By Denis Cosgrove
Geography and imaginative and prescient is a sequence of private reflections by means of prime cultural geographer, Denis Cosgrove, at the complicated connections among seeing, imagining and representing the realm geographically. Ranging traditionally from the 16th century to the current day, the essays comprise reflections upon discovery and the function of mind's eye in giving it that means; colonisation and 16th century gardening; the shaping of yank landscapes; wasteland, imperial mappings and masculinity; city cartography and utopian visions; conceptions of the Pacific; the cartography of John Ruskin; and the ingenious grip of the Equator. generally illustrated, this enticing paintings unearths the richness and complexity of the geographical mind's eye as expressed over the last 5 centuries.
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Extra resources for Geography and Vision: Seeing, Imagining and Representing the World
The chapter is in three parts: I ﬁrst develop in greater detail the meanings of cosmography outlined in the previous chapter, and explore its relations to geographical and astronomical knowledge. For this I shall draw upon the account oﬀered by von Humboldt himself. The second volume of Cosmos is a history of cosmography in which the author calls particular attention to the cosmos’s metaphysical and artistic connections, while emphasizing their subordination to empirical observation in the years of European encounter with global geography.
Indeed, the structure of the work prevents this, reﬂecting von Humboldt’s adherence to the strict division of objective and subjective knowledge (Naturwissenschaft and Geisteswissenschaft) that dominated nineteenth-century German scholarship. I return to this matter below. A more immediately obvious absence in Cosmos is illustration. Von Humboldt’s text lacks maps or diagrams, conventionally key features of the cosmographic tradition. This is particularly notable given the author’s own role in the history of thematic cartography: this is evident for example, in his famous description of altitudinal vegetation zones on Mount Chimborazo (see Fig.
9 36 EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL GEOGRAPHY Thus, von Humboldt separates physical science from cultural and historical studies, to the extent of devoting distinct volumes of his work to each. Volume I of Cosmos is a delineation of physical nature: a survey of then current knowledge of material phenomena in the terrestrial and celestial portions of the cosmos. Volume II is a history of the poetic, artistic and physical contemplation of the universe and of its scientiﬁc exploration, in which von Humboldt studiously avoids any critical consideration of what had long been cosmography’s central moral question: the place of human order within the order of nature.
Geography and Vision: Seeing, Imagining and Representing the World by Denis Cosgrove