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The Mississippi is Huge and Maybe Books Should Make One Travel

I went to Iowa this past weekend, and while my girlfriend drove (...the entire way), I fell asleep, because that is our division of labor. BUT! She is very nice and woke me up when we crossed the Mississippi, because MISSISSIPPI. I very much like lakes and rivers. Ohh so very much. And I never see the Mississippi even though it forms the western boundary of Illinois because I go west Approximately Never.

BUT IT IS SO BIG. The Mississippi is massive and awesome and MARK TWAIN I still do not like you very much, but I understand your weirdo fascination with it. If someone had then said "Hey, I have this raft made out of slightly unstable logs; would you like to go down this giant river on it?" I would say "YES YES I WOULD" because with the current state of water traffic it looks extremely possible to float down this wide wide river unmolested by barges and other large watercraft.


YOU ARE SO MAJESTIC

I wonder if there are other literary places where when you see them, you get it. I want to see George Eliot's countryside, even though it will be extremely extremely different from when she lived there. But it's still the reason so many of her novels are pastoral (despite her brother laughing at reporters and saying she never did jack shit around the farm). The moors around the Bronte parsonage are probably pretty badass, and maybe they'd make me dislike Wuthering Heights less.

(I'd be better at naming American lit places if I read American lit)


Oh! Georgia. Let's all go to Georgia and look at the red hills and be all like "I get you, Scarlett O'Hara. Ok, well, not really, because you did some messed-up stuff, but I get that this is pretty." I've spent so much time in Illinois that it's really easy to not realize how different the scenery can be in other places, especially since the main place I vacation is New York, and it's just flat flat NYC and concrete everywhere, so like a bigger Chicago with more bagels.

But Iowa has hilly cornfields! And different plants! I'm fairly sure now that we all have to travel a lot and gain some kind of knowledge of other people's homes. People loving where they live is one of my favorite things in art ('art' here containing all the arts). When people paint/sing/write about the places they love, it usually is the best and results in humanity being able to appreciate those places in a better way for centuries. So. Well done, artists. I will visit your places.

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