Monday, March 23, 2015

Recommendations: Wherever Magazine

I'm very interested in travel; it is, broadly speaking, the subject of my doctoral dissertation. And most of my own writing is, I suppose, travel writing. I tend to say "writing about place" or "geography," though, because I think most "travel writing" is actively awful, making the world worse.

But anyway: I like Wherever Magazine.

I remember walking around bookstores in central London last October, trying to find a copy of the print edition, and I didn't find one until December. But I associate it with that walk in October: a magazine worth asking about in Selfridge's (and oh, Selfridge's is such a nightmare to navigate, and so crowded with people, and sometimes you're sprayed with perfume or blasted by a hairdryer as you turn a corner). I found it in Chiltern Street, though, in the end, in a tiny magazine shop that I love which doesn't seem to have a name.

I read 'Conversations in the Sand: Nha Trang, Vietnam' on Wherever's website this afternoon, and I found it really interesting. I like the approach: a series of snippets from various people on a beach, some there as tourists, some for research, some working. It shows, I think, ways in which a place can be different for different people, and also shows how oblivious many travelers can be to the lives of locals.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Recommendations: 'Shakespeare in Tehran' by Stephen Greenblatt

"A twinge of disappointment is built into the fulfillment of any desire that has been deferred for too long, so it is not surprising that my experience of paradise, in the form of the Bagh-e Fin, was a slight letdown. So too Shiraz, the fabled city of nightingales and wine, turned out to have more than its share of traffic and dreary 1970s architecture—and, of course, enormous photographs of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the omnipresent martyrs."

                      - Stephen Greenblatt on visiting Iran, in the NY Review of Books.

Recommendations: History in Miniature

I love thinking about souvenirs, objects intended to conjure places. I'm fascinated by this practice of purchasing cities or countries, carrying them home in a suitcase, keeping them or giving them to others, who often have never been to the sites represented by the souvenirs. History in Miniature gathers images of these objects from around the world. It's part of an academic project by Dr Jessica Hughes, looking at souvenirs of classical Greek and Roman sites, which also really interests me.

Monday, March 9, 2015

I have a website!

As of last week, I have a proper website: www.annakateblair.com. It has links to articles I've written and photographs I've taken, and I'm hoping it will give me a little more confidence emailing strangers (which is, really, the hardest part of writing, I think).

I'll probably continue to update this blog in the same way that I do now: sporadically, with photographs and links to pieces I've written for the internet. There is, though, a blog on the website, which I think I'll use for recommendations, as I keep reading or seeing brilliant things and just saving them in folders entitled 'Excellent Pieces of Writing' and 'Photography'.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Recommendations: King's Review

My favourite piece in the most recent issue of King's Review is Lauren Berlant's 'DO YOU INTEND TO DIE: Intimacy After Suicide'. We've just put it online here, and it's really worth reading.

I also really enjoyed Katrina Zaat and Ina Linge's interview with and reflections on Jacqueline Rose, which we also published online last week and which can be found here.