chapter  4
On Virtue And Thomas Jefferson
ByIndra Kagis McEwen
Pages 18

Antoine Furetiere's satire of a hypothetical counterpart the figure of the insincere writer is meant to strengthen his own position: he chooses not to depict an idealized, embellished and most importantly untruthful version of the architectural space of the bourgeoisie. The spatiality of Furetiere's narrative almost entirely rests on the reader's pre-existing experience of architecture. The architectural merit of the building, central to the unfolding of the first part of Furetiere's novel, is tied to the role and potential of architecture to frame the interactions of the Parisian bourgeoisie and, most importantly, to foster voluble social gatherings. Architectural space can be summoned and, ultimately, play a role in literary fiction, as the locus of social gathering and conversation. Furetiere's reliance on the readers' pre-existing experience of architecture and faculty for imagination implies that the kind of architectural knowledge readily accessible through everyday experience prevails over object-oriented description.