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The Fictional Towns of Literature

R.K. Narayan’s Malgudi, Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, and of course, L. Frank Baum’s enchanting Oz. These fictional places imagined by prolific writers possess great character, and ultimately reflect the author’s mindset, intention and desires. A greater understanding of each of these places is pieced together bit by bit through every engaging story written, and eventually come to represent different things in the ways that they are perceived by us, the readers. Interesting questions to perhaps ask would then be: what was the intention of the author in creating such an intricate or elaborate world (all three are depicted beautifully drawn maps) and how did people perceive such fictional towns at the time, as well as what these towns eventually came to represent.

  • I love this. It'd be great to add Harry Potter and The Hobbit/LOTR into the mix! – Jaye Freeland 4 years ago
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  • I would also add, for Latin-American literature, Garcia Marquez' Macondo and Onetti's Santa María. It's quite a wide topic once you are familiar with it; and very interesting. – Felipe Mancheno 4 years ago
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  • Kudos to you for including Malgudi in your thesis statement. Few other places which the potential article writer can write about include Narnia and Panem. Even settings like Gotham can be potentially added into the mix and touched upon. – Dr. Vishnu Unnithan 1 month ago
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  • Yes! I'm so happy to see this take because I consider the benchmark of truly incredible storytelling to be not in the characters, but in the world of the story. To make the world of the story feel lush and full of promise, when it is the characters that drive the focus of the story, takes a masterful command of detail and writing. Also, it is in creating such a strong sense of place that it offers up opportunities for greater storytelling; franchises like Harry Potter and Star Wars immediately come to mind, but there are more I'm sure. I particularly love that you've noted L. Frank Baum's Oz because, having recently directed a stage production of the musical adaptation, I found myself mind-boggled at the sheer biodiversity alone found within Oz -- there are corn fields, forests, cities, towns, jungles (if we are to believe that tigers and bears exist alongside The Cowardly Lion)...and those are just the parts we've seen! I would love for someone to make a map of Oz that delves deeper into its composition. – aeqbal 4 weeks ago
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  • Oh, you have to include Narnia, Panem, and/or Hogwarts. And can I suggest (PLEASE) that you add Storybrooke, Maine? – Stephanie M. 3 weeks ago
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