On Seeing: Things Seen, Unseen, and Obscene
Sight is almost unanimously regarded as the sense most vital to our day-to-day survival and awareness of the world around us. It is also the sense that dominates our subconscious and our dreams, and from the earliest efforts in the arts, painters and sculptors have explored the boundaries between these two states. In this elegantly written and probing examination of vision, award-winning author F. Gonzalez-Crussi explores the breadth of fascinating phenomena associated with seeing. From ancient myth (Actaeon's illicit glimpse of the bathing Diana), to eighteenth-century France (when two voyeurs sparked a bloody anti-royalist riot on the Champs-de-Mars), to modern-day advances in microscopy and photography, Gonzalez-Crussi surveys the ways in which, through the sense of sight, perceiver and perceived are inextricably joined, each affecting the other in a profound way, and how our awareness of this union has led to millennia of curious preoccupations. With its spectacular breadth, insight, wit, and fascinating detail. On Seeing is a vastly entertaining book that enlarges our awareness of the world around us. Book jacket.
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