I’m heading to Memphis today. In fact, by the time this gets posted, I should already be on the road. If I screwed something up, it’ll just have to sit here like an unzipped fly until I can check in tonight.
What does this have to do with writing, you ask? Well actually, I’m going down there to cover a story for my paper. A local band won a Chicago-wide blues contest, and they’re playing in a national showcase on Beale Street. At least that’s the impetus. The wife and I need a getaway, especially since the doggy chastity belt didn’t work, and we’re probably going to be ushering six to eight more puppies next week. Joy.
Not that I blog consistently enough for it to matter anyway, but I’ll likely be out of commission the next three days or so. Unless something really strikes me in the meantime.
The way I want to really tie this into writing, is that Memphis is above all else a music town. Tourism revolves around that. There are several other obvious music towns: Nashville (country), New Orleans (Jazz), Seattle (Grunge/Indie), Chicago (blues, again) and a lot more I can’t think of right now. And of course, London, Berlin, Liverpool, and just about every other major city in Europe. But where are the Literary towns in the US? The ones whose legacy revolves around great literature rather than great music? Where in America are the London of the 1800’s or the Paris of the 1920’s? Where were the hotbeds of literary genius in America’s past? Where would you go as a literary tourist?
There really isn’t any place that comes to mind. Outside of New York, which is always a center for something, I can’t really think of anything. Perhaps I’m missing something, since I’m not as up on my literary history as I should be. Help a wanderer out: where’s a good spot to explore America’s literary past?