VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY: Through Artist's Eyes by Karla Bilang

VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY: Through Artist's Eyes

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Bilang never seems to have decided whether this is the story of the voyages or of the artists' representations of them. Rather, a fragmentary history of explorers, conquerors, and travelers' tales from Alexander on is mixed with commentary on the illustrations and a bit of moralizing about European lack of understanding of other races--though Bilang scarcely contributes to understanding when she refers to ""the Indians' "" daily sacrifice of a man's heart to the sun god or to David Livingston's ""bring(ing) light to darkest Africa."" The illustrations are as ill assorted as the text, running from a portrait of Columbus, a 16th-century representation of a hippopotamus, and a Mexican pictograph of Cortez and Montezuma to a modern Soviet illustration of a 15th-century voyage and, in connection with Bilang's credulous reporting of St. Brendan's new world voyage ""some 1400 years ago,"" a 19th-century lithograph of a Mexican temple he might have been describing. Further marred by typos, this is just another lackluster collection of curiosities.

Pub Date: Dec. 13th, 1976
Publisher: St. Martin's