Since the early 1960s, the internationally acclaimed and highly distinguished Swedish geographer Gunnar Olsson has made substantial contributions to his own discipline. In addition, because of the transgressive nature of his work and writing, which often borders to art and philosophy, his ideas and approaches have reached a wider audience of those interested in the history and geography of ideas, culture and human reasoning. Olsson’s recent masterpiece, Abysmal, is a minimalist guide to the territory of Western culture. In it, he investigates how cartographical reason enables people to think about and navigate the abstract world of invisible human relations, in much the same way as they are able to study and traverse the physical Earth by using maps and mapping. This book presents a comprehensive introduction to, and overview of, the entire range of Olsson’s geography from the early days of spatial science to his contemporary engagement with, and critique of, cartographical reasoning. It includes selected samples of Olsson’s own writings, including rarities, together with a consolidated bibliography of his publications. It also contains critical engagements from leading scholars such as Michael Dear, Michael Watts, Chris Philo and Marcus Doel, with Olsson’s geography, from a variety of perspectives, which are particularly valuable to those readers who already know his work. It is structured and written in a way that makes Olsson’s geography accessible to a wide readership, including those who are not already familiar with Olsson’s work.
Christian Abrahamsson, Lecturer at the Department of Human Geography, Lund University, Sweden, and Martin Gren, Dr, Department of Tourism, School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University, Sweden
A Baker & Taylor Academic Essentials Title in Human Geography 'A well thought out elaboration of Gunnar Olsson’s oeuvre, this edited volume is set up to bring together the work of academics who have interpreted his work in a variety of ways, interspersed with Olsson’s original writings. I enjoyed reading an original Olsson piece followed by an interpretation or elaboration by one of his devotees. It was particularly engaging when chapters moved from academic engagement to personal recollections...' Geographical Review 'Abrahamsson and Gren ... have done a great and invaluable service for geographical scholarship. Acting as conductors they skillfully orchestrate pieces ... into a coherent overarching multi-perspectival intellectual symphonia, which interspersed with critical tones and colors from Olsson's own oeuvre over the past thirty years, provides an Arcades-like impression of one of the most innovative geographical thinkers at work on the planet today.' Historical Geography