Katharine Harmon: You Are Here, Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination
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.
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.
"...a charming companion for those who prefer to begin their voyages by sitting back and closing their eyes." -- Best Of The Year, Washington Post Book World, December 7, 2003
"...beautiful meditation on mapping..." -- Florida Inside Out, April 2005
"For anyone attracted to maps and for those who need an introduction...an enchanting browse and a constant delight." -- The Calgary Herald, December 13, 2004
"Take a journey into the human psyche with 'You Are Here'...You'll get lost in them before you know it." -- Wired, November 2003
"This is a book to savor, absorb, and return to again and again for ideas and inspiration." -- Scrapbooking Beyond, April 2005
...a celebration of finding one's place in the universe...an eclectic, thought-provoking meditation. -- San Francisco Bay Guardian, Lit, January 15, 2004
"Harmon has put together an intriguing assaying of map-making as an attempt to understand where we are and where we hope to get- whether it's Winnemucca or Zamboanga, Heaven or Hell." --Reno News & Review, June 23, 2005
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (October 24, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1568984308
- ISBN-13: 978-1568984308
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10 inches