In geography, maps are a tool of placement which locate both the cartographer and the territory made cartographic. In order to place objects in space, the cartographer inserts his own judgment into the scheme of his design. During the Early Modern period, maps were no longer suspicious icons as they were in the Middle Ages and not yet products of science, but subjects of discourse and works of art. The image of a cartographer’s territory depended on his vision—both the nature and placement of his gaze—and the product reflected that author’s judgment. This is not a study of maps as such but of Early Modern literature, cartographic by nature—the observations of the author were the motif of its design. However, rather than concretize observational judgment through art, the Early Modern literature discussed asserts a reverse relation—the generation of the material which may be observed, the reality, by the views of authors. Spatiality is now an emerging philosophical field of study, taking root in the philosophy of Deleuze & Guattari. Using the notion prevalent in both Postmodern and Early Modern spatiality, which makes of perception a collective delusion with its roots in the critique of Kant, this thesis draws a through-line across time, as texts such as Robert Burton’s An Anatomy of Melancholy, Thomas More’s Utopia, and selections from William Shakespeare display a tendency to remove value from the standard of representation, to replace meaning with cognition and prioritize a view of views over an observable world. Only John Milton approaches perception as possibly referential to objective reality, by re-inserting his ability to observe and exist in that reality, in a corpus which becomes less generative simulations of material than concrete signposts to his judgment in the world.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Myers, Michael C., "The Early Modern Space: (Cartographic) Literature and the Author in Place" (2015). HIM 1990-2015. 1876.