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Bloomsbury Academic USA
07 September 2017
Philosophy: aesthetics; Material culture; Media studies; Medical sociology
Series: Object Lessons
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.

Desert nomads tested their vision by distinguishing a pair of stars. But we have since created more disquieting ways to test the strength of the eyes.

Reading the eye chart is an exercise in failure, since it only gets interesting when you cannot read any further. It is the opposite of interpretative reading, like one does with literature. When you have finished reading an eye chart, what exactly have you even read? From a Spanish cleric's Renaissance guide to testing vision, to a Dutch ophthalmologist's innovation in optical tech, to the witty subversion of the eye chart in advertising and popular culture, William Germano's Eye Chart lets people see the eye chart at last.

Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
By:   Professor William Germano (The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art USA)
Imprint:   Bloomsbury Academic USA
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 165mm,  Width: 121mm, 
Weight:   125g
ISBN:   9781501312342
ISBN 10:   1501312340
Series:   Object Lessons
Pages:   192
Publication Date:   07 September 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

William Germano is Professor of English Literature at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, USA. His previous publications include The Tales of Hoffmann (2013) and Getting It Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books (3rd edition, 2016). He writes a biweekly language blog for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Reviews for Eye Chart

As one who has failed countless eye tests, I had no idea that my condition was metaphysical. Then I read William Germano's comprehensive and witty history of this amazing object. There it is, at the crossroads of vision and blindness, clarity and obscurity, scientific objectivity and subjectivity. Germano shows that the humble eye chart is everywhere, a central object, image, and text in the world of visual culture. His book is a feast of learning, precision, and humor. W. J. T. Mitchell, Professor of English and Art History, University of Chicago, USA, and author of What Do Pictures Want?

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