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House, the small


Newsletter written to friends on 15 November 1995: The small house.

The most evocative kind of house in Jamaica is the house of the single man who, apparently, serves several women. It is a box, with a single small room, barely large enough for a bed, and it has a small veranda. It is ascetic and justified only by the man’s relationship to the women he services. Were that relationship different, then so would the house. The house is at the core of a centrifugal geometry, where the satellites demand solitude at the core. As an object the house asks for little and gives nearly as much as a palace; it is of a size that enforces solitude, it is of a magnificence that divorces the dweller.



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