Our Literary Travels

Published Date: March 14, 2020

Description

Our literary travels have taken us to Miami, Prague, the West of Ireland, Bruges/Brugge, Copenhagen, Broughton Castle, Bath, Haut-Koenigsbourg, Stockholm, Danish Prisons, Buonconvento, Paris, London, South Africa, Iceland, the Virgin Islands, and the Isle of Mull. Once there, we walked in the footsteps of Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, Fyodor Dostoevsky, James Boswell and Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, Knut Hamsun, Halldór Laxness, Giovanni Boccaccio, William Burroughs, Georges Rodenbach, Heinrich Böll, Hyam Plutzik, Franz Kafka, and many others. These twenty essays reveal our discoveries.

About the Authors

Walter Cummins has published seven short story collections-Witness, Where We Live, Local Music, The End of the Circle, The Lost Ones, Habitat: stories of bent realism, Telling Stories: Old and New. He also has two collections of essays and reviews-Knowing Writers and Death Cancer Madness and Meaning. More than one hundred of his stories, as well as memoirs, essays, and reviews, have appeared in magazines such as New Letters, Kansas Quarterly, Virginia Quarterly Review, Under the Sun, Arts & Letters, Confrontation, Bellevue Literary Review, Connecticut Review, in book collections, and on the Web. With Thomas E. Kennedy, he is founding co-publisher of Serving House Books, an outlet for novels, mnd eamoirs, and story, poetry, and essay collections. For more than twenty years, he was editor of The Literary Review. He teaches in the graduate creative writing programs at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Thomas E. Kennedy’s many books include novels, story and essay collections, literary criticism, anthologies, and translations. The four novels of the Copenhagen Quartet were published by Bloomsbury in the U.S. and the U.K. (In the Company of Angels, 2010; Falling Sideways, 2011; Kerrigan in Copenhagen, A Love Story, 2013; and Beneath the Neon Egg, 2014). His two collections from New American Press are Last Night My Bed a Boat of Whiskey Going Down (2010) and Riding the Dog: A Look Back at America (2008). His stories, essays, travel pieces, interviews, poems, and translations appear regularly in American and European periodicals. His writing has won an O. Henry Award, a Pushcart Prize, a National Magazine Award, a Charles Angoff Award, and other prizes. With Walter Cummins, he is founding co-publisher of Serving House Books.

Introduction

WHAT WE’VE SEEN

Castles, moats, canals, bullet holes, prisons, lions, pump rooms, slave quarters, bookshelves, erotic ceilings, resistance fighters, ferries, churches, hotels, oil paintings, cigars, wall art, pubs, tombstones, yachts, airports, taxis, bush tents, and undergrowth.

In the footsteps of Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, Fyodor Dostoevsky, James Boswell and Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, Knut Hamsun, Halldór Laxness, Giovanni Boccaccio, William S. Burroughs, Georges Rodenbach, Heinrich Böll, Hyam Plutzik, Franz Kafka, and many others.

We began our literary travels many decades ago but did not come up with the concept of writing about them until we were part of a gathering of American and Canadian expatriates at a bar in the Place de la Contrescape on Paris’ Left Bank in the summer of 2001. Many photographs were taken, and Tom described the event.

That piece initiated an online series on Web Del Sol, first called The Literary Traveler, then changed to The Literary Explorer after a legal threat from the lawyer for a commercial site that had trademarked the term—unbeknownst to us. This renaming took place after our first group of essays and photographs had been published under The Literary Traveler title in 2005. Whatever our adventures were called—travels or explorations—we kept going, seeking the literary connections whenever we found ourselves in a new destination. Fortunately, for us there are few, if any, places on the planet that don’t enjoy a literary connection. As many as we have seen between us, we’ve barely made a dent in the possibilities.

This collection is a sampling of all that is out there and, we hope, an inspiration for readers to pack their own suitcases and head off for their own literary discoveries.

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