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You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination [Paperback]

Katharine Harmon
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 29.95
Price: CDN$ 18.77 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2003
Mapmaking fulfills one of our most ancient and deepseated desires: understanding the world around us and our place in it. But maps need not just show continents and oceans: there are maps to heaven and hell; to happiness and despair; maps of moods, matrimony, and mythological places. There are maps to popular culture, from Gulliver's Island to Gilligan's Island. There are speculative maps of the world before it was known, and maps to secret places known only to the mapmaker. Artists' maps show another kind of uncharted realm: the imagination. What all these maps have in common is their creators' willingness to venture beyond the boundaries of geography or convention.
You Are Here is a wide-ranging collection of such superbly inventive maps. These are charts of places you're not expected to find, but a voyage you take in your mind: an exploration of the ideal country estate from a dog's perspective; a guide to buried treasure on Skeleton Island; a trip down the road to success; or the world as imagined by an inmate of a mental institution. With over 100 maps from artists, cartographers, and explorers, You are Here gives the reader a breath-taking view of worlds, both real and imaginary.

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You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination + The Map As Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography + Map Art Lab: 52 Exciting Art Explorations in Mapmaking, Imagination, and Travel
Price For All Three: CDN$ 50.38

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Into this seemingly lighthearted 7" 10" look into people's love affairs with maps and mapmaking, Harmon packs some serious intellectual concepts about the human impulse to locate itself in the cosmos. Under the loose and expandable categories of "Personal Geography," "At Home in the World" and "Realms of Fantasy," Harmon presents 50 four-color and 50 b&w cartographical illustrations, including Professor Eugene Turner's smily and frowny faces placed on a map of Los Angeles convey data on the unemployment rates, urban stress and racial composition of individual neighborhoods, putting substantive research in a down-to-earth guise. Ellsworth Kelly's "Fields on a Map (Meschers, Gironde)" pulls an abstract pastoral out of a real place, while Kisaburo Ohara makes an octopus-like Russia seem vividly frightening in "A Humorous Diplomatic Atlas of Europe and Asia." Kim Dingle's collection of variously erroneous maps of the United States drawn by American students are equally thought provoking. Harmon has cannily selected a variety of essays, humorous, personal, analytical: e.g., Bridget Booher's chronological "map" of every injustice done to her body, Roger Sheffer's absorbing analysis of the little maps drawn in the registers of shelters along the Appalachian Trail, and Hugh Brogan's professorial elegy for the fantastical maps that used to be printed in Arthur Ransome's children's books. Purists may dislike the way that illustrations of various maps are not linked directly to the texts; others may find it refreshing, much like the kind of map that makes you expect a new and alluring surprise around every corner. Harmon's intricate and thoughtful selections do indeed prove her point that mapmaking is as diverse and extraordinary a human act as any other.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Katharine Harmon is a principal at Tributary Books in Seattle, Washington.

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"A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO, two men of dubious moral compass (being the counselors of the wilderness school to which many parents, mine included, sent their sullen offspring for ""toughening"") abandoned about a dozen of us soft lads in the middle of Nowhere, Min" Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative and Thought-Provoking Jan. 7 2004
By JAL
Format:Paperback
Trying to describe this book is difficult, so I'll just start by saying it is WONDERFUL. It's imaginative, thought-provoking, whimsical, intense and unique; if you're hesitating about buying it, be assured that it is well worth the money. On a practical level, it's just packed with fascinating drawings, a full color "map" on most pages, and many double-page color spreads. They range from ancient carvings to wild modern art by people like Adolf Wolfli to computer-generated maps of air routes across Great Britain (which look a bit like Jackson Pollock paintings!) Each map is worth an afternoon of contemplation: maps of heaven and hell, maps of Gilligan's Island, maps of the world seen through the eyes of a New Yorker (or a Californian), two maps (one for a woman's heart, one for a man's) with "Obstacles and Entrances Clearly Marked." Maps of the digestive system and of phrenology systems, roadmaps to success or despair, missionary maps from the 19th century, and lots of maps from famous books such as Gulliver's Travels. Just think of the word "map" as a metaphor for our desire to "locate" ourselves in an interior as well as an exterior way and you'll get the gist of this book. It's really delightful, and you can go back to it again and again. You'll see new details and find new things to think about each time you do.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How wonderful! Sept. 1 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was introduced to this book by a fellow student in a drawing class. Imagine my delight! As a map-maker myself, I have often looked for ideas to make my maps just that bit more interesting.

This book really stoked my creative fires - I loved it!

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative and Thought-Provoking Jan. 7 2004
By JAL - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Trying to describe this book is difficult, so I'll just start by saying it is WONDERFUL. It's imaginative, thought-provoking, whimsical, intense and unique; if you're hesitating about buying it, be assured that it is well worth the money. On a practical level, it's just packed with fascinating drawings, a full color "map" on most pages, and many double-page color spreads. They range from ancient carvings to wild modern art by people like Adolf Wolfli to computer-generated maps of air routes across Great Britain (which look a bit like Jackson Pollock paintings!) Each map is worth an afternoon of contemplation: maps of heaven and hell, maps of Gilligan's Island, maps of the world seen through the eyes of a New Yorker (or a Californian), two maps (one for a woman's heart, one for a man's) with "Obstacles and Entrances Clearly Marked." Maps of the digestive system and of phrenology systems, roadmaps to success or despair, missionary maps from the 19th century, and lots of maps from famous books such as Gulliver's Travels. Just think of the word "map" as a metaphor for our desire to "locate" ourselves in an interior as well as an exterior way and you'll get the gist of this book. It's really delightful, and you can go back to it again and again. You'll see new details and find new things to think about each time you do.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible book Sept. 1 2008
By J. Gochenour - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've been buying books for 45 years and this is the most wonderful book I own--amazing, thought-provoking, beautiful. My only regret is that I waited so long to purchase it. As improbable as it sounds, "You Are Here" comes across as what might be the lush, lovely, and totally unlikely synthesis of Bachelard's "The Poetics of Space," the imaginative joy of A.A. Milne ("Winnie the Pooh" and "The House at Pooh Corner," etc.) or P.L. Travers ("Mary Poppins," "Mary Poppins Opens the Door," etc.), and the deep wisdom of place and spirit found in the works of Annie Dillard and Kathleen Norris or even Terry Tempest Williams. When I open "You Are Here," my heart, spirit and imagination invariably soar.
41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting material, poor Execution March 15 2006
By D. R. Pitts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The material is extremely interesting; but the format of the book is too small to really appreciate the material, many of the images are split across the page and impossible to see in detail, and the reproduction of some is poor (Fuzzy, out of focus). Needs to be executed in a larger format with illustrations one per page
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars unexpected but interesting April 7 2008
By Katherine L. Nesse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book was not what I was expecting but it is interesting nonetheless. It is a collection of (mostly) unconventional maps with a few paragraphs written about each. In addition there are some articles on topics loosely related to cartography and the mind. It is more of a picture book than a reference volume and provides food for thought on mapping and identity.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars font too small June 20 2012
By Linda Pritchett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The content of this book is excellent so far--but it's frustrating to try to read the small font. If this book were reprinted with larger font, I'd buy copies for all my friends. I have never encountered such tiny font! That alone keeps me from ordering several copies. My copy is a library book. I had planned to read it, then order my own if I liked it. I would probably get it in Kindle edition, but there's not one. With a Kindle, at least, you can enlarge the font.
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