Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes
By Alexandra Horowitz
(Scribner Book Company, Paperback, 9781439191262, 308pp.)
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
List Price: $16.00*
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Alexandra Horowitz" "shows us how to see the spectacle of the ordinary--to practice, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle put it, "the observation of trifles." Structured around a series of eleven walks the author takes, mostly in her Manhattan neighborhood, "On Looking" features experts on a diverse range of subjects, including an urban sociologist, the well-known artist Maira Kalman, a geologist, a physician, and a sound designer. Horowitz also walks with a child and a dog to see the world as they perceive it. "What "they see, "how "they see it, and why most of us do "not "see the same things reveal the startling power of human attention and the cognitive aspects of what it means to be an expert observer.
Page by page, Horowitz shows how much more there is to see--if only we would really look. Trained as a cognitive scientist, she discovers a feast of fascinating detail, all explained with her generous humor and self-deprecating tone. So turn off the phone and other electronic devices and "be "in the real world--where strangers communicate by geometry as they walk toward one another, where sounds reveal shadows, where posture can display humility, and the underside of a leaf unveils a Lilliputian universe--where, indeed, there are worlds within worlds within worlds.