David Malin is one of the pre-eminent photographers of astronomical phenomenon. This book combines his photography with exquisite classical typography. I’ve somehow ended up with a version of this book in French (it was originally published in English) and I’m glad for it, even though I don’t read French. The text becomes further part of the image, and I can enjoy the thing as a purely visual experience rather than as a visual + literary one.
The book reminds me of the mythological origins of stargazing, of trying to read something from the stars. Malin himself is fascinated with the “interface between art and science” and that interface that they share is imagination. Science begins with speculation, it proceeds to answer a question. Questions are always a product of imagination, as the function of imagination is to make real a heretofore nonexistent thing – to fill in a lack. It took imagination for our antecedents to see images in the stars, as it took imagination to form a technique for creating photographic images of the stars.