Weekly Writing #4: Reading with the Grain

Three Claims Turchi Makes in Maps of the Imagination:

  • “Blanks within the borders of maps can represent many things, among them the deliberately withheld” (Turchi 32)
  • “In stories and novels, white space is commonly used to separate sections” (Turchi 49)
  • “On the most fundamental level, all fiction rests on the unwritten statement, ‘This is fiction’” (Turchi 60)


Paraphrase of the Turchi’s claim on page 32: Emptiness within the boundaries of maps can define multiple things, they can also be knowingly restrained. Turchi’s first piece of evidence for the claim is that Native Americans would not disclose hunting grounds and sacred sites on maps that they made for explorers because they are too important to give out to a stranger. Secondly, Turchi gives the point that on early maps of the Americas, Europeans left out tribal areas of Native Americans. This gives off the impression that the North and South American continents were uninhabited until European colonization. However, there are other ways to see emptiness. National Parks want to preserve their emptiness against the development of our society and preserving the nature that inhabits the blankness. This blankness can go even further with the of ignorance. Americans have been labeled by northern brethren that they are ignorant to their nation and nations around the world. This creates a map of the world that is filled out but not labeled. Blanks are important in mapping because they shape the way people see the world and how people think about their surroundings.

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