chapter  1
33 Pages

Investigating and excavating

Loos’s textual work spans a wide range of genres including the feuilleton, the lecture, the poster, the journal, the book and others. Commencing with the collections of Loos’s texts published in book form, then looking at archival materials, essays and lectures, this chapter focuses on the intertextuality of his writings. The investigation is organised around the ‘architextuality’, and the ‘paratextuality’ of his texts and lectures, where ‘architextuality’ (Genette 1992) describes the gestures towards genre demarcation contained in the set of categories which determine the nature of a text, and ‘paratextuality’ (Genette 1997) denotes the relationship between the body of a text and its titles, illustrations, dedications, mottoes, prefaces and so on. The conduct of such an analysis casts the researcher hi the role of Collector, performing an excavation of Loos’s texts in book form, wrenching them out of this context-the context in which we are most used to confronting them at present-and collecting them in new constellations. These new constellations consist of an analysis of the essay as form and the lecture as form, together with an exploration of the context of the urban locations (in the case of the lectures), and the newspaper and journals (in the case of the essays) in which they first appeared.