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 relatives in a lot an identical method they depend on maps to review and traverse the actual global. ranging from that straightforward commentary, well known geographer Gunnar Olsson bargains in Abysmal an astonishingly erudite critique of how human concept 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 advisor to the terrain of Western tradition. Olsson roams commonly yet regularly returns to the issues inherent in cause, to question the superseded assumptions and stuck principles that pondering cartographically includes. 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 historical past of rules, tradition, and paintings. (20061024)

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34 * Lines and labels. Those were Ptolemy’s terms for what modern semioticians call visual marks and proper names. Sounds like a poststructuralist to me. And like a cubist painter he sensed that no one but a man skilled in the imitative art of drawing can picture a hydra with many faces and hidden arses. One problem solved, another created as the smoke from the sacrificial burning was seeping into the room instead of passing through the chimney. And thus it was that Emerson smoaked it all right away.

In line with his creationist critique of Aristotle he consequently insisted that since every nature is individualized, the person of Jesus Christ must be one nature as well. This argument was itself typical of the Monophysites, a group which up to the present day has played a dominant role among Alexandria’s Christians; perhaps the Egyptians found the Monophysite perspective so attractive because they were brought up in a culture that traditionally had treated the earthly ruler as a heavenly god.

For when it came to the handling of Tiamat’s dead body, Marduk found himself lodged in the abysmal interface between destruction and con-struction. Like a professional butcher, a real ripper, He turned back to where Tiamat lay bound, he straddled the legs and smashed her skull (for the mace was merciless), he severed the arteries and the blood streamed down the north wind to the unknown ends of the world. . The Lord rested; he gazed at the huge body, pondering how to use it, what to create from the dead carcass.

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