Dots, Lines, Areas and Words: Mapping Literature and Narration (With some Remarks on Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening”)

  • Armin von Ungern-Sternberg
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


The so-called spatial turn of the humanities has led to an increasing interest in mapmaking. Looking at various trends in map-making the paper evaluates possible links and cooperation between cartography and literary studies. Differentiating between two central questions - which features of literature may be considered as spatial and in what way literature as a social practice could become spatially relevant – the paper argues that maps of literature should be based on specific features that constitute a literary text as opposed to other forms of art and discourse. Claiming that maps of literature should provide more than a visualisation of structure or an illustration of certain forms or content, the paper pleads for a general understanding about aims, terminology and standards of literary geography. As this requires a theory of space in literary texts, the paper distinguishes between various levels of spatiality in texts and different forms of constructing narrative space, suggesting outlines for future map-making of literary phenomena. Future endeavours of literary cartography and geography should refiect that in literature there is no space as such. Literary space is both sequential and discontinuous.


Literary Criticism Literary Text Local Color Imaginative Faculty Narrative Technique 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Armin von Ungern-Sternberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and PhilologyUniversity of MainzGermany

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