Monday, March 12, 2018


This week's arts and culture column begins like this:

“We do not know the worth of one single drop of blood, one single tear.”
— François Mauriac, Catholic novelist

LA photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher has made a study of tears in her new book, “The Topography of Tears” (Bellevue Literary Press, $20). By gazing through an optical microscope and capturing images that are magnified 100 times, she reveals part of what she calls the “emotional terrain” of the human condition.

The sheer strangeness, variety and beauty of her “photomicrographs” are stunning. What also fascinates is to discover that the topography isn’t entirely foreign. Whether the tears are of sadness or joy, regret or elation, to pore over them is to enter a half-remembered kingdom, a dreamscape.

Fisher was born in Minnesota. “I grew up with snowfall. We lived near a pond. We’d hunt agates and feed ducks in summer and ice skate in winter,” she said.

Her family moved to LA when she was 8. “But certain patterns and geometries impress themselves upon us as children and mark us. The magic of a snowflake and the urge to contemplate the shapes of things have stayed with me.”


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