Two by Denis Wood

Rethinking the Power of Maps (book cover) Everything Sings (book cover)

The Making Maps blog has an excerpt of Denis Wood’s new book, Rethinking the Power of Maps (previously). In Chapter 1, available as a PDF file, Wood argues provocatively that there were no maps before 1500 — making a distinction between maps in the modern sense, made in the modern way, and descriptive illustration. Definitely worth a read. (It’s also available on the publisher’s page for the book.)

Meanwhile, another book from Denis Wood is coming: Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas. “Surveying Boylan Heights, his small neighborhood in North Carolina, he subverts the traditional notions of mapmaking to discover new ways of seeing both this place in particular and the nature of place itself. Each map attunes the eye to the invisible, the overlooked, and the seemingly insignificant. From radio waves permeating the air to the location of Halloween pumpkins on porches, Wood searches for the revelatory details in what has never been mapped or may not even be mappable. In his pursuit of a ‘poetics of cartography,’ the experience of place is primary, useless knowledge is exalted, and representation strives toward resonance.” Press release.