December 08, 2020, Chapter 16

Chapter 16 Review of Don't Look Now: What We See Transforms Us

Essayists explore what can’t be unseen in Don’t Look Now

By Jane Marcellus | December 3, 2020

In a 1998 experiment conducted by the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, researchers working in quantum theory concluded that the simple act of observing a beam of electrons changes them. Conversely, what we see changes us — the synergy between seer and seen shaping our world even as we move through it. This second premise is the theme of Don’t Look Now: Things We Wish We Hadn’t Seen, a collection of essays edited by Kristen Iversen and David Lazar. All explore images the authors didn’t plan to look at. They did look, of course, and were transformed. As Lazar writes in the preface, “The seen can’t be unseen.”

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