Plotting English-Language Novels in Wales
The Literary Atlas is an exercise in what literary geographers call deep mapping. It will contain not only geographical references to real and imagined places in Welsh fiction, but also historical, cultural, and sociological information about these localities.
The Literary Atlas will be augmented with filmic, photographic and audio material, academic and critical commentaries, excerpts of books, and author interviews. The Literary Atlas will provide virtual tours of the locations used in novels, and directions so that these tours can also be walked in practice. In doing so it will enhance our understanding of the relationships between literary textuality and geography.
This project is an interdisciplinary demonstration of the power of literary geography to offer insight into the vital connections between people, literature and land.
The project has three broad aims:
More specifically, the project will also:
Phase I of the project will be the creation of the website. The website is anticipated to go live in Summer 2017.
Phase II will critically evaluate the uses of the website. This will involve the recruitment of focus groups to examine the ways in which readers engage with fictions and geographies through the use of the website. Moreover, working with our partners Literature Wales, the project will organize literary tours that utilize the website’s resources and explore locations from the texts. These will take place from Summer 2017 to Summer 2018.
Phase III (post-Summer 2018) will communicate the insights found from the project through reports, academic papers, international festivals, conferences, open public events, and the website itself.
Dr Jon Anderson introduces the Literary Atlas.
Watch the introductory words from Dr Jon Anderson, Cardiff University, at the Hay Festival in 360 video.
Page and Place: Ongoing Compositions of Plot examines the key relationships between literary and literal worlds.
The book explores how the imaginary worlds of stories and novels intersect, conflict, and supplement our understanding of the material locations around us. It explores how literary narratives reshape our perception of the world, and explores issues of representation, interpretation and consumption of pages and the places they connect to. Whilst it is common to frame the relationship between the literary the literal as separate and bounded, this book suggests this boundary itself is more imagined than real. Page and Place demonstrates these arguments by drawing on stories, narratives, and mobile interviews with Welsh writers, including Iain Sinclair, Malcom Pryce, Niall Griffiths, and Gillian Clarke. By doing so, it employs and further contributes to the creation of entangled maps through the real and imagined geographies of Wales.