Category Archives: Thought and Image

Aesthetics of Power (425)

An excerpt from Corey Robin’s new edition of The Reactionary Mind. 

When it comes to saying something with buildings, Trump is less concerned with size and scale than with surfaces. This is a man incapable of reading a summary of a briefing paper. But show him a window treatment, mention a slab of stone or pane of burnished glass, and his attention is rapt. Suddenly he becomes the most observant diarist, recording detail after loving detail of the beauty he sees and its effects on him:

Der, Ivana, and I looked at hundreds of marble samples. Finally, we came upon something called Breccia Perniche, a rare marble in a color none of us had ever seen before — an exquisite blend of rose, peach, and pink that literally took our breath away. . . . It created a very luxurious and a very exciting feeling.

Amid a complex account of the financial challenges of retail, Trump can’t help noting that one of his atrium’s tenants sells leather pants that are “soft and buttery.”

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