April 14, 2011 § Leave a comment
Somehow great writers are able to make a place seem exotic even as described through the narration of a native. In immortalizing a place through their writing they rebuild it as their own; we are shown the place in a mirror warped at the will of their words. Their incantations of vibrating music halls and forbidden markets leave me feeling more intimate with a never-visited place thousands of miles foreign to me than with the places I frequent daily. As I read, I become encased in the secret existence of a places richer and realer than my own experience has yet been able to create. The glamour and magic of Marquez, Kincaid, and Kerouac’s words construct beautiful, foggy maps of Columbia, Antigua and New Orleans in my mind. After these hushed encounters I am imprinted with a wonderment and devotion only partly mine, and left with the dream of visiting the clubs, markets, villages, and cities as described, with only my books to guide me away.