Abysmal: A Critique of Cartographic Reason by Gunnar Olsson

By Gunnar Olsson

Humans depend upon cause to contemplate and navigate the summary international of human kin in a lot a similar means they depend upon maps to review and traverse the actual global. ranging from that straightforward statement, well known geographer Gunnar Olsson bargains in Abysmal an astonishingly erudite critique of how human idea and motion became deeply immersed within the rhetoric of cartography and the way this cartographic reasoning permits the strong 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 consultant to the terrain of Western tradition. Olsson roams commonly yet constantly returns to the issues inherent in cause, to question the superseded assumptions and stuck rules that pondering cartographically involves. a piece of ambition, scope, and sharp wit, Abysmal will attract an eclectic audience—to geographers and cartographers, but in addition to somebody drawn to the heritage of rules, tradition, and paintings. (20061024)

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Ungraspable multiplicity, like the Hebrew JHWH a tautology defining himself as a being who is who he is. Jacques Lacan was obviously neither the first nor the last to understand that the real is given its structure by the power of the name; as Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari aptly put it, “the proper name does not indicate a subject [but] designates something that is of the order of the event, of becoming or of the haecceity. It is the military men and meteorologists who hold the secret of proper names, when they give them to a strategic operation or a hurricane.

39 Regardless of their differences, each map projection had north at the top and east at the right, a pragmatic decision which reflected the belief that most of the oikumene was located in the northern latitudes and therefore most readily studied if pictured in the upper right-hand corner of the map. The birth of a convention so ingrained that most map users never even think of it. Ptolemy’s oikumene caught in his first projection. Drawing from J. : Princeton University Press, 2000), 129. Reprinted by permission of the Princeton University Press.

The Penetralia of the Lodge are thus, even to those employed there, a region without a map. Anything may be there. . Madness will visit by surprize, taking away to its Realm of Voices and Pain even a mind in the rosiest of sanity. When they are too dangerous to roam free, the town madmen are kept as a responsibility of the Company, confin’d in padded rooms in the Slave Lodge. . Some of them hate women, some desire them, some know hate and desire as but minor aspects of a greater Oceanick impulse, in which, report those who survive, it is unquestionably better not to be included.

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