chapter  7
Daphne’s legacy: architecture, psychoanalysis and petrification in Lacan and Dalí
Pages 22

Why can’t architectural history be more like one of the issues of Minotaure?

One page-spread displays the Renaissance forests of “Ucello, lunar painter”

and the next the winter trees of Brassaï’s photograph of Place Dauphine at

night. One issue shows the crystals, coral and aragonites of Breton’s “convul-

sive beauty” and the next unveils the naked nymphs of Paul Eluard’s “most

beautiful cartes postales.” Moving in similar diagonal lines, the architecture of

this chapter is equally divided between the forest and the metropolis, the

nymph and the crystal, psychoanalysis and building. This is the double frame

through which the ancient figure of Daphne reappears in the modern land-

scape. Daphne is the arboreal figure we know from old-fashioned engravings

of Ovid’s Metamorphoses – the forest nymph, who while fleeing from

Apollo’s amorous pursuit was transformed into a tree (Figure 7.1).1