Jorge Silvetti

Architect; Urban Designer / United States / Machado and Silvetti Associates

Jorge Silvetti’s Book List

These are the books that come to my mind when I think about the best books I’ve read. They cover most periods of my reading life since I was a teenager in Argentina. They have indelibly shaped my understanding of the world, of people and what they do and make and why, and as such they have also shaped the way I think and perceive. Equally important, these books have given me immense emotional and intellectual pleasure. 

The order they came to mind was not chronological in the sequence they were read over decades—but was more a result of free associations between one book and the next, and I find that interesting and revealing. The 17 books came to mind in the following order. In addition, the Roman numerals that appear in parentheses after each title identify the order in which I read the books: (i) signifying the ones I read first; (iii) the ones I read last; and (ii) the ones in between.

1. The Savage Mind (ii)
2. Tristes Tropiques (ii)
3. Italian Journey (ii)
4. Ficciones (i)
5. My Last Sigh (Mi último suspiro) (iii)
6. Frankenstein (iii)
7. The Leopard (Il gattopardo) (i)
8. Facundo (i)
9. Mythologies (ii)
10. The Pleasure of the Text (ii)
11. The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa and Other Writings (i)
12. Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (ii)
13. Theories and History of Architecture (Teoria e storia dell’archittetura) (ii) and 14) Interpreting the Renaissance (Ricera dell’Rinascimento) (iii)
15. The Architecture of the City (iii)
16. For Marx (ii)
17. The Order of Things (ii)

3 books
Jorge Luis Borges

The book through which I discovered the crucial importance fiction has in the understanding of reality.

Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa
Archibald Colquhoun Trans.
Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi Foreword

The best historical novel (reality-based fiction) for understanding the evolution of a society.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

A moving, enthralling testimony of an artist’s ability to interpret and convey through fiction some of the most profound issues of an era.

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