QotD: Forward My Mail

In which fictional world/universe/land/city would you most like to live?
Submitted by glenn is the new chuck.  

When I was a kid, I really wanted to live in Middle Earth.  We lived in a forest and I imagined walking off into it to find elves and hobbits and adventures.  Instead I found fireflies at night, ferns, a prickly creeper called Lawyer because once it gets its hooks into you it doesn't let go, friends, games of hide-and-seek that covered the whole valley (which was hell on the seeker!), and rivers with rocks to hop across.  I guess I got my adventures.  But no elves and I'm still sad about that.

In my early 20's when I spent a year or so fighting chronic fatigue, I escaped into Diana Wynne Jones' worlds.  I particularly liked Howl's Moving Castle – most of the characters are magicians, even if they don't know it yet, and everyone grows up into their powers as the story progresses.  I found the optimism encouraging as I struggled to get better.  The story world exists at an interesting slant to our own modern world.  Howl is from Wales and there's a funny section where we see our own culture through Sophie's confused eyes after she sneaks into Wales with Howl.  DWJ never explains how Howl first moved from his home in Wales into the magical world of the castle – it's left tantalizingly open.  Maybe we can all get there if we try.

Howl's Moving Castle
Diana Wynne Jones

More recently, I've wanted to hang out in 1920's Paris with the artists who settled there on the Left Bank.  Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas and Janet Flanner and so on and on, really did exist and really lived in Paris, but their lives seem so remote and exotic that they might as well be fictional.  I've been to Paris – I got a huge thrill the first time I popped out of the underground and saw Notre Dame in front of me and the Seine to my left.  I wandered around the Left Bank, found the new Shakespeare and Co. bookshop, hung out in cafes, visited galleries, and enjoyed myself very much – but the Paris of my imagination wasn't there.

A Moveable Feast The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas Paris Was a Woman: Portraits from the Left Bank

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