Architecture in Contemporary Literature

The Search for Divinity Through Architecture (2001: A Space Odyssey)

Author(s): Emre Karacaoğlu * .

Pp: 250-254 (5)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815165166123010033

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


2001: A Space Odyssey or 2001, as abbreviated by its fans, is the collaborative effort of British science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke and American film auteur Stanley Kubrick. Its plot covers a span of 3-4 million years. The film/book was developed from a short story Clarke wrote, called The Sentinel, where an alien artifact is found on the moon. The duo expanded this into a frontier exploring film/book where humanity, which has managed to build a space station above Earth and set up a research base on the moon, is now expanding even further out into the solar system and sending astronauts to Saturn. However, the unearthing of a strange black monolith buried on the moon has significant consequences for the crew and the rest of humanity, since it points to the subsequent meeting location where the next leap of evolution for humanity will occur. Through this plot, the reader is confronted with the common theme of the minuteness of our species in the face of the majesty of these sublime architectural structures, the monoliths. Monoliths emphasize the authority of their existence, the superiority of their creators, and the independence of their existence from time, evoking the concept of “aura” that Walter Benjamin expresses in his philosophy of aesthetics and utilizes to describe works of art. 2001 is a novel/film that perhaps most strikingly depicts the emotion that architects are expected to evoke in their work. 

Keywords: Architecture, Alien contact, Arthur C. clarke, British literature, Computer, Civilization, Enlightenment, Evolution, Futurism, George berkeley, Moon, Monolith, Neo-classic furniture, Odyssey, Pallasma, Stanley kubrick, Science fiction, Star child, Space, Sistine chapel.

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