Review: A Mapmaker’s Dream: The Meditations of Fra Mauro, Cartographer to the Court of Venice

by darribas

A Mapmaker’s Dream: The Meditations of Fra Mauro, Cartographer to the Court of Venice
A Mapmaker’s Dream: The Meditations of Fra Mauro, Cartographer to the Court of Venice by James Cowan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The book is a little slow and sleep-inducing if you’re not “in the mood” for something like it. Expect less cartography and geography than philosophy and reflection. Although, in its true meaning, not in the technical task of drawing boundaries, the job of a cartographer is much more about the latter than it is about the former.

I have particularly appreciated the discussion about subjectivity in the way we perceive and understand the world and the relevance of being open and ready to change one’s view in some cases, throwing away or previous understanding and embracing someone else’s if it looks more convincing. At least, making the effort to switch to “the other”‘s position. Ironic but powerful that a message to reject dogma in favor of reason comes from a Christian monk, but I guess that’s what the Renaissance was about.

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