Books like Jan Morris's _Hav_

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Books like Jan Morris's _Hav_

1anglemark
dec 15, 2020, 9:33am

Let's take this group out for a spin!

Earlier this year, I read the late lamented Jan Morris's Hav and loved it. As a matter of fact, I haven't been able to let go of it in my mind, and that's almost unique for me. However, LT's automatic recommendations seem far off the mark, and of the member recommendations, only the Ajvaz book looks like a likely fit (I haven't read it, though). I loved Miéville's book, but it's clearly sf/fantasy in a way that Hav isn't. And Borges's style is nothing like Morris's.

Recommendations for fictitious travelogues or books about imaginary countries that are sharp, personal, political but not fantastic? A tall order, yes, but perhaps someone has an idea?

2thorold
dec 15, 2020, 11:15am

Calvino’s Invisible cities is probably a bit too fantastic and whimsical for you, but maybe the recommendations from that would get you somewhere?

3anglemark
dec 15, 2020, 12:22pm

>2 thorold: No, it's a good book. I adore Calvino. You are right that it is another good starting point for recommendations.

4AnnieMod
Redigerat: dec 15, 2020, 1:23pm

Not a novel, but Imaginary Cities: A Tour of Dream Cities, Nightmare Cities, and Everywhere in Between may work.

I know you said not fantastic but Kalpa Imperial comes to mind immediately... So does Islandia. Or Tainaron: Mail from Another City And even The Glory of the Empire.

5anglemark
dec 15, 2020, 3:14pm

>4 AnnieMod: Regardless of whether they are similar to Hav or not, great recommendations, Anniemod. I have been recommended to read Islandia before. I guess I should get it. The Krohn I even own. And the other three look very interesting. Thanks!

6MarthaJeanne
Redigerat: dec 15, 2020, 4:11pm

Islandia is an amazing country, and I would love to be able to really visit it. Until then, I guess it's time to reread it.

7AnnieMod
dec 15, 2020, 6:20pm

>5 anglemark:

Now I am glad I posted :)

Gorodischer is criminally underappreciated (in the English speaking world anyway)... You may also want to look at her Trafalgar - it is not about cities and countries so I kinda discounted it (Kalpa Imperial is closer to what you were looking for) but it feels like a more action-based Invisible Cities set in space in some ways (my review is spoiler-free if you want to check it).

8lottpoet
dec 15, 2020, 6:42pm

>4 AnnieMod: I came in here to recommend Kalpa Imperial and Tainaron. Great minds. Don't know if Tainaron will feel too fantastical.

9anglemark
Redigerat: dec 16, 2020, 3:29am

>8 lottpoet: I don't mind fantasy. I'm a lifelong SFF reader and it was Le Guin's review that led me to Hav, I just wanted to steer these particular recommendations away from fantasy, because it wasn't that aspect of Hav that made such an impression.

10defaults
dec 16, 2020, 6:50am

The Other Side by Alfred Kubin starts out as an observational travelogue though it does gradually go off the phantasmagorical deep end.

11anglemark
dec 16, 2020, 8:41am

>10 defaults: Never heard of. Thanks, I'm adding it to the list. I'll see if I can find it in Swedish, although it doesn't seem to have been in print for many decades. I usually prefer not to read translations into English if I can get the book in Swedish instead.

12MarthaJeanne
dec 16, 2020, 10:25am

I'd really like to get my hands on Hav, but it doesn't seem to be very available.

13Whisper1
dec 16, 2020, 11:52am

Does anyone have suggestions for books regarding Pre-Raphaelite art?

14MarthaJeanne
dec 16, 2020, 12:03pm

>13 Whisper1: I suggest starting a new topic.