constantin Petcu

In the 2060th year from the formation of the centralized and independent Dacic state, in the 44th year from the victory of the social and national liberation revolution of the Romanian people and in the 23rd year from the 9th Congress of the Romanian Communist Party, we have inaugurated the construction of The Centre for National Councils of the Workers' Revolutionary Democracy.

N. Ceausescu and E. Ceausescu, 'Foundation Text', 1988

The city centre of Bucharest is in disarray; its layout is dysfunctional and borders on the absurd. This situation is due to a series of planning violations to which the city was subjected during the 1980s, at a time when the power of the totalitarian regime came close to being absolute. The principal elements of these violent operations, 'Ceausescu's Palace' and the 'Great Boulevard to the Palace', are by now legendary. Still, the scope of the project reaches even beyond these (in)famous instances, physically and psychologically. For, behind the appearance of these elements there are a series of complicated mechanisms that have created, or made possible, this very 'appearance'. It is the purpose of this paper to study some of these mechanisms, their underlying causes and the appearances they produce.

For simplification, the main emphasis will be on three of the urban operations effected in the eighties: the modification of the National Theatre; the construction of the People's House ('Ceausescu's Palace'); and the construction of the 'The Victory of Socialism Avenue'. These operations are significant and revealing for the successive stages in the changing relations that Authority/Power kept up with the Social and the City.

Nevertheless, for elucidation, I have extended the study to cover a series of phenomena, without obvious ties among them. These include the monopolization of the Romanian mass media by the totalitarian government, the huge propaganda stadium-spectacles, certain articles on architecture that appeared in a specialized Romanian review, the surveillance and censoring of personal communication and correspondence, and the limitations imposed on printing, copying and reproduction of printed material. 1

It should be quite obvious that the underlying causes for these various phenomena in all cases stem from blind political will. The mechanisms, partly

-177-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Architecture and Revolution: Contemporary Perspectives on Central and Eastern Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 240

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.