Sunday, August 29, 2010

Book Pilgrimages

There is something about Stieg Larrson and his books about Elisabeth Salander and Mikal Bloomkvist in the series of "The Girl..." set in Sweden. I've heard on blogsites and cable channels that there is a wonderful "pilgrimage" around the places and sights and sounds where the book took place around Stockholm and beyond.

In the, there is another idea of a pilgrimage where books are set. Context matters, according to Joe Queenan who wrote this interesting essay on a staycation, in which he visits places in which authors lived or set their books in:

Most staycations combine edification with retail: you visit a battlefield or a museum and then hit the amusement park and the outlet stores. This sounded too downscale for me. Instead, I planned a literary staycation in Pennsylvania. My destinations were Reading, where John Updike’s “Rabbit, Run” is set; Pottsville, where John O’Hara set dozens of his New Yorker stories; and Scranton, where Jason Miller, who won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1973 for “That Championship Season,” grew up. All are within two hours’ drive of my home outside New York City. The idea was to combine local color and cuisine with a visit to the old stomping grounds of these three very different American writers. Throughout the trip, I would reread the works that made these men famous. I thought it sounded like great fun. But in the end, I had to go on my own because my wife and kids declined to accompany me. They preferred to just stay.



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