Inspiration--more on Piranesi's Prisons of the Imagination
A month or two ago I blogged about discovering this series of etchings through a small side picture in a book on Goya. The etchings truly are stunning (perhaps I'll scan one of the pictures that are harder to find online and post that later...though it's much better to be able to hold a book of good quality images). In trying to find more about them, I discovered an essay by Aldous Huxley, reprinted on John Coulthart's blog. It sees in the pictures a sense of how society often forces us into mere mechanical roles (without stripping away our humanity, which would be kinder) as well as a sense of metaphysical alienation.
The blog post is a few years old, so this didn't exist yet then, but Dover Publications has just come out with a new edition of these etchings (as in, 2 days ago, according to the official publication date). I'm tempted to order it.