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Monday
Mar222010

Welcome to Littourati

Welcome to the first posting of Littourati.  Each installment of this blog will focus on a point on a journey that is laid out in a book.  The installment will continue until the journey is completed, and feature a place, a quote, some personal reflections, and some additional information.

A Google Map, and in many cases, a Google Earth tour, will be provided for the reader to journey along with the author.

It is a hope that such a site will pique readers' interests not only in the literature, but in the places described and perhaps their own reflections.  Perhaps some enterprising readers will choose to visit or retrace the routes laid out!  If so, maybe this blog will be helpful and inspiring.

Now, a disclaimer.  All of this grew out of an experiment in learning how to customize Google Maps which I (Michael Hess) started three years ago.  I had to set it aside as I worked through a PhD and various life happenings, but have always wanted to start this process again. As my learning continues, there are a few caveats in order.  I am not an expert in HTML, CSS, Google Maps, Javascript or Google Earth.  Therefore, my maps may seem somewhat crude with what is out there now and available.  The code is Google Maps API Version 2, and I have shamelessly and not very elegantly cribbed pieces of code from various places.  The maps work best in Firefox 1.5 or above, and Internet Explorer 6.0 and above.   I am not sure if the map works across all browsers, and the last time I checked it does not seem to work as expected in Safari.  Also, only one or two points will be offered at a time per post.  That means it will take a while to work through a book.  I will have a good start on Kerouac, since I had mapped about two-thirds of his first trip already.

However, keep in mind that journeys are best traveled slowly, with the traveler taking some time to learn about the places and process his or her feelings about them.  The journey will eventually end, so don't be too hasty to get to the conclusion!

Please enjoy, and happy traveling!  Post comments, reflections, anything you like on the authors, books, or places.   And if you have any suggestions for reading material that might be reviewed by Littourati, please don't hesitate to recommend a book!  It may well end up being toured!

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