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The Topography of Tears by Rose-Lynn Fisher

The Topography of Tears

by Rose-Lynn Fisher

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1712878,835 (3.59)2



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book contains photos of an intriguing, almost lyrical subject. Tears produced from a variety of emotions were collected on slides and dried. These are the resulting micrographs (photos taken with a microscope) and captioned.

The results are rather beautiful. The crystalline drops form a variety of patterns and the captions are intriguing.

This book is clearly art, and not science, although the publisher, Belevue Literary Press, prides itself on publishing at “the intersection of the arts and sciences because we believe that science and the humanities are natural companions for understanding the rich human experience.”

The scientist in me longs for more from this book, but then, due to my career, I'm accustomed to seeing astounding micrographs from the world's best scientists. ( )
  streamsong | Oct 29, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A fascinating look at tears through microscopy. A bit more art than science, which left me wishing for more detail about the tears and their corresponding emotions. Good for contemplating, but not understanding the mystery of human tears. ( )
  readaholic12 | May 30, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This little book is utterly fascinating. Photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher has photographed highly-magnified teardrops, and the variation that they present is astonishing. Tears that look like snowflakes, tears that look like tree bark, and most intriguing of all, tears that look like satellite images of Earth's terrain and cities and bodies of water. Fisher explains that she collected tears of all kinds- tears of joy and sorrow and exhaustion. But we don't always know which tear is which. The focus here is on the art of the tear structure and the strange and wonderful shots that Fisher has produced from them, and many images seem to be named, quite aptly, for the vision they present, rather than the emotion from which they were elicited ("What it meant long after a time forgotten," or "Full measure" or "Near the end Tom wrote, Everything is poetry in action if you can love enough"). My scientific-leaning noggin would have liked to know exactly which tear is which, but, on the other hand, I think the lack of precise tear labeling allowed me to more fully experience the artistry of the images and better appreciate the emotion conveyed through visual rather than analytic means.

This book would be a wonderful, unique gift for a doctor, a therapist, a professor, an artsy friend, or really, any human of your choosing.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, via LibraryThing's Early Review program, in exchange for an impartial review. ( )
  elzbthp | May 24, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is very image-heavy, relying on large grayscale photographs of tears under a microscope, accompanied by very little text. Often the "title" of each image is as short as a single word. The sparse presentation is reminiscent of an art show in a formal gallery, where work is typically installed on white walls in a sea of negative space, supported by explanatory text as small and unobtrusive as possible. This kind of design feels very traditional, like a request to view Fisher's work as more fine art than science experiment, and also like an invitation to approach the images with open-ended curiosity rather than a sense of already knowing. The book itself is a really lovely, high quality paperback with a nice weight in the hands and could make a thoughtful gift or coffee table book. ( )
  theodarling | May 2, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a lovely book of black and white photography of tears taken using a microscope. The structures in the tears vary enormously, partly based on the emotion that inspired them. I love the geometry, curves and fractals. I wish there had been a bit more text, making it clearer whose tears and the emotion (and I didn't notice any onion tears, which I would be interested to see). Definitely interesting.
  magid | Apr 28, 2017 |
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"When you first view Rose-Lynn Fisher's photographs, you might think you're looking down at the world from an airplane, at dunes, skyscrapers or shorelines. In fact, you're looking at her tears. . . . [There's] poetry in the idea that our emotional terrain bears visual resemblance to the physical world; that our tears can look like the vistas we see out an airplane window. Fisher's images are the only remaining trace of these places, which exist during a moment of intense feeling--and then vanish." --NPR "[A] delicate, intimate book. . . . InThe Topography of Tears photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher shows us a place where language strains to express grief, longing, pride, frustration, joy, the confrontation with something beautiful, the confrontation with an onion." --Boston Globe Does a tear shed while chopping onions look different from a tear of happiness? In this powerful collection of images, an award-winning photographer trains her optical microscope and camera on her own tears and those of men, women, and children, released in moments of grief, pain, gratitude, and joy, and captured upon glass slides. These duotone photographs reveal the beauty of recurring patterns in nature and present evocative, crystalline imagery for contemplation. Underscored by poetic captions, they translate the mysterious act of crying into an atlas mapping the structure and magnificence of our interior lives. Rose-Lynn Fisher is an artist and author of the International Photography Award-winning studiesBee andThe Topography of Tears. Her photographs are exhibited in galleries, festivals, and museums across the world and have been featured by theDr. Oz Show, NPR,Smithsonian,Harper's,New Yorker,Time,Wired,Reader's Digest,Discover,Brain Pickings, and elsewhere. She received her BFA from Otis Art Institute and lives in Los Angeles.… (more)

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