It's a fictional streetscape we wander, here, a metropolis whose buildings, boulevards, and back alleys are in a constant state of flux. This is every place, and yet, no place at all - a city of dreams and a dream of a city.

Here, we explore the life and work of Ivan Illich and his circle of collaborators. There's no comprehensive index to the articles published, but we invite you to use the Search box, to the left, and to explore the Archive links that appear at the bottom of each page. Comments are welcomed.

Monday, May 07, 2012

An encounter

A man from New Zealand named Tony Ward writes of Ivan Illich on his website, ("Critical Education Theory and Practice"):

I only met him once, when he came to deliver a seminar to the Faculty at the School of Architecture at Berkeley in (I think) 1972. My colleagues and I numbered about fifteen, and were seated around a large conference table while Illich stood at the blackboard, talking and drawing diagrams to illustrate his words. We all listened respectfully, but after about fifteen minutes I began to realise that I didn't understand the highly abstract monologue that he was delivering. So I raised my hand and said:
"Dr Illich", I said, "I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I have the feeling that you are not really here! Where are you?"
An eternity of silence and disapproval filled the room as my colleagues glared at me. Ivan Illich looked at me quizzically, broke into a smile and responded:
"You're quite right! I'm not here at all! I'm preparing a lecture to present at the University of San Francisco tomorrow." He put down the chalk, sat at the table and asked, "What shall we discuss?".

The seminar turned out the be an extraordinary exchange of ideas.

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Santa Rosa, California, United States
Writer, photographer, music fan; father and husband living in northern Calif.