he selected it over and above others. Most of all, I did not understand the geographical work it performed. I realize this is an ungenerous reaction, maybe a case of disciplinary chauvinism: if you don't do it geography's way, you must be wrong. There is in my discipline a subfield called the geography of literature. But it is not very good. Its focus, to use Beebee's vocabulary, is mimesis, with barely a nod to diegesis and nothing at all about diataxis. The subfield tends to turn on such mundane activities as plotting Thomas Hardy's fictional Wessex on to nonfictional West England county maps. By comparison, there is a lot that geographers could learn from Beebee's volume. For a start he provides a theoretical framework, one objective of which is precisely to move beyond mimesis. Further, he presents a spectacularly diverse range of geographical (and historical) sources, emphasizing comparison. It makes those geographical Wessex studies appear parochial and narrow. Finally, he is not afraid to makes various appearances in his own text and to explain those snap shots. He doggedly follows the dusty trail of da Cunha in Brazil and with detective-like astuteness tracks down in a rental car
Comparative Literature Studies – Penn State University Press
Published: Jul 22, 2011
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