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"What do place, art, and self have in common? To what extent do place and art define who we are?" In Place, Art, and Self, the renowned humanistic geographer Yi-Fu Tuan tackles this large question in a small, accessible, beautifully illustrated book. Through memoir and the insights gained from a peripatetic life as an international scholar, Tuan explores the idea of attachment through place and art and the role of attachment in shaping, defining, and expanding the self.
Inasmuch as a place contains sources of "nurture and identity," Tuan writes, so, too, does a painting, photograph, poem, novel, motion picture, dance, or piece of music. "The arts are likewise emblematic and revelatory. The ones I strongly like and dislike expose me, make me feel naked before the public eye, which is why I am guarded in my confessions."
Drawing from a lifetime spent thinking and writing about the connection between geography and our spiritual needs, Tuan presents a compelling and meditative foray into how place, home, and homelessness condition us as humans. Complementing his essay is a gallery of fine-art black-and-white and color plates by four emerging contemporary photographers, whose work accords with Tuan’s message.
Center for American Places