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Representing Place

Landscape Painting and Maps

2002
Author:

Edward S. Casey

Representing Place

A richly illustrated look at landscapes, maps, and their relation to place

The third volume in Casey’s influential epic project of reinterpreting evolving conceptions of space in world thought, Representing Place ranges widely from Northern Sung landscape painting to nineteenth-century American and British landscape painting and photography. From these culturally and historically diverse forays a theory of representation emerges. Casey proposes that the representation of place in visual works be judged in terms not of resemblance, but of reconnecting with an earth and world that are not the mere content of mind or language—a reconnection that calls for the embodiment and implacement of the human subject.

Casey argues that place in visual works should be judged in terms that reconnect us to the earth and the world. I found myself in awe of the breadth of his research. Equally impressive is the way Casey weaves cross-cultural history, philosophy, art and cartography into his discussion of how representation and space speak to the power of place. Well-chosen, descriptive images add clarity, and there is much to learn from a close reading of this copious book. This well-researched book will be indispensable to those who study representation and historical relationships between space and place.

Leonardo

You are here, a map declares, but of course you are not, any more than you truly occupy the vantage point into which a landscape painting puts you. How maps and paintings figure and reconfigure space—as well as our place in it—is the subject of Edward S. Casey’s ambitious study, an exploration of how we portray the world and its many places.

Casey’s discussion ranges widely from Northern Sung landscape painting to nineteenth-century American and British landscape painting and photography, from prehistoric petroglyphs and medieval portolan charts to seventeenth-century Dutch cartography and land survey maps of the American frontier. From these culturally and historically diverse forays a theory of representation emerges. Casey proposes that the representation of place in visual works be judged in terms not of resemblance, but of reconnecting with an earth and world that are not the mere content of mind or language—a reconnection that calls for the embodiment and implacement of the human subject.

Representing Place is the third volume in Casey’s influential epic project of reinterpreting evolving conceptions of space in world thought. He combines history with philosophy, and cartography with art, to create a new understanding of how representation requires and thrives on space, ultimately renewing our appreciation of the power of place as it is set forth in paintings and maps.


Representing Place

Edward S. Casey is Distinguished Professor of philosophy at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and the author of numerous books, including Getting Back into Place (1993) and The Fate of Place (1999).

Representing Place

Casey argues that place in visual works should be judged in terms that reconnect us to the earth and the world. I found myself in awe of the breadth of his research. Equally impressive is the way Casey weaves cross-cultural history, philosophy, art and cartography into his discussion of how representation and space speak to the power of place. Well-chosen, descriptive images add clarity, and there is much to learn from a close reading of this copious book. This well-researched book will be indispensable to those who study representation and historical relationships between space and place.

Leonardo

[Representing Place] treats a subject that has largely been neglected by geographers, cartographic historians and art historians alike. . . . Complex and provocative.

Imago Mundi

Representing Place provides an engaging panoramic view of landscape painting and the lay of the land in maps—not the panoramic view of the bird’s eye far above, however, but the detailed and immersing panorama that slowly unrolls as we travel down the curves of a river with an experienced helmsman.

Review of Metaphysics

[Representing Place] is an important book. It needs to be widely read and discussed by geographers, for it represents a sophisticated and serious engagement by an influential contemporary philosopher with the central questions of our discipline and a powerful restatement of geography’s centrality within the humanities.

Historic Geography

Representing Place

Contents

Prologue: What Does It Mean to Represent Landscape?

Acknowledgments

part i. painting the land

1. From Landskip to Landscape
2. Finding Place for the Elemental
3. Apocalyptic and Contemplative Sublimity
4.Pursuing the Natural Sublime Thomas Cole’sThe Oxbow
5. Representing a Region East Anglia in the Eyes of John Constable
6.Representing Place Elsewhere Northern Sung Landscape Painting interlude Material Conditions of Representing Place in Landscape Painting

part ii. mapping the land

7.First Considerations
8. Cartography and Chorography
9.Discursive and Presentational Symbolism in Maps The Revealing Case of Portolan Charts
10.Far-out Mapping
11. Rectangularity and Truth

part iii. re-implacement in mapping and painting

12. Re-presenting Representation

Epilogue: Landscape Experienced and Re-presented

Notes
Glossary
Index