ISBN 9780804171632,What We See When We Read

What We See When We Read


Random House (NY)



Random House (NY)

Publication Year 2014

ISBN 9780804171632

ISBN-10 0804171637


Number of Pages 448 Pages
Language (English)

Literature: history & criticism

What do we see when we read? Did Tolstoy really describe Anna Karenina? Did Melville ever really tell us what, exactly, Ishmael looked like? The collection of fragmented images on a page -- a graceful ear there, a stray curl, a hat positioned just so -- and other clues and signifiers helps us to create an image of a character. But in fact our sense that we know a character intimately has little to do with our ability to concretely picture our beloved -- or reviled -- literary figures. In this remarkable work of nonfiction, Knopf's Associate Art Director Peter Mendelsund combines his profession, as an award-winning designer; his first career, as a classically trained pianist; and his first love, literature -- he thinks of himself first, and foremost, as a reader -- into what is sure to be one of the most provocative and unusual investigations into how we understand the act of reading.