Unflattening
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Unflattening

4.08 (637 ratings on Goodreads)
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Description

The primacy of words over images has deep roots in Western culture. But what if the two are inextricably linked, equal partners in meaning-making? Written and drawn entirely as comics, Unflattening is an experiment in visual thinking. Nick Sousanis defies conventional forms of scholarly discourse to offer readers both a stunning work of graphic art and a serious inquiry into the ways humans construct knowledge. Unflattening is an insurrection against the fixed viewpoint. Weaving together diverse ways of seeing drawn from science, philosophy, art, literature, and mythology, it uses the collage-like capacity of comics to show that perception is always an active process of incorporating and reevaluating different vantage points. While its vibrant, constantly morphing images occasionally serve as illustrations of text, they more often connect in nonlinear fashion to other visual references throughout the book. They become allusions, allegories, and motifs, pitting realism against abstraction and making us aware that more meets the eye than is presented on the page. In its graphic innovations and restless shape-shifting, Unflattening is meant to counteract the type of narrow, rigid thinking that Sousanis calls "flatness." Just as the two-dimensional inhabitants of Edwin A. Abbott's novella Flatland could not fathom the concept of "upwards," Sousanis says, we are often unable to see past the boundaries of our current frame of mind. Fusing words and images to produce new forms of knowledge, Unflattening teaches us how to access modes of understanding beyond what we normally apprehend.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 193 pages
  • 190.5 x 256.54 x 25.4mm | 793.78g
  • HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge, Mass, United States
  • English
  • fully illustrated
  • 0674744438
  • 9780674744431
  • 81,150

Review quote

There is much in Unflattening that will interest and stimulate thought for higher education scholars, teachers and students... In this beautiful and complex book, Sousanis grapples with core tenets of Western knowledge: who are our heroes, and why do we valorize their charts and grids so much more than, for example, the oral traditions of Pacific navigators who could read the stars? It is a beautiful book and a complex book that defies categorization--that's why I recommend it.--Frances Kelly"Higher Education Research & Development" (02/01/2017)show more
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