Abysmal: A Critique of Cartographic Reason by Gunnar Olsson

By Gunnar Olsson

Humans depend upon cause to contemplate and navigate the summary global of human kin in a lot an analogous manner they depend upon maps to review and traverse the actual international. ranging from that straightforward commentary, popular geographer Gunnar Olsson deals in Abysmal an astonishingly erudite critique of ways human concept 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 analyzing 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 consultant to the terrain of Western tradition. Olsson roams largely yet regularly returns to the issues inherent in cause, to query the outmoded assumptions and glued rules that considering cartographically involves. a piece of ambition, scope, and sharp wit, Abysmal will entice an eclectic audience—to geographers and cartographers, but additionally to someone attracted to the background of principles, tradition, and artwork. (20061024)

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And under the infl uence of sweet wine the assembly shouted in unison, GREAT LORD OF THE UNIVERSE! 20 This is what he said to the gods his fathers: In the former time you inhabited the void above the abyss, but I have made Earth as the mirror of Heaven, I have consolidated the soil for the foundations, and there I will build my city, my beloved home. . It shall be BABYLON. 21 Yet another case of ontological transformation, yet another instance of invisible ideology turned into touchable stone, the Earth made a mirror of Heaven, the Heaven itself a material projection of social relations.

It has even been suggested that the real reason he undertook his voyage was that he wanted to verify what geometry had already taught him. If so, then Pytheas may be best described as a paradigmatic scientist obsessed by the idea of combining theoretical insights with direct observations, in effect a geometer of intersecting lines turned into a geographer of nameable places. The most outstanding result of this approach is that he established the exact location of the celestial pole, that imaginary center about which A N D B E LOW all stars appear to circle, that dematerialized point which corresponds to the outward projection of the earth axis—a geometer’s abstraction so abstract that even though it can be thought, it can never be seen.

Hell a collapsing Sphere, Heaven an expanding one. The enclosure of Punishment, the release of Salvation. Sin leading us naturally to Hell and Compression, as doth Grace to Heaven, and Rarefaction. ” “— may each point of Heaven be mapp’d, or projected, upon each point of Hell, and vice versa. And what intercepts the Projection, about mid-way (reckon’d logarithmically) between? Why, this very Earth, and our lives upon it. We only think we occupy a solid, Brick-and-Timber City,—in Reality, we live upon a Map.

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