Customer Review

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thz sub-title says it all "the writer as a cartographer", 30 Dec 2006
This review is from: Maps of the Imagination (Hardcover)
This is something of an odd book, in that it tries to use the metaphor of the map as a way to present the writer as an explorer and presenter. The book has the sub-title "the writer as a cartographer" and its 240 pages are divided into chapters on such things as "projections and conventions", "theater of the world", and "a rigorous geometry". To be honest I was disappointed with my initial reading. The book in itself was interesting but it was not what I expected. Firstly I expected that the metaphor of the map would by fully exploited, at least in the visual sense. I also expected the author to focus more explicitly in his text on the actual process of mapping the creative thought processes of authors and writers. However it is true that Peter Turchi did highlight concepts such as purposeful omission, compression, perspective, orientation, emphasis, illusion, etc., as being fundamental both to map making and to writing. So my first reading was from the perspective of a cartographer as a writer (and I KNOW the sub-title is exactly the opposite). Let me now turn to my second reading, approached now the book as it should be approached - a storyteller as a "cartographer" of ideas. On this basis I found the book far more interesting, and the use of the map metaphor potentially quite risqué. It would however have been nice if some space had been given to the technical/scientific author, but nevertheless Turchi did give me some ideas about how a creative writer might try to "map out" his ideas and create a structure to allow the reader to explore a story. Unfortunately he did not introduce the ideas of interactive or non-linear narrative, or games as stories (or stories that are games without endings), where I think the map metaphor would have really come in to its own. So I felt that the content of this book was reasonably insightful, and it has inspired me to read more about how to take a systematic or more structured view to writing. A word of advice to any prospective purchaser - understand what is really being offered with this book, what its real purpose is, and only then make your mind up.
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Initial post: 25 Sep 2008 15:14:12 BDT
Incomer says:
interesting review
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