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Travelling enriched by novels read, and films seen…

Travelling enriched by novels read, and films seen…

Aug 16th, 2005, 02:05 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Travelling enriched by novels read, and films seen…

I realised the other day that so much of what I am hoping to see and enjoy on our trip later this year, has been shaped by the novels I have read, particularly in my childhood years. In those days, Australian literature for children was emerging, but very much of what I read was from Britain. I still want to visit all of those British landscapes. I want to see a moor, and heather in bloom. I want to see all the sites brought to life in Arthurian novels ( no matter how far fetched the connection – Glastonbury, Tintagel, Stonegenge). I want to visit Daphne du Maurier country and that of Jane Austen.

We would visit Oxford anyway, but how much richer will be the experience for my children recognising locations from the Harry Potter movies. And, (risking the derision of Fodorites), I did enjoy The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, as did my children, and we have an added frisson of excitement about visiting some of the places which we feel we know in our imagination from reading the novels. In fact, I think that may help to explain the popularity of The Da Vinci Code, which I agree was not classic literature. I have never visited Europe ( to be remedied later this year!) but I got to travel vicariously to magical sounding places through his book.

I want to visit the France and Greece of Mary Stewart, the Prince Edward Island of L. M. Montgomery, and, before we visit the battle fields of the Somme, I want to reread All Quiet on the Western front.

How has your travel been enriched or influenced by novels read and films seen?
judybroad is offline  
Aug 16th, 2005, 04:18 AM
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Immensely, especially travels through Dorset, Devon, and Wiltshire.

And my satisfaction has been increased upon yet again re-affirming what many of us know is derision often generated by poor self esteem and jealousy.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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I'm not sure what the poor self esteem and jealousy have to do with it, but I too have gone out of my way to see literary sites. I loved Tintagel, seeing the Daphne du Maurier room at Jamaica Inn, walking the streets of Fowey, etc.
hopingtotravel is offline  
Aug 16th, 2005, 11:22 AM
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Absolutely, my travels have been hugely influenced by books and films, and some of them match up with those you mentioned.
I would say that my visit to Pamplona was enhanced by my reading of "The Sun Also Rises," while "For Whom the Bell Tolls" gave an added poignancy when we driving through those mountains on our way from Madrid to Segovia. "Don Quixote" certainly seemed alive to me in La Mancha and Castile.
Hemingway also added flavor to my trip to Paris with "A Moveable Feast." For that trip to France, I read histories of Versailles and Notre Dame beforehand, and my family was particularly keen to see the Normandy beaches after viewing the movie "Saving Private Ryan." My own vision of Paris will always be colored by delightful Audrey Hepburn films such as "Sabrina" or "Charade." A future trip to France will certainly have to include areas outside of Paris, such as the venue for "Chocolat" as well as the Riviera, where "It Takes a Thief" was filmed.
I am an avid reader of British mysteries, so many of the little villages, as well as sites in London, seemed familiar to me even before I actually got there. (I also hope to add some of Daphne de Maurier's haunts in Cornwell on some future trip!) My brief visit to Bath, England, included a stop at the Pump Room, where I could almost imagine Jane Austen, or some of her characters, stopping by for tea that day! I'm with you in wanting to see the heather and the moors.....
I will not be one of those who derides you about "The Da Vinci Code," as it made me even more curious about sites I'd already seen in London and Paris (and besides, it's like an adult Harry Potter---it has people reading who may not have read a book in years!).
My love affair with England, in particular, rose from reading a great deal of British literature, and I am especially enamored of Shakespeare, so our recent return trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon was such an indescribable joy to me. I also like reading histories and biographies from the Middle Ages and the Tudor period, so it was exciting to visit Hampton Court Palace, where Henry dallied with several of his many wives (one of which is said to haunt the place still), as well as the tombs of Henry and his third wife at Windsor Castle's chapel. (I hope someday to visit Hever Castle, which is associated with his second wife, Anne Boleyn.) I was enthralled to see the tombs of Edward the Confessor and Henry V at Westminster Abbey, along with Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, and also that of the Black Prince at Canterbury Cathedral.
None of these places would have meant as much to me if I were not a voracious reader.
For future trips, I am certainly influenced by "Under the Tuscan Sun" in my eagerness to visit that area of Italy, and by all of the great Irish writers who make me want to visit the Emerald Isle. My daughter wants to see more of Scotland because of the movie "Braveheart." And, finally, laugh if you will, but since I was a teenager, I have wanted to visit Salzburg because of "The Sound of Music." I only discovered later that it is the birthplace of Mozart and site of a world-famous music festival. And, "Amadeus," the movie about Mozart, has long inspired me to want to visit Prague. Not surprisingly, these sites are the ones I have earmarked for my next trips abroad. My reasons, and knowledge, may have expanded over the years, but my initial interest was sparked by those books and movies...
MaureenGP is offline  
Aug 16th, 2005, 12:00 PM
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I have been thinking about a related concept: travel influenced by art. I gained insight a few years ago at an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. There was a connection drawn between the industrialization of society and the idealized countryside revealed by the French Impressionists.

Those posters of landscapes by Monet and Renoir which hung in my dorm room in college were made to look like paradise because of the social forces operating on the artists and on their society. So it is not to be wondered at that I look at the hayfields in France and feel that I am in a holy place.
Nikki is offline  
Aug 16th, 2005, 12:06 PM
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Count me in too...I think it's simply that I see or read about a location and I get curious to see the locale for myself.

I also like to read or see movies after I have traveled to a location to take me back, if only briefly to the location.
lyb is offline  
Aug 16th, 2005, 12:06 PM
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<And, finally, laugh if you will, but since I was a teenager, I have wanted to visit Salzburg because of "The Sound of Music.">

Maureen, I don't believe that anything that inspires travel or a thirst for knowledge is silly, quite brilliant actually.

Well done Tiff
Tiff is offline  
Aug 17th, 2005, 08:00 AM
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Tiff, thanks for being so broad-minded, and realizing that anything that inspires travel or further study is to be embraced.
As I said, I saw "The Sound of Music" when I was a young teenager and so I've always wanted to go to Salzburg. It was a little later that I learned it is also Mozart's birthplace and site of the renowned music festival---so my interest greatly expanded. I haven't gotten there yet, but it's on the short list for my vacation next year. And as I said, I have wanted to go to Prague since seeing "Amadeus," as that city stood in for Vienna in the movie.
I also forgot "A Room With a View" as another travel inspiration, and I didn't specifically mention such favorites as "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights," but those books certainly are the primary reason some of us long to see the moors. And I would also like to see the Lake District, since I like the Romantic poets, especially Wordsworth. My list could go on and on. As the saying goes: "Too many books, too little time," which tranposes easily to: "Too many trips, too little time (and too little money"...)
I do think reading and travel go hand in hand--each enhancing the other, and leading to more reading, more travel, and on and on...I've found that most people who travel are also passionate about reading, though it doesn't always work in the reverse. Some people remain armchair travelers, happy with their books, content to visualize places, not visit them.
MaureenGP is offline  

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