HISTOIRE DES JARDINS. QUELQUES POINTS DE METHODE
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The author presents a resume of his approach to the history of gardens. He fully described his in the book ‘Jardins. Paysagistes, jardiniers, poetes' (1998). He finds such interpretative perspectives as structuralism or psychoanalysis to be too ahistorical and too general to cope with the phenomenon of the garden while those which aim at discovering sources of artistic inspiration seem to him to be unable to grasp the individual and singular character of every garden. Therefore, he confronts particular gardens with human sciences, science and technology. Being interested in garden as a representation of nature, he studies three great traditions: the Chinese, the Arabian and the European one. As a consequence, the history of garden turns into social history of culture which describes on the one hand causes and circumstances in which gardens were created, and on the other – intellectual currents and changing concepts of the world. The premise is that the evolution of sciences and epistemology influences to a great extent on how the world is conceived of and represented as a garden. There are two factors more that have to be taken into consideration: changing sensibility and different fashions of psychological attitude toward gardens. The author suggest that research on the history of gardens requires an interdisciplinary approach that constantly crosses the borders between science, technology, art and literature.
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