Beer-Mugs-Sophocles-Horses-and-Rabbits-The-Metamorphic-Mind-An-Analysis-of-Guy-Davenport-s-Essay-The

Apr 30th, 2015
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Hamline University
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The very title of Guy Davenport’s persuasive essay, “The Geography of the Imagination,” is a captivating image which had my attention immediately in an enticing and playful way. Is this an essay about brain mapping, with a tour of the right hemisphere? Or is it about the way we imagine physical geography?

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Beer Mugs, Sophocles, Horses and Rabbits:The Metamorphic MindAn Analysis ofGuy Davenports EssayThe Geography of the ImaginationbyGabrielle RoseAdjunct FacultyHamline University English DepartmentOctober 30, 2010The very title of Guy Davenports persuasive essay, The Geography of the Imagination, is a captivating image which had my attention immediately in an enticing and playful way. Is this an essay about brain mapping, with a tour of the right hemisphere? Or is it about the way we imagine physical geography? Before reading the essay, I imagined colorful puzzle pieces representing the brain but shaped like continents, islands, water, and couldnt wait to stick my nose into Davenports atlas, eager to explore the idea charted within the geography of the imagination. Rather than introducing us to any sort of topography, however, Davenport presents us with a challenging idea, presented in the form of contrasts: The difference between the Parthenon and the World Trade Center, between a French wine glass and a German beer mug, between Bach and John Philip Sousa, between Sophocles and Shakespeare, between a bicycle and a horse. . . is before all a difference of imagination. (Davenport 182) A confusing and exigent statement a gauntlet: we can either throw the essay down at this point, refusing to put ears and horse tails on our bicycles or we can read further, to see whether Davenport can persuade us that the di

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