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House as Mirror of Self


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Marcus's eye-opening study of peoples' emotional ties to their houses, apartments, cottages, trailers and other dwellings offers useful, often startling perspectives on what makes a house a home. Maintaining, as did Carl Jung, that one's home is a symbolic mirror of one's inner self, of unconscious wishes and emotions, she interviewed approximately 60 people in their domestic settings, some over a 10-year period. Several respondents excessively bonded to a residence or its contents as a substitute for close relationships with people; at the opposite extreme were those who were unable to settle down in one place because having a permanent abode was fraught with unresolved emotional issues from childhood. Marcus, an architecture professor at UC-Berkeley, ably explores how personal crises, the need for privacy, couples' power struggles, divorce and career changes affect one's feelings about, and design of, one's living environment. Case studies, self-help exercises and informants' color drawings (not seen by PW) of their dwellings support her presentation. 40,000 first printing; $80,000 ad/promo; QPB selection; author tour. (Oct.)

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