Books That Inspire 2009

Jitterbug Perfume
Tom Robbins

Tom Robbins’ novel Jitterbug Perfume sanctions worlds fashioned by the pollen-drunken quivering of butterflies and populated by the erotic night-dreams of salamanders. I first discovered Robbins’ work as an undergraduate attempting to mediate between my emerging hermeneutic understanding of the world and my established belief systems. Robbins’ ability to weave seemingly unrelated mythologies into a sweeping tale that includes musings on the intensity of the beet, the essence of the universe, immortality, and the lusty goat-horned god Pan, showed me that there is validity in my own imaginative making. This realization allowed me to find, and begin to articulate, my own voice as a designer.

Thomas J. Cline
Assistant Professor
College of Architecture