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.
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?