You Are Here: The biography of a moment by Matthew Watkins
iii+256pp., published by The Inamorata Press on 1st February 2018
Where are you right now? Have you ever wondered just what it took to get you here? And what do we mean by ‘here’ and ‘now’, anyway?
You Are Here is the visionary exploration of everything that led to one moment in one city in one part of the world. Part history, part cosmology, part psychogeography, and part autobiography, You Are Here takes a radical perspective on the story of Canterbury, the Earth and the Universe, from the very very large right down to the submicroscopic instant. Drawing on mathematics and graphic novels, and full of illustrations, this is a cosmic and intimate trip through all scales of thought. You’ll never think about the simple moment of being here in the same way again.
“Watkins’ biography of Canterbury is bloody wonderful. His unique skills make this book, well, unique. And the illustrations/diagrams make it altogether stunning. A great achievement.”
“You Are Here is an astonishing book. It is a book of history that makes history. It is crafted with mathematical precision, tuned carefully to the scales of time. It is crafted with poetry and with devotion. Matthew’s book is splendidly imaginal. I put the book down, dazed, and stood up and explained to my daughters that I had just been through an extraordinary experience – that I was still going through an extraordinary experience. Not many books do that.”
William Rowlandson (co-author of Imaginal Landscapes: Reflections on the Mystical Visions of Jorge Luis Borges and Emanuel Swedenborg)
“A splendid antidote to the so-called new nature writing, and proof of the epic potential of ‘local’ studies.”
Patrick Wright (Professor of Literature and Visual & Material Culture, King’s College London)
“What starts out as essentially a superb historical document from the Roman era forward, setting out the premise for Canterbury being a totally critical centrepoint for religious and political machinations within England, inevitably becomes something else, as time ‘speeds up’. Utterly unique, this book is also embellished throughout by beautiful line drawings. This remarkable book is every bit as mind-blowing and informative as I had hoped.”
“In You Are Here, with barely an equation in sight, Watkins succeeds in conjuring up the poetry of mathematics. A satisfyingly strange volume.”