By Gunnar Olsson
Humans depend upon cause to contemplate and navigate the summary global of human family in a lot an identical approach they depend on maps to check and traverse the actual global. ranging from that easy commentary, popular geographer Gunnar Olsson bargains in Abysmal an astonishingly erudite critique of ways human suggestion and motion became deeply immersed within the rhetoric of cartography and the way this cartographic reasoning permits the robust to map out different people’s lives.A spectacular examining of Western philosophy, faith, and mythology that pulls on early maps and atlases, Plato, Kant, and Wittgenstein, Thomas Pynchon, Gilgamesh, and Marcel Duchamp, Abysmal is itself a minimalist advisor to the terrain of Western tradition. Olsson roams extensively yet continuously returns to the issues inherent in cause, to query the outmoded assumptions and stuck principles that considering cartographically involves. a piece of ambition, scope, and sharp wit, Abysmal will attract an eclectic audience—to geographers and cartographers, but additionally to someone drawn to the background of rules, tradition, and paintings. (20061024)
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Additional info for Abysmal: A Critique of Cartographic Reason
42 Ptolemy was clearly obsessed by the idea of making the invisible visible, of capturing the wholeness of the world—up and down, front and back, north and south, east and west—everything in the same all-embracing picture. Ptolemy, a forerunner of Albrecht Dürer’s artist struggling with the A N D B E LOW problem of perspective, he himself seated on one side of the gridded window, the voluptuous nude reclining on the other. 43 Facts are nevertheless facts. And although all roads lead to Rome, the city was not built in one day.
27 Even so, Eratosthenes’ work was a wonderful achievement, primarily because he tried “to build a struc- 31 32 M A P P I N G S Reconstruction of Eratosthenes’ map of the world. Drawing from O. A. W. : Cornell University Press, 1985), 33. ”28 Eratosthenes’ map was a computing device, his thinking syllogistic. So it can be told, the fascinating story of how the “Beta” translated the language of concrete geography into the idiom of abstract geometry, winding rivers of nature into straight lines of culture, the observatory on Mount Atabyrion the pivot of the world.
Drawing from Lloyd A. Brown, The Story of Maps (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1949), 70. fully rendered in a three-dimensional sculpture than in a two-dimensional picture. It follows that while the interests of the regional cartographer are best served by a flat map on which the straight lines of latitude and longitude are intersecting at right angles, the world cartographer is better off with a spherical globe. The only problem with the latter is that in order to be useful to anyone but school teachers and interior decorators, the globe must be so big that no one is strong enough to handle it.
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