Thursday, October 26, 2006

From Alain de Botton's excellent new book The Architecture of Happiness I've learned that the private home Le Corbusier built for the Savoye family in Poissy, France in 1931, a house with a flat roof, leaked terribly. The house was to be a "machine for living" and the flat roof was supposed to be functional and economical. But a leak over the son's bedroom -- a leak that sprung immediately after the family moved in -- caused him to get sick. A chest infection turned into pneumonia and poor Roger Savoye had to spend a year in a Chamonix sanatorium recovering.

My flat-roofed Brooklyn apartment building doesn't leak on me, but I contracted pneumonia last week. I had it once before, when I was little. Back then I bragged to my friends that I'd conquered something that can kill people. My current convalescence, keenly timed for my birthday, has been in Minnesota. I anticipate my stay will be much shorter than that of M. Savoye.

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