ABSTRACT

If writers map the real and imagined spaces of their world in various ways through literary means, then it follows that readers are also engaged in this broader mapping project. A map-reader is also a reader of a text, after all, and the reader of a literary map also envisions a space, plots a trajectory, and becomes orientated to and within the world depicted there. What is more, the reader is never simply a passive receptacle for the spatial messages transmitted by the map or text, but actively determines the often shifting and transient meanings to be found in the map. To the writer's literary cartography, we might add the reader's literary geography. The critical reader becomes a kind of geographer who actively interprets the literary map in such a way as to present new, sometimes hitherto unforeseen mappings.