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Daily Archives: April 8, 2016

Writing Place: You Had To Be There?

Italo Calvino never visited China, though Invisible Cities does. Franz Kafka and Saul Bellow never visited locations that featured prominently in their novels. Even Shakespeare is guilty: his biographers have found no evidence of him ever leaving England, and so his myriad works set in Italy must have been based on speculation and research. While there is a concern that not researching a place can lead to a writer fetishizing or misrepresenting it, the facts stand that often writers are more than able to get away with it.