The Geography of Great Literature, in Hand-Lettered Typography
Twain, Didion, Thoreau, White, McCarthy, Eugenides.
By Maria Popova
HAPPY UPDATE: All the artwork is now available as gorgeous prints on Society6, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting A Room of Her Own, a foundation supporting women writers and artists.
In a recent collaboration with Debbie Millman for Print magazine’s Regional Design Annual, I selected a beloved literary quotation representing each of the six regions represented and Debbie illustrated the passages in the signature style of her magnificent visual essays and poems. These typographic gems — a sort of modern-day booklovers’ map of literary geography — are presented here for the first time digitally, and include a Brain Pickings exclusive: A special quotation for New York from one of my 10 all-time favorite books on NYC.
For the East, Henry David Thoreau — sage of true success and children’s book hero — in Walden:
For the Far West, Joan Didion in Slouching Towards Bethlehem (which also gave us her timeless wisdom on self-respect and keeping a notebook):
For the Midwest, Jeffrey Eugenides in Middlesex:
For the Southwest, Cormac McCarthy in Blood Meridian:
For the South, Mark Twain — adviser of little girls, “the Lincoln of literature,” feisty critic of the press — in Life on the Mississippi:
For New York, the one and only E. B. White — extraordinary essayist, heartfelt dog-lover, celebrator of New York, tireless champion of integrity, upholder of linguistic style — in the indispensable Here Is New York:
For more enchantment by this Millmanian magic, devour Self-Portrait as Your Traitor: Visual Essays by Debbie Millman, then grab prints of this artwork on Society6.
Published November 15, 2013