Skip to main content

Literary Tourism

     I invite you to consider this a Part 2 to last week's blog post, which was inspired by my yearning to fast forward two years so that I can backpack through Southeast Asia.  But whereas in that post I listed books to enjoy in lieu of travel, in this one I will list destinations for people who enjoy books. 

1. London, England - I have heard great things about this city's bookshops.  Plus many great writers, such as John Keats, David Bowie, Virginia Woolf and Charles Dickens were born, inspired by, or resided here.  Plus the cold and rainy weather is ideal for reading (according to every Pinterest user ever, at least). 
2. Writers' houses-turned-museums - There are bajillions of them, but the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut sounds especially beautiful.
3. Walden Pond Reservation, Concord, Massachusetts - THIS IS THE NATURAL HAVEN IMMORTALIZED IN WALDEN BY DAVID HENRY THOREAU!  You can actually visit it! There's a replica of his shack!  You can look for the pond where he bathed!  You can find the exact view of Walden Pond that he so beautifully described!
4. Dublin, Ireland - James Joyce's books Ulysses and The Dubliners take place in this city, and the James Joyce Center offers walking tours that takes you to locations featured in both books.
5. Santiago, Chile - The Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda lived here.  His poems are so simple, warm, and musical - I'd love to see La Chascona, the colorful house where he wrote them. Today, the city brims with secondhand bookstores and outposts of the Cafe Literario, a library/coffee shop.  
I feel you, Thoreau.
     Next time my family and I drive through Massachusetts, I will force them to make a detour to Walden Pond Reservation.  I will literally grab the steering wheel if I have to :P

     -Carly

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Best Reading from my First Semester

Ok, my only excuse for this long-ass hiatus is that I started college, and what with exams, essays, friends, newfound independence, and minor dramas, I nearly forgot I had a blog until this week.
But I'm back now, and here to tell you about the best books and stories I read during my last semester.

Novels
1. Citizen: An American Epic by Claudia Ward - A multi-media masterpiece about modern racism, with a particular focus on microaggressions.
2. Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward - The story of a young girl coming of age in an impoverished area of Mississippi, on the brink of one of the great natural disasters of the last decade.
3. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison - A classic allegory of the racial justice movement in America.
4. Beloved by Toni Morrison - Possibly my favorite book ever, Beloved is based on the story of Margaret Garner, a woman who escaped slavery with her children and, when recapture seemed inevitable, killed her children to their being returned to slavery.
Shor…

Book Review: The Spanish American Short Story, edited by Seymour Menton

I love the cover of this book.  Look closely - it's a little skeleton man clasping his hands over a cup of black coffee.  I don't know what it means, but it's delightful.      Anyway, I read this collection of short stories in Spanish - El cuento hispanoamericano - for a class I am taking this semester, but it is also available in English.  According to my professor, it's a unique book in that it offers the best representation of Latin American short stories throughout modern history, with details about literary movements and authors as well.  I liked some stories better than others - "The Tree" by Maria Luisa Bombal and "The Ruby" by Ruben Dario were my favorites - but even the ones I disliked, such as "Secret Love" by Manuel Payno, were included because they were representative of a certain movement or regional style that was worth acknowledging.        My only issue with this book is that a story I just mentioned, "The Tree,&…

Book Review: The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

Beautiful writing and intensity of feeling were the major traits of this novel.  It is set in an abandoned Italian villa after World War II.  The villa is inhabited by a Canadian nurse, Hana, and a war patient whose entire body has been burned black.  Hana has chosen to nurse him alone rather than return home.  The patient is erudite and appears to be English.  Two other men, an Italian thief and a Sikh sapper, stumble upon and move in with them eventually.
     These five characters slowly reveal the traumas of their lives to one another.  But the most captivating story of all is that of the English patient, who narrates in bits and pieces his life in the desert and the love affair that changed it.  The speaking style of the patient is tense, intimate, and precise.  For example, while at the edge of a great loss, he "feels that everything is missing from his body, feels he contains smoke.  All that is alive is the knowledge of future desire and want" (157). This descr…