Monday, October 13, 2008

Literary Landscapes

I loved this post on this blog. And it got me thinking - if I could visit any of the places from the imagined landscapes of the books I've read where would I go. It's a charming thought really. And for me, that's what books are all about at the end of the day. About people and places that are so delicately imagined that by the time you're finished with the book they already seem familiar.

So here's my list of top five literary destinations in no particular order:

1) Macondo from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude

2) Dehradun and Mussourie from Ruskin Bond's stories

3) Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series

4) Malgudi from R. K. Narayan's Malgudi Days

5) Istanbul from Orhan Pamuk's My Name Is Red

There are of course many many more like The Faraway Tree from Enid Blyton's stories, Miss Havisham's ruined mansion from Great Expectations, the fantastic cityscapes described by Marco Polo in Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, Mr. Biswas's house from V.S. Naipaul's A House For Mr. Biswas and Jack's Garden from his Enigma of Arrival, 1968 Prague from The Unbearable Lightness of Being to name a few. Even some not so pleasant lit-scapes like Orwell's dystopia from 1984 - Oceania, the Oklahoma dust bowl from Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath and Limerick in Ireland in the 1930's and 40's from Angela's Ashes.

I'm tempted to list out fictional characters I'd like to meet (from literature and cinema), films I'd like to live in and and works of art I'd like to be! This could take a while.....

(....more later on literary landscapes.)