Last week, we were asked to experiment with Google Maps. Since I am only semi-familiar with the technology, I was having trouble coming up with a suitable post, despite reviewing the materials from Jo Guldi, Cameron Blevins (DH Debates), and Kathryn Shaughnessy.
After reviewing in class and reading fellow classmate’s blogs, I discovered what I had already feared – and perhaps what has led to my conscientious ignorance – big brother is indeed watching us, in more sophisticated ways than yesterday. During Sarah C.’s presentation, this reality became abundantly clear when she pointed out the “Your timeline” tab on the Google Maps app. The feature allows Google Maps to track your every move, as long as you have your mobile device’s location settings enabled.
The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter maps, rather than coming off as cliché, were inspiring in that they affirmed that I was thinking in the right frame of mind when it came to my idea for the blog’s subject: John Keats’ 1818 Walking Tour of the North with Charles Brown. To plot fictional odysseys are as intriguing a prospect as plotting authentic ones. Therefore, I used John Barnard’s John Keats’ Selected Letters and Google Maps to create a visual learning aid/tool in order to better understand the materials presented in a course I am currently enrolled in concerning Keats’ political aesthetic.
In a series known as the ‘Scotch Letters’, dated from June 25 to August 6, 1818, editor John Barnard prefaces Keats’ correspondence with a description of “Keats’ Northern Walk”, including a map diagram. I found this inclusion interesting in the fact that the editor saw it necessary to add a visual component in this modern print-edition collection of letters. Perhaps it is a sign of the times, that contemporary scholarship — even-print based mediums — have become increasingly visual. I was pleased when I opened to the section that there was a map in which to compare my less-detailed, but perhaps more technologically sophisticated version — Barnard’s inclusion seems to be an authentic, and therefore, dated map.
Keats, John. “25 June to 6 August 1818: ‘Scotch Letters'” Introduction. John Keats: Selected Letters. Ed. John Barnard. Penguin: New York, 2014. 162-64. Print.
Keats, John. “25 June to 6 August 1818: ‘Scotch Letters'” John Keats: Selected Letters. Ed. John Barnard. Penguin: New York, 2014. 162-230. Print.