Reintegrate: Placing Literature



personally my writing really relies on physical locations so when I wrote my book learning to hate it takes place in San Francisco and my scenes take place in real locations that I know from from living there for 12 years and so I really had that connection between the fictional place and the real location and so Katie she and I have talked about setting in place because those two worlds of ours do collide as a geographer sheep she deals with places all the time we identified five different novels and three different cities we chose New Haven Connecticut Duluth Minnesota and San Francisco California and we chose those three cities because they're very different and we are taking the scenes that take place in real locations whether that's a real coffee shop whether that is a school a public square a pizza place and we are studying the intersection of that fictional place and that real life place and seeing how they compare to each other you know is if the community that's inspiring the art or is it the art that's inspiring with the community I actually say place-based education which is an education method that kind of tries to connect people to the environment so you can think about more complex issues in context and I never had really considered literature is a really good teaching tool in in relaying place and how describe plates and make place a part of a bigger project so that's something that has really been valuable you know I have my own way of creating art and much different from a scientific method of doing that and it's been good it's been it's been good it's been fun it's it's a completely different perspective but what Katie brings the table is methodology I mean she really understands what it means to collect data to analyze data and to come to conclusions so that's been really eye-opening to kind of see her I'm gonna work her magic and to kind of focus me a little bit to get toward our goal one book that I've been reading recently that takes place in new haven is called Joe College by tom perrotta and I've been reading the scene that takes place on Yale's campus I didn't walk any more softly than usual but for some reason he didn't hear me approach he just stood there lost in thought gazing into a lighted window on the ground floor of Branford on the far side of the moat Kristen Willard was framed in the will in the window her profile angelic in the pale glow of her reading lamp she seemed to be concentrating hard as if something in the book didn't make sense to her so here we are on the campus of Yale and we are right here on liberty walk which is where the scene takes place in Tom piratas Joe College and in the scene as you remember the character nick is a local he's from New Haven he's not a student and he's standing right here at this location by this tree on this walk staring into a dorm room of a young coed and if you remember the symbolism is that there was a moat in between the local and the young underground you can think that was just symbolism unless you actually came here to this location in this physical space where the scene takes place and you can actually see that there is a moat in between the walkway and and it's acts as a symbolism of the gulf between the local New Haven ight and the Ivy League student there from two totally completely different worlds separated by a gulf this moat this physical mode and that's how the physical location of Yale University inspired this author to write the scene in order to to to study the intersection of real places and fictional places we needed a research tool so what we did was we hired an engineer former Google engineer we hired him to build an online database for us and basically that allows us to map fictional and physical places in an application that we can go back and research and the data is collected and captured through this application and it can be exported to other researchers to students to basically anyone who wants to define doubt you know where these scenes really take place so what we really wanted to study was the intersection of those two ideas and really talk about the intersection of community and literature you

1 thought on “Reintegrate: Placing Literature

  1. Very interesting. This will be useful to readers who want to get a bit deeper into a book by understanding the scenes better.

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