"Brutalism, which reflected the bleak worldview of existentialism so pervasive in the 1950s, reveled in its uncouthness and flagrant lack of finesse in much the same way that the Angry Young Men of postwar British literature, drama, and filmmaking flaunted their contempt for anything that hinted at poshness, polish, or privilege. Where Calder sees Brutalism’s confidence and optimism, others perceive a palpable angst and inward-turning defensiveness that make many of these designs seem more like penal institutions or military emplacements than housing estates, arts centers, or schools sponsored by an egalitarian and beneficent welfare state."
Literature that takes a wistful backward glance at the outmoded manners and mores of the previous forty or fifty years has a direct parallel in architecture. Time and again we have seen reawakened interest in the disdained buildings of two generations earlier, a span still within living memory but not quite yet history.
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