Monday, November 7, 2011

Dictionary of Imaginary Places

The Dictionary of Imaginary Places, authored by Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi, is a 750+ page mock travel book of fictional places from the minds of storytellers - earthly locales an adventurous traveler could visit if only they existed.  Places such as Middle-Earth, Narnia, Oz, Hogwarts, Neverwhere, Atlantis, Xanadu, Shangri-La, Wonderland, Jurassic Park, Camelot, Avalon, Brigadoon, Pepperland and more.  

It is written in the tone of a guidebook.  It assumes all these make-believe lands occupy the same world and are accessible to one other.  Like a travel guide, brief descriptions of the geography, history and points of interest are included.  There are many maps and illustrations - all drawn in a consistent style - to supplement the text.  The authors frequently offer personal advice to aid potential visitors, such as  "Though they might be invited to join a Yahoo-hunt, visitors are best advised to avoid any contact with them". 

Visiting these places doesn't require a passport; it simply requires a sense of wonder.  As a travelogue of the unreal, the Dictionary of Imaginary Places not only opens the door to a whole new world of books and authors, but it is a handy resource for devising a mythological world of your own.  

1 comment:

  1. It assumes all these make-believe lands occupy the same world and are accessible to one other.
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