Journal Article
Translating Rossi: From Buenos Aires to New York

Very few people in the American continent have read Aldo Rossi’s L’architettura della città (1966)—that is, very few people have read it without the editorial lens of one of two influential figures: Peter Eisenman in New York and Marina Waisman in Buenos Aires. The book’s Spanish translation was published in 1971 and made it to Argentina a few years after, where it was read by Waisman—architect, historian, and director of summarios, a critical architecture journal in Buenos Aires. In 1978 the journal published a selection of Aldo Rossi’s texts, “ordering them according to the topics that we consider at the center of his architectural thought.” In contrast to Waisman’s careful editing, Eisenman published the complete book in English in 1982, framing it with an introduction that supported his agenda for disciplinary autonomy. I argue Rossi’s text is both present and absent in these projects like a solid/void image: We can find him in Waisman’s writing by what is left unsaid, while in Eisenman’s texts he is stripped of all context and turned—both literally and figuratively—into an autonomous figure.

Title
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsLeón AMaría
JournalPLOT
Issue8
ISSN1853-1997
Abstract

Very few people in the American continent have read Aldo Rossi’s L’architettura della città (1966)—that is, very few people have read it without the editorial lens of one of two influential figures: Peter Eisenman in New York and Marina Waisman in Buenos Aires. The book’s Spanish translation was published in 1971 and made it to Argentina a few years after, where it was read by Waisman—architect, historian, and director of summarios, a critical architecture journal in Buenos Aires. In 1978 the journal published a selection of Aldo Rossi’s texts, “ordering them according to the topics that we consider at the center of his architectural thought.” In contrast to Waisman’s careful editing, Eisenman published the complete book in English in 1982, framing it with an introduction that supported his agenda for disciplinary autonomy. I argue Rossi’s text is both present and absent in these projects like a solid/void image: We can find him in Waisman’s writing by what is left unsaid, while in Eisenman’s texts he is stripped of all context and turned—both literally and figuratively—into an autonomous figure.