Drawing Maps

The readings on modeling this week reminded me of a book I was given a few years ago by Andrew DeGraff called, Plotted: A Literary Atlas. In it, DeGraff maps the journeys of characters from the literary cannon. What interested me, looking at it again after doing these readings, was that he mapped not only more traditional journeys (Huck Finn down the river, Frederick Douglass to freedom), but also the emotional journeys of the characters in Pride and Prejudice, the spacial ones of A Wrinkle In Time, and the temporal ones of A Christmas Carol. This was an artistic project more than an academic one, but it was fun to look at how this author/artist used maps and graphs to enhance his personal relationship with these books.

Also interesting was that even in this obviously subjective/artistic work, DeGraff discusses the limitations of his project.

Much as the skyline of New York creates a rough map of the bedrock that it rests upon, or in the way that a map of the London Tube can tell you where the population centers are, these maps provide a sense of contour – sometimes literal and sometimes metaphorical – for their literary inspirations. 

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