Good evening, my dear readers
How are you today? How’s the week going? I’ve been super busy (again) with quite a lot of stuff to read, but it’s all because next Monday I’ll be in another country on a summer school program.
So last December, I attended a university meeting in which we were invited to spend a couple of weeks in Edinburgh taking a couple of seminars on Scottish life and literature. Only forty people could go, and they would give preference to those on more advanced semesters. A couple of weeks later I received an email where they regretted to inform me that I wasn’t among the 40.
Funny thing is, it was just after returning home for the Paris literary route that I found a second email in my inbox. A student had cancelled and the spot was mine, should I choose to accept it. So now everything’s almost ready; I only have to pack my bags, print out a few things and finish reading the outrageous amount of documents that we were given.
A paper town
Edinburgh is not only the place where I’ll spend the next couple of weeks reading about Gothic literature; it is also where we find our second literary route. I know this is not literally a paper town, and I know that in the book by John Green, «paper town» is not necessarily a positive thing, but in this town, paper has certainly played a very important role in its literary influence.
Here are a few reasons why:
1. It’s the world’s first «City of Literature»
Declared as such by our friends at the UNESCO in 2004.
2. It’s the birthplace of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1768)
3. It’s also the birthplace of writers like Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sir Walter Scott
Is there anybody out there who hasn’t heard about Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde? Or about the famous detective Sherlock Holmes and his loyal friend Doctor Watson? The name Ivanhoe can also be mentioned here.
4. Robinson Crusoe
Alexander Selkirk was a castaway for four years on an island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Daniel Defoe based his novel on Selkirk’s story.
George Orwell wrote his awesome dystopian novel in Edinburgh, where he spent the last years of his life. I think it’s safe to say that without books like these, young adults nowadays wouldn’t have The Hunger Games or Divergent.
6. Harry Potter
There’s a specific route dedicated to Harry Potter, because here’s where J.K. Rowling wrote the first instalments of her saga. This is not a priority of mine, but I’ll probably check out one or two spots.
I’ll be taking pictures, visiting literary places and looking for cool spots to share with you.