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Sat Apr 18, 2020, 02:00 PM

Fantastic literary geographies

Don’t you love it when you open a book cover and find a map inside that’s filled with the details of a land you are about to discover?

The 2018 book, The Writer’s Map, contains dozens of the magical maps writers have drawn or that have been made by others to illustrate the places they’ve created. “All maps are products of human imagination,” writes Huw Lewis-Jones, the book’s editor. “For some writers making a map is absolutely central to the craft of shaping and telling their tale.”

The book includes the map from Thomas More’s Utopia, which when published in 1516 contained the first fantasy map in a work of fiction, as far as anyone can tell. The book also has the maps that were the objects of obsession of many a fantasy-filled childhood: Middle Earth, the mysterious Narnia, the Hundred Acre Wood, the roads Milo explores in The Phantom Tollbooth.

But there are more private treasures here, too: J.R.R. Tolkien’s own sketch of Mordor, on graph paper; C.S. Lewis’s sketches; unpublished maps from the notebooks of David Mitchell, who uses them to help imagine the worlds of his books, such as The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet; Jack Kerouac’s own route in On the Road (a fantasy of a different kind, no less obsessed over).

This book sounds like a real treasure!


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Reply Fantastic literary geographies (Original post)
hermetic Apr 2020 OP
left-of-center2012 May 2020 #1

Response to hermetic (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2020, 11:13 AM

1. Very interesting

Too pricey for me ($28 and up) but loved reading about it here:


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