Francesco Sebregondi

In modern languages, the singular ruin conserves a meaning very close to its Latin origin—ruina, “fall,” “collapse.” To designate the material traces of that event, the indefinite plural ruins is still preferred. This nuance too we inherited from Latin which, in coining the two-sided term, foresaw the stakes at its core and laid down the ground for a timeless problem: ruins can never be grasped as a single entity; made of uncountable links to pasts and futures, their hazy contours always refer to a plurality of potentials.

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