New Atlas | Denis Wood | Everything Sings
September 7, 2010 by John Krygier
That a cartographer could set out on a mission that’s so emotional, so personal, so idiosyncratic, was news to me.
—Ira Glass, host of This American Life
Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas by Denis Wood with an introduction by Ira Glass. Pub date: Nov. 12.
$28 . Paper . 112 pages . 85 black and white illustrations, including more than 50 maps . ISBN: 978-0-9799562-4-9
These maps remind me of all the radio stories I love most. After all, most radio is a boring salaryman, waking up before you and me to announce the headlines or play the hits to some predetermined demographic. Yet some radio stories elbow their way into the world in defiance of that unrelentingly practical mission, with the same goal Denis Wood’s maps have: to take a form that’s not intended for feeling or mystery and make it breathe with human life. —Ira Glass, host of This American Life
From the Publisher:
Denis Wood has created an atlas unlike any other. 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. Our perception of maps and how to read them changes as we regard their beauty, marvel at their poetry, and begin to see the neighborhoods we live in anew. Everything Sings weaves a multi-layered story about one neighborhood as well as about the endeavor of truly knowing the places which we call home.