five destinations immortalized by literature

If literature possesses something, it is its wonderful power to transport us to another place. In the skin of the characters of great writers, we travel through places that open up before our eyes, becoming longed-for destinations that, sooner or later, we will do everything possible to visit. Come in and read. That may be how they decide their next stop this summer.

1


Paris, France

In the footsteps of Cortázar

The famous Argentine writer lived in the French capital for more than thirty years. He loved that city so much that, when his spirit traveled to the Olympus of geniuses, he left his body resting in the city of light. In the Place du Général Beuret is the house in which Julio lived during his first years in Paris and in which he wrote Game over, Secret weapons and the extraordinary Hopscotch.

The Paris metro was another of the author’s favorite spaces. In it he placed many scenes from his works. In Black kitten neck, the protagonist, Lucho, gets into a crowded wagon on line 12 and there he accidentally brushes the gloved hand of a beautiful woman. The unexpected meeting ends at her house, drinking coffee and chatting about Nina Simone.

Julio Cortázar lived in France for more than 30 years, where he wrote his most celebrated books

Others

Cortázar used to take long walks along the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin, also popularized by the film Amelie, or by the Rue de L’Abbaye, where we can precisely emulate the protagonists of The pursuer, who go down this street to the Seine and end by looking at the river and talking on the Quai des Grands Augustins, next to the alley of Gît-le-Coeur.

For lunch, lovers of Cortázar have a table at Polidor, on Rue Monsieur le Prince, also in the Saint Germain area. The reason? In this historic restaurant decorated with mirrors, curtains and wooden benches, the beginning of the third novel written by Cortázar in Paris takes place. 62 / Model to assemble.

Tuscany, one of the most fascinating routes in Italy

2


Tuscany, Italy

The landscapes of Marlena de Blasi

More than a novel, A thousand days in Tuscany are the memories and personal experiences of this American writer and journalist who, together with her husband Fernando, moved to the small town of San Casciano dei Bagni for a year, discovering the secrets of Tuscany at the hands of the native Barlozzo. In the words of Marlena de Blasi: “You have to read, read a lot. But not only travel guides, which have their value but do not go further. Read stories, novels, memoirs… You have to be prepared to walk through Tuscany, to wander and to get lost ”.

Be prepared to walk through Tuscany, to wander and to get lost

Marlena de blasi

With this book you will walk from the poppy fields of Umbria to the typical Tuscan landscapes of wheat and cypresses, but, fundamentally, you will immerse yourself in the gastronomy of the region, wanting to try the flower frying, the typical roasted sausages with grapes and the delicious goat cheeses seasoned with chestnut honey.

Belem Tower, Lisbon

3


Lisbon, Portugal

Muñoz Molina’s second home

Baudelaire said that “there is a country that is similar to you”, and in more than one interview Antonio Muñoz Molina has said that this happens between the Portuguese capital and himself. So he leaves it exquisitely written in Winter in Lisbon, a novel in which he narrates nights of jazz and bourbon watching how the fog makes the 25 April bridge extend to infinity: “I remember something that he once told me, that Lisbon was the homeland of his soul, the only possible homeland of those who are born foreign”.

Melancholic and daring, distant and affectionate… Antonyms always intersect when one discovers the true face of the Portuguese capital, to which the writer awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Letters has also dedicated other novels. In Like the shadow que se goes reconstructs the flight and walks through Lisbon of the murderer of Martin Luther King, James Earl Ray, who during his stay in Portugal stayed at the Mundial hotel, in Praça Martim Moniz, today with a beautiful bar rooftop, from where he went down to the river in Praça do Comércio to get his feet wet and then enter the alleys of the port district of Bica.

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective mask speaks with a driver of a tram during the coronavirus outbreak in downtown Lisbon, Portugal, October 31, 2020. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante/File Photo

Antonio Muñoz Molina won the National Narrative Prize for his novel A Winter in Lisbon

Reuters / Rafael Marchante

Posted in March 2019, Your steps on the ladder It is the last novel that Muñoz Molina has set in Lisbon for now. In it we discover the beauty of the Ajuda and Belém Botanical Gardens, as well as the views from the Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte, which is reached by the slopes of the Graça neighborhood, and the more bourgeois spirit of the parish of Ourique.

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4


London England

The social portrait of Virginia Woolf and Hanif Kureishi

A quote attributed to the writer Dorothy Parker perfectly describes what the Bloomsbury art group represented: “They lived in squares, they painted in a circle and they loved in a triangle.” Virginia Woolf is the best known face of this historic literary group. Among his works stands out Mrs. Dalloway, in which the author follows in the footsteps of the bourgeoisie and a little snob Clarissa as she finalizes the preparations for a party that she will host that night running errands down Bond Street and Regent Street to the park of the same name.

The six stories that make up the London essay were originally published in the magazine Good Housekeeping and Woolf wrote them in the spring of 1931. As a Londoner who loved to tell the city from the perspective of its illustrious residents and ordinary people, in this essay we discover what the poet Keats’s house in Hampstead and Thomas’s house looked like at that time. Carlyle in Chelsea. We also visit the House of Commons and get lost in the bustle of the Thames docks.

Diane Keaton, Brendan Gleeson, in the movie'A Date in the Park' walking through the neighborhood of Hampstead, London

Hampstead, London, home to mythical writers like John Keats

Third parties

This complex city is also the backdrop for failed love affairs, couple conflicts and professional frustrations narrated by the British Hanif Kureishi, a perfect documentary filmmaker on contemporary society. In It’s always midnight the writer tells us about the crises and even the sexual intimacies of various couples through locations with detailed descriptions: nights in pubs from posh Notting Hill, lovers’ kisses at Victoria Station, monotonous dinners on the High Street or solitary strolls through Hyde Park. Without using adjectives that adorn the city or subjective reviews of unknown corners, Kureishi prefers to show us London through the most everyday stories of its inhabitants.

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5


Tokyo Japan

Discovering the land of Murakami

There are many authors who have based their narrative on the Japanese capital, but without a doubt Haruki Murakami has become one of the great ambassadors of Tokyo for decades, although not without showing his saddest face, from loneliness to family traditions that still determine to a great extent the life of every young person.

In Tokyo blues, Sputnik my love Y 1Q84, Murakami openly exposes the backdrop of the country that this year hosts the Olympic Games, from the changes in social values, the underground violence and the bitter criticism of the system. What happened to the Japan of samurais, geishas and kimonos? In the three stories that make up 1Q84, set in the 1990s, we will visit the arcades of Shibuya, the skyscrapers of the financial district of Nishi-Shinjuku and, expanding our vision of Japan, we will discover the beauty and customs of the small islands south of Honshu .