Monday, March 31, 2008

Mapping the Imagination

Budza listens to an audiobook in the morning before school, and we’re now listening to Peter Pan. I am usually drinking coffee, reading the paper, packing a lunch, and only half listening, but found myself listening to, and smiling at, this passage:

I don't know whether you have ever seen a map of a person's mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting, but catch them trying to draw a map of a child's mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There are zigzag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card, and these are probably roads in the island, for the Neverland is always more or less an island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with six elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose. It would be an easy map if that were all, but there is also first day at school, religion, fathers, the round pond, needle-work, murders, hangings, verbs that take the dative, chocolate pudding day, getting into braces, say ninety-nine, three-pence for pulling out your tooth yourself, and so on, and either these are part of the island or they are another map showing through, and it is all rather confusing, especially as nothing will stand still.

It got me thinking of phrenology and maps of the inside of heads, and wondering what maps of the imagination itself there were. And Google found me this book by Peter Turchi.

Getting lost in this book is so easy, enlightening, and downright fun, any reader exploring it should take Saul Bellow’s advice: ‘Perhaps, being lost, one should get loster.’”
— The Ruminator Review

I don’t need it, but I need it, if you know what I mean. And I have a coupon from Porter Square Books burning a hole in my wallet anyways.Getting "lost-er" sounds like just what I need...

P.S. I have just discovered that Radiogirl blogged about this book and three others a few weeks ago. You can read her post and learn about other cool "maps of the imagination" books here.

1 comment:

  1. Oh! Yes! Peter Turchi's book definitely falls into the need category. It must be the easiest-to-get-lost-in nonfiction book I have ever read. (Perhaps someone writing about maps might not consider that a compliment, but it is, it truly is.) I can't wait to hear what you think.

    And the passage from Peter Pan takes my breath away! I cannot believe I've never read the book. I think it just fell into the need category, too.