Saturday, January 25, 2014

Gliding Over the World of Literature – Issue 39

Hello to all you readers, and welcome back for what is the thirty-ninth edition of our glorious series, Gliding Over the World of Literature. As we’ve started doing a bit more in the past, today’s article will be centered around a theme, and I think the best of way describing would be as follows: reality inspired by literature.

Just to clarify things up, we are going to begin by looking at fourteen hotels which were inspired by books. Following that, there will be a list of ten buildings taken straight out of famous books. Finally, we will finish things off by taking a small tour into the world of art works inspired by Beat literature.

Book-Inspired Hotels

Hotels appear in works of fiction quite often, for they are places where human life keeps coming and going, creating plenty of opportunities for authors to explore the nature of mankind. As it happens, there are plenty of architects out there who have set out on the noble mission to recreate some of the most famous hotels in literature, and what follows is a look at the fourteen most prominent ones. Yes, you can book rooms in them if you want to!
Book here! 14 beautiful hotels inspired by literature
They say that all fiction can be reduced to two basic plots: "a stranger comes to town" and "a man goes on a journey." Which suggests travel and literature make for cozy bedfellows. Here are some of the coolest hotels inspired by writers and their work.

1. The Algonquin Hotel, New York

Following the end of World War 1, a group of young writers decided to gather daily for lunch in a hotel restaurant.
The writers worked for Vanity Fair at the time, and as their careers flourished, they became the literary lions of the day.
They were Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and Alexander Woollcott, among others, and the hotel was the Algonquin Hotel.
The New Yorker was founded inside its doors in 1925.
The Algonquin Hotel, 59 West 44th Street, New York, New York; +121 2840 6800; $259-959 per night

2. The Commons Hotel, Minneapolis

Located close to downtown Minneapolis, the Commons Hotel is a "geek chic" boutique hotel on the University of Minnesota campus.
The hotel's quirkiest feature?
Resident "book butlers" who provide guests with complimentary deliveries of a book of their choice during their stay.
Guests can choose from an in-room book menu that ranges from bestsellers to classics.
To keep with the theme, the hotel's nightly turndown service leaves a wise "quote of the day" on guests' pillows each evening.
The Commons Hotel, 615 Washington Avenue SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota; +161 2379 8888; $120-399 per night

3. The Hobbit Motel, Waitomo, New Zealand

Where Gandalf vacays?
This Lord-of-the-Rings-themed hotel, located in Otorohanga, New Zealand, came about entirely by accident.
The owner was looking at building a property underground because the area is known for glowworm caves, and his engineer wife, who was a fan of the books, suggested that he build it "like a hobbit house."
The rooms at the Hobbit Motel include kitchens and can accommodate up to six people.
Read full article: CNN - Book here! 14 beautiful hotels inspired by literature

The Hobbit Motel, Waitomo, New Zealand

Buildings from Famous Literature

From El Castell brought to us by Kafka to the House at Martha’s Vineyard found in Moby Dick, literature has gifted us with countless majestic and breathtaking works of architecture bound to linger in the minds of readers for evermore. As you can imagine, there is a fair share of people out there who have taken it upon themselves to recreate those buildings, and here are the ten most interesting ones standing today.
10 Beautiful Buildings Inspired by Famous Books
Truly wonderful books have a habit of growing and changing years after they’ve been written, worming themselves into places you might not expect — our decisions, our aesthetic and cultural sense, and even, with the right kind of care, our physical world.

Case in point: Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence, which opened in Istanbul last weekend, is an extensive museum (reportedly, he spent almost all of his 1.5 million Nobel Prize dollars on it) devoted to expanding on and complementing his recent novel, The Museum of Innocence.

Since we can’t make it to Turkey to experience the place for ourselves, we’ve collected a few other amazing buildings born from books — whether inspired by particular novels, stories, or a writer’s entire oeuvre — to tide us over. Click through to see our gallery of real-life architecture inspired by literature from all over the world, and let us know if we’ve missed your favorite literary tribute in the comments.

In Pamuk’s best-selling novel The Museum of Innocence, a man, Kemal, falls in love with a woman, Fusun. After a short affair and a long obsession, wherein he begins to collect things she has touched or that have some meaning to him, she leaves him forever. He buys her family’s house and begins to fill it with the things he has collected, turning into a museum to her and his passion.

Pamuk has created a museum of the same kind in Istanbul’s Çukurcuma neighborhood, representing memories from the book entwined with his own. Our favorite exhibit has to be the collection of Fusun’s 4,213 cigarette butts, each dated and affixed to a canvas that covers an entire wall. ”The Museum of Innocence is not an illustration of The Museum of Innocence the novel. Neither is the novel an explanation of the museum.

They are deeply intertwined because they are both made by me, word by word and object by object,” Pamuk said at the museum’s opening. The book comes with a free ticket to the museum, although those who purchased it upon its release in Turkish in 2008 have been waiting a long time to use it.
Read full article: Flavorwire - 10 Beautiful Buildings Inspired by Famous Books

The Museum of Innocence, inspired by Orhan Pamuk’s The Museum of Innocence

Art and Beat Literature

When Beat literature came to be, it revolutionized the world of writing, putting into words events, thoughts and feelings that were seldom touched-on before. As a matter of fact, the literary movement was so powerful that it even inspired various works of art to be made after it, and you can check out some of them (obviously, there are too many of them to find them all) in the following article, as well as learn about Jonathan Collins, the man behind the art.
New Jersey Artist Jonathan Collins at the Paterson Museum – Art Inspired by Beat Literature
So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, and all the people dreaming in the immensity of it

– Jack Kerouac / On the Road

Beat Generation author Jack Kerouac grew up in Lowell, Massachusetts, an old mill town very similar to Paterson, New Jersey, where his great friend and fellow writer Allen Ginsberg grew up. These were once thriving, industrial capitals that were shining examples of American power. By the time the two writers lived there, these cities were already in decline. However, Kerouac and Ginsberg saw something that inspired them to write.

Jonathan Collins, an artist who was born and raised in Lake Parsippany and now lives in Chester, is inspired by the energy, spirit and road trips of Kerouac and Ginsberg. The towns may not be what they once were but there is beauty there if you look. Red brick buildings in the sunset, the mighty Passaic River flowing with the city behind it, a two story home with an American flag proudly displayed. His collection called ‘Beat Traveler: New Landscapes by Jonathan Collins’ is on display at the Paterson Museum until October 6th. We visited Paterson this weekend and took in his show.

Jonathan visited Paterson, Lowell and San Francisco absorbing the places Kerouac and Ginsberg lived in and wrote throughout their lives. Those cities were the mecca for the Beat Generation and Jonathan’s inspiration for this series. He injects beautiful light into places that you wouldn’t necessarily see beauty. Kerouac, Ginsberg and Collins all try to take what might appear to some to be mundane, or even ugly, and show its vitality through their artistic eyes.
Read full article: You Don't Know Jersey - New Jersey Artist Jonathan Collins at the Paterson Museum – Art Inspired by Beat Literature

And so, this just about covers everything for today’s issue of Gliding Over the World of Literature. As you can see, even though literary works remain mostly fictional, they have very concretely impacted our world, and for some of us, our way of thinking. I’m sure that what you saw in those articles has given you more than enough books to read and add to your list, so I won’t hold you up anymore, and simply wish you happy readings! Until next time!

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