A Whack on the Side of the Head: How to Unlock your Mind for by Roger von Oech

By Roger von Oech

Revised and elevated for the Nineties, this is the bestselling creative-thinking vintage written through America's finest creativity advisor. Illustrated.

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Additional info for A Whack on the Side of the Head: How to Unlock your Mind for Innovation

Sample text

I may shortly take a crack at defining it myself. But no matter how we define the term, there is one fundamental thing that a picture-maker always expects of his picture—that it will be looked at. He who makes a picture always assumes a public that looks at pictures. This is the situation with practically all picture-makers, I am sure. There may be some photographers who are making their pictures “for all time,” but I haven’t met them. Most of us would a thousand times prefer the attention of the generation to the approbation of posterity.

Both books were published by the company in 1937, with The Command to Look appearing in the “small and companionable” form that Mortensen had intended. The remainder of the existing correspondence between Simon and Mortensen reveals an escalating exasperation from both sides. Mortensen continued to work on the manual for Simon, sending him twenty-four pages of the manuscript. Simon expressed various reservations, fearing that the reader might not get Mortensen’s irony in the section where he listed camera equipment.

The book was small (about 4½” by 6”) and cheaply produced. It was spiral-bound with a plastic-comb or metal-ring binding, and the book tended to fall apart after moderate use. The impact of the images was greatly diminished due to their size, which was too small to convey many subtleties. ) In some print runs the reproductions were murky, making them even less impressive. Despite its physical shortcomings and poor critical reception, The Command to Look still managed to go through six printings between its first appearance in 1937 and its final printing in 1948.

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