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Read the Text, Revel in the Illustrations
on November 24, 2004
It's hard to know how to categorize this book: is it an art book or a book about writing? It's both, of course, and the text is very well-written, it's worth mulling over. But the genius of the book is its beautiful design and its inclusion of hundreds of illustrations. This is the kind of idiosyncratic book that drives bookstore staff mad - they never can figure out where to shelve it. The making of a map of the imagination is more than a metaphor, though thinking about "discovery and exploration" as metaphors for creativity is not exactly new. Beyond the metaphor, though, a writer's mapmaking is both necessary and practical - the mapping out of a work of fiction or of a poem, the actual exploration and plotting of a narrative arc, the sense that the writer is both guided by the mapmaking and providing a guide to his readers. Fascinating stuff, and truly beautiful and full of SO MANY extraordinary illustrations. It's one-of-a-kind, and worth purchasing. Pick it up and be seduced.