Mapping Fiction

Jan. 15–May 22, 2022 | Coinciding with the centennial of the publication of James Joyce's modernist novel, Ulysses, the exhibition "Mapping Fiction" explores the construction of fictional worlds through maps and novels.
Archive
Octavia E. Butler, Map of Acorn from notes for Parable of the Talents

Octavia E. Butler, Map of Acorn from notes for Parable of the Talents, ca. 1994. (Detail) Manuscript on binder paper, 8 1/2 x 11 in. © Octavia E. Butler. Reprinted by permission of Writers House, LCC acting as agent for the estate. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Map of Treasure Island

Map of Treasure Island. From Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, 1883. Printed book. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Map of Hell from Dante con lespositione di Christofo Landino et di Alessandro vellvetello sopra la sua Comedia dell' Inferno, del Purgatorio, & del Paradiso

Dante Alighieri. Map of Hell from Dante con lespositione di Christofo Landino et di Alessandro vellvetello sopra la sua Comedia dell’ Inferno, del Purgatorio, & del Paradiso, 1564. Printed book. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Front cover. James Joyce, Ulysses

Front cover. James Joyce, Ulysses, 1922. Printed book. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Map of journey to the center of the earth. From Ludvig Holberg, Nicolai Klimii iter svbterranevm

Map of journey to the center of the earth. From Ludvig Holberg, Nicolai Klimii iter svbterranevm, 1741. Printed book. © The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Map from front endpapers to The Odyssey of Homer

Map from front endpapers to The Odyssey of Homer (translated by T. E. Shaw (Col. T. E. Lawrence), 1935. Printed book. © Oxford University Press, Inc. Reproduced with permission of the Licensor through PSLclear. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

David Lilburn. "The Quays" from In medias res

David Lilburn. “The Quays” from In medias res, 2006. Intaglio print on paper, 31 x 46 in. © David Lilburn, 2021. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

“Shamus Town” The Raymond Chandler Mystery Map of Los Angeles, the Wonder City of America

Loren Latker, “Shamus Town” The Raymond Chandler Mystery Map of Los Angeles, the Wonder City of America, 2014. Map, 39 3/4 x 26 1/2 in. © Loren Latker, 2021. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Anne Brigman, Jack and Charmian London Looking at a Map, 1907

Anne Brigman, Jack and Charmian London Looking at a Map, 1907. Photograph, 4 5/6 x 3 9/16 in. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Round the World with Nellie Bly board game

McLoughlin Bros. Round the World with Nellie Bly, 1890. Game board, 16 1/8 x 15 3/4 in. Courtesy of Jay T. Last. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Los Angeles, Tarzana Hills Brand

Western Litho. Co. (printer), Los Angeles, Tarzana Hills Brand, ca. 1940. Lithographed orange crate label, 9 13/16 x 10 13/16 in. Jay T. Last Collection. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

D.W. Kellogg & Co. (printer), Hartford, The Fortified Country of a Man's Heart

D.W. Kellogg & Co. (printer), Hartford, The Fortified Country of a Man’s Heart, 1833-1842, lithographed map with hand coloring, 12 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches. © Nancy and Henry Rosin Collection. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

D.W. Kellogg & Co. (printer), Hartford, The Open Country of a Woman's Heart

D.W. Kellogg & Co. (printer), Hartford, The Open Country of a Woman’s Heart, 1833-1842, lithographed map with hand coloring, 11 5/8 x 10 inches. © Nancy and Henry Rosin Collection. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Mapping Fiction Gallery Guide

“Mapping Fiction” is an exhibition focused on the ways authors and mapmakers have built compelling fictional worlds. On view in the Library’s West Hall, the exhibition is timed to coincide with the centennial of the publication of James Joyce’s groundbreaking 1922 modernist novel, Ulysses.

Drawn entirely from The Huntington’s collections, “Mapping Fiction” includes a first edition of Joyce’s novel and a typescript draft of one of its chapters, cartographically inspired intaglio prints of Dublin as described in the book, other mappings of the novel and the famous texts to which it alludes, and materials related to the annual celebration of Bloomsday in Dublin on June 16—the single day in 1904 during which the novel takes place.

About 70 items will be on view, focused on novels and maps from the 16th through the 20th century—largely early editions of books that include elaborate maps of imaginary worlds. Among the highlights are Lewis Carroll’s 1876 edition of The Hunting of the Snark, Robert Louis Stevenson’s maps from Treasure Island and Kidnapped, J. R. R. Tolkien’s map from the trilogy The Lord of the Rings, and science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler’s hand-drawn maps from notes for Parable of the Talents (1998) and her unpublished novel Parable of the Trickster. In addition to Butler’s archives, the show draws on The Huntington’s archival collections of Jack and Charmian London, Christopher Isherwood, and others, as well as the institution’s rich print holdings in travel narratives, English literature, and the history of science.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the publication of Joyce’s Ulysses, one of the most influential novels of the 20th century, “Mapping Fiction” asks: How might we better understand how novels and maps work by thinking about how they work together?

Related Events

Lecture - Spatial Theory in “Ulysses” and Post-Colonial Literature
Feb. 2, 2022
7:30 p.m.–9 p.m.
Rothenberg Hall
Free with reservation
Ato Quayson, the Jean G. and Morris M. Doyle Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies and Professor of English at Stanford, discusses James Joyce’s use of physical space in Ulysses.

Conference - Joycean Cartographies: Navigating a New Century of Ulysses
Feb. 2–4, 2022
Rothenberg Hall
Free with reservation
This academic conference celebrates the centennial of James Joyce’s Ulysses with keynote talks by Ato Quayson, Catherine Flynn, and Karen Tei Yamashita.

Family event - Play a Board Game, Build a World
Feb. 19, 2022
11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Rose Hills Foundation Garden Court
Free with general admission
Join us for a free family drop-in program filled with games and map-making inspired by the exhibition “Mapping Fiction.” Play map-based board games with friends and family, and have fun creating map prints of your own fictional universe. Meet Karla Nielsen, curator of literary collections, and enjoy a family-friendly curator tour of the exhibition at 12:30 and 2 p.m. Tour reservations are first-come, first-served, with a limit of 20 people per tour. (Jan. 22 date canceled).

Lecture - Literary Tourism in Los Angeles
March 8, 2022
7:30–9 p.m.
Rothenberg Hall
Free with reservation
In this lecture, literary travel writer Katie Orphan, author of Read Me Los Angeles: Exploring L.A.'s Book Culture, covers over 100 years of literary tourism in Los Angeles—exploring a spectrum of topics from the draw of L.A. landmarks in novels like Ramona to the struggle of contemporary authors’ attempt to continue the tradition of travel writing during a pandemic.

Revisiting Octavia E. Butler’s Pasadena
Saturday, March 19, and Saturday, April 23, 2022
2–3:30 p.m.
Pasadena Public Library, La Pintoresca Branch
Free with reservation: March 19 | April 23
On two Saturdays this spring, Ayana Jamieson, local educator and founder of the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network, leads a moderated conversation about our desire to locate Butler’s Pasadena. The Revisiting Butler's Pasadena events are sponsored by the Office of the President and the Library division at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Walking/Driving Tour - Octavia E. Butler’s Pasadena: A Literary Tour
Visitors can take a self-guided walking or driving tour of the locations around Pasadena where Butler lived, visited, and often found inspiration. Tour maps are available online and in the exhibition gallery. You can also access the tour in Google Maps. After you take the tour, share your pic by tagging it #WalkWithOctavia.

A Literary Map of The Huntington's Chinese Garden
To stroll through the Chinese Garden is to enter Chinese literary history. Poetic couplets in calligraphic scripts adorn many of the pavilions which are named after works of literature. This map directs visitors to a selection of those citations.

The Literary Life of Octavia E. Butler: How Local Libraries Shaped a Sci-Fi Legend
An interactive map by the Los Angeles Times of Octavia Butler’s life in books.

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