Literary Blog Hop-Wish You Were Here

Friday, February 04, 2011

Literary Blog Hop

It's that time again!  The Literary Blog Hop is a hop designed for book bloggers who read and review primarily literary fiction hosted by the lovely bloggers at The Blue Bookcase.
This week's prompt was a real challenge for me...

Robyn asks: What setting (time or place) from a book or story would you most like to visit? Eudora Welty said that, "Being shown how to locate, to place, any account is what does most toward making us believe it...," so in what location would you most like to hang out?

Ok, so this presents a couple of conundrums for me.  First of all, I've read A LOT of books in my time, as I'm sure most of you have as well.  I'm pretty sure that I've read a novel that takes place on just about every continent and in most climate regions of the world, making it hard to narrow down.  Really, I could pick just about anywhere and I could probably find a book I've read that takes place there.

Second, unlike some of you I do read some genre fiction, fantasy and science fiction specifically.  So, does my place have to be real?  I mean, would choosing Narnia be totally cheating because it doesn't really exist? (Because if I was going to choose a fictional place, it would definitely be Narnia.  Come on, talking animals?  Fugedaboudit!) 

Finally, there is the time factor.  I mean, sometimes a place would only be interesting if you were there for the historical events that surrounded it.  I mean, most Civil War battlefields are only flat spaces covered with grass now.  I could visit them, but what would I see?  

So, how to answer the question?  Funnily enough, the place I have chosen is from a fantasy novel that has a historical context, and there is some question of how much of that historical context was reality rather than fiction.  And that place is....drumroll...Cornwall in England.

Cornwall is the supposed site of King Arthur's reign, and there is a group in North Cornwall that believes they have identified Arthur's castle and Merlin's Cave near Tintagel.  This area is the setting for Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon, which is my favorite re-telling of the Arthurian legend.  With it's strong feminist focus and themes of the Christianization of the old world and fate vs. free will, it made quite an impression on me as a high schooler.  I've read it several times since then, and every time I want to jump on a plane to England and visit all of the places mentioned.  Tintagel, the Tor, the rugged coast, the woods where the Horned God and the Goddess met and renewed the world...all magical.  The fact that I am a bit of an Anglophile doesn't hurt.  If I ever make it to England, Cornwall will be but one of many places I want to visit.  But there are actually tours designed to take you to the sacred sites of the ancient world in the UK, and as nerdy as I feel being excited about that, if I ever get over there I'm signin' up!

Tintagel Castle, possible site of Camelot

Glastonbury Tor, also prominent in the legend


  1. Cornwall is a beautiful place & it does seem to hace an ambient mysticism, that sense of history & myth combined with location. Add on to this the fayres & obviously the festival make it an especially fantastic place to visit.

  2. Oh yes, that sounds great. I actually have been to Cornwall but didn't get a chance to go to Tintagel - I would love to see it.

    I hope you'll get there sometime. Maybe you have been where I want to go?

  3. I like your choice. And I like the thinking that produced your choice.

    Here's my post:

  4. I like your choices....neat times.

    Check out my answer at:


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