Not surprisingly, I’ve done a lot of what is (now) often termed literary tourism. I’ve visited the Emily Dickinson Museum and Edith Wharton’s home (The Mount). I’ve seen Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House and, my personal favorite, The House of Seven Gables Museum. I’ve even been to Walden Pond.
(Please note all of those are within 100 miles of each other and where I grew up. My school referred to them as field trips. So the list looks much more impressive than it really is.)
I’ve visited Oscar Wilde’s childhood home, walked around James Joyce’s Dublin, and visited W. B. Yeats’ house. I’ve toured Stieg Larsson’s Stockholm, visited Mordecai Richler’s grave, browsed through Powell’s Books, and perused (is there a more pretentious word?) the Astrid Lindgren Museum. I’ve stayed in The Stanley Hotel and I’ve always wanted to find the Hunter S. Thompson Shrine (I haven’t. Yet). And in a somewhat creepy move, I drove past Kerouac’s old house in Lakewood (located a mere 6 miles from my own home). I’ve seen the Sunrise Amphitheater (featured prominently in The Stand) and watched Clive Cussler walk around Golden, Colorado. I was too shy to say hello – he’s really tall. The most depressing (or reassuring?) part of how much I’ve seen is how much more there is out there. I could spent the rest of my life traveling to literary places and never manage to visit everywhere I wanted. This week’s top ten list (as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish): literary bucket list. I’m not fond of the term, there is something obnoxious about an idiom using another idiom as a referent, but I’m creating one nonetheless. I’m limiting mine to travel destinations – because, to be honest, my literary bucket list is absurd – maybe this will help narrow down which one I’ll visit next.
Bonus: Hunt down Hunter Thompson’s shrine.
10. Nietzsche-Haus, Sils-Maria, Switzerland. Seen here. Everyone has a Nietzsche phase, right?
09. H.P. Lovecraft’s House, Providence, Rhode Island Home. Although I used to live in Rhode Island (although I lived in Jamestown, it’s not exactly a big state), I never made it to Lovecraft’s house.
08. Tour Wallander’s Sweden. I like Henning Mankell and I really enjoy the BBC Series (and its location).
07. Vienna, Austria. Because John Irving. And this surprises no one.
06. Scottish Highlands. Thank you, Outlander. Is anyone else excited for the series?
05. Bronte Parsonage Museum, West Yorkshire, England. See #7.
04. Prelinger Library in San Francisco, CA. This library is a cataloger’s dream (or nightmare, depending on said cataloger’s flexibility – I am mentally flexible).
03. Brattle Book Shop, Boston, MA. I grew up in the area, how did I miss this?
01. Henry Miller Memorial Library, Big Sur, CA. It looks absolutely amazing, even if I’m not Miller’s biggest fan (I do like him, but he has some very serious followers).
What’s on your literary bucket list?
(Image from rare article written on Henry Miller by HST, see full article on Totally Gonzo)