After Word, Thought, Life: A Stroll in Parisian Parks

Michaela Giebelhausen


This afterword takes the reader on a lyrical psychogeographic drift (dérive) through Paris’ green spaces, from the Buttes-Chaumont of Aragon’s Paris Peasant back through the jardin anglais of the Parc Monceau and the grounds of colonial expositions to the bright red follies of the late twentieth-century Parc de la Villette.  The pavilions met with here are like relics, living out their afterlives, triggering memories and imagination, reminding the reader of the changeability of function and meaning that makes it so difficult to pin down such structures.

Keywords: pavilion, Paris, Parc Monceau, folly, monument, picturesque, psychogeography.

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Biographical note

Michaela Giebelhausen is Director of the Centre for Curatorial Studies at the University of Essex. She is an authority on museum architecture and on Pre-Raphaelite painting. Her monograph, Painting the Bible: Representation and Belief in mid-Victorian Britain, appeared in 2006. She edited and contributed to The Architecture of Museum: Symbolic Structures, Urban Contexts (2003), and co-edited with Tim Barringer Writing the Pre-Raphaelites (2009). She has published widely on museum architecture and is currently preparing the volume on the museum for Reaktion’s Objekt series. Her latest research project focuses on the nineteenth-century destruction and transformation of Paris as manifested in photography and popular prints. She is a corresponding member of the Centre André Chastel, Paris.