studies in travel writing

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Momus, The Book of Scotlands (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2009).

In the spirit of Italo Calvino, Bruno Schulz, and French animation series Les Shadoks (using any language, that is, except the “wooden tongue” of official discourse), The Book of Scotlands will outline, in a numerical sequence, one hundred and fifty-six Scotlands which currently do not exist anywhere. At a time when functional independence seems to be a real possibility for Scotland—and yet no one is quite sure what that means—a delirium of visions, realistic and absurd, is necessary.

Published in the Solution series edited by Ingo Niermann, The Book of Scotlands will provide one answer—and a few more—to this appeal for focused dreaming about potential parallel world Scotlands. The author, Momus, is a Scottish artist who has lived in Paris, New York, Tokyo and now Berlin. Paradoxically, of course, there is nothing more Scottish than leaving Scotland. And the further a Scot travels from Scotland, the more vivid and lurid his “inner Scotlands” become—and the more tellingly they differ from the real place. 2009 will also see the publication of Momus’ first novel, The Book of Jokes.

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