Szentkirályi, Gadamer and Deleuze, as standing in front of a Baroque church (The building ’interpreted’ with the approach of Szentkirályi and Gadamer)

  • Antal Puhl


Every era has its basic tasks that must be performed. The issues to be solved are ‘in the air’; they are generated by the era; they are components of the spirit of the age. The question generated by the time (the middle of the 20th century) was: that whether the only way to reveal the truth would be the method of natural sciences (also applied by the history of architecture), or such experiences of the truth existed that could reach the surface only by means of art, philosophy or history. On these basic questions that change period by period, the different areas of arts and sciences and philosophy work almost always in parallel.
Zoltán Szentkirályi wrote his paper Some issues of the evaluation of the Baroque in 1964. The opus magnum of Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and method, was published in 1960. Szentkirályi starts from the philosophy and reaches the history of art and architecture; Gadamer starts from the history of art and arrives at philosophy. The virtual meeting of the two happens through the role of tradition in the interpretation of works.
The works of art are ‘addressed’ by the knowledge of tradition, by means of which the truth carried by the work can reach the surface. The new ‘...while abrogating the validity of the former one, always activates and maintains all the positive results of the previous stage of development – just through the fact of abolition. This preservation role of the development is not always obvious’ says Szentkirályi. In turn – as Gadamer would have continued this text – ‘…we are always situated within traditions, and this is no objectifying process – i.e. we do not conceive of what tradition says as something other, something alien. It is always a part of us, a model or exemplar’.
The lecture intends to show the inevitability of being familiar with tradition in the understanding of both historical and contemporary architecture alongside these two works.
Keywords: baroque, folding, hermeneutics, Szentkirályi, Gadamer, Deleuze
Published online
How to Cite
Puhl, A. (2013) “Szentkirályi, Gadamer and Deleuze, as standing in front of a Baroque church (The building ’interpreted’ with the approach of Szentkirályi and Gadamer)”, Periodica Polytechnica Architecture, 44(2), pp. 55-59.