Le Corbusier, Correspondance, Lettres à la famille, volume 1, 1900-1925
Directed by Rémi Baudoui and Arnaud Dercelles
Le Corbusier is often presented as a very severe person. His tight lips and his thick glasses, his air of a seminarian and his missionary shirts, his clear-cut opinions and his uncompromising projects – like the famous Voisin plan that foresaw the razing of a part of Paris – made anyone shy away. It is therefore a surprise to discover he was a teaser, impulsive, lyrical, had a great enthusiasm for Beethoven, Ruskin or for Schuré’s Initiated. It is because we discover here a talent in full genesis, as if halfway between schoolboy and genius. Le Corbusier who wrote these notes to his family was just 20 years old. He worked for architect Behrens, explored the Italian museums or the monuments of Constantinople, spending his evenings at shows («Yes this has been a shameful week: in seven days, four times to the opera, once to a concert. Ô Budget, please do not come ringing again at my ears your screams of heart rendering anguish»), his juvenile enthusiasm is contagious to those around him. While he complains about his un-ironed clothes, his glasses not paid or by thanking them for the chocolate bars that arrived well… A look backstage that gives the character a touch of humanity that his statue as the Commendatore had made him lose.
Review published in the newsletter #233 - from 3 November 2011 to 9 November 2011