Anyone who wants to pinpoint where James Bond met that blonde with the bottle of champagne on her curvy hip need only consult "Language of the Land," an unusual book published by the Library of Congress offering maps of imaginary places.
Another map shows just where Tom Sawyer whitewashed his famous fence. Still another points out the spot at which Paul Bunyan's ox Babe, trying to catch a field mouse, dug the Mammoth Cave.
L. Frank Baum's "Wonderful World of Oz" is charted. Illustrator Dick Martin located the Shifting Sands and Deadly Desert, with the Emerald City and Glinda's Palace smack in the middle.
A Yellow Brick Road is there, too, though it's not clearly labeled.
"Literary maps depict ideas as much as places," co-author Martha Hopkins writes in the book's introduction.
Most literary maps, Hopkins notes, are not drawn to scale and contain little detailed information on topography, geology, towns, rivers or roads. They "present a world in which authors and books are the dominant features," she explains.
Still, some of the places are real enough. Author Ian Fleming made his James Bond stories credible by searching out authentic settings for what the library calls his "assignments and assignations." Only Agent 007 himself and his exploits sprang from Fleming's imagination.
J.R.R. Tolkien's completely imaginary "Middle Earth" rates three highly detailed maps.
Somewhere between reality and imagination lies Mark Twain's St. Petersburg, the home of Tom Sawyer, modeled on Hannibal, Mo. That's where the young Sam Clemens lived before he went piloting on the Mississippi, where he got his pen name.
The half-whitewashed fence is on St. Petersburg's Hill Street, just across from Becky Thatcher's house.
"There ain't anything that is so interesting to look at as a place that a book has talked about," Twain quotes Tom as saying in later life.
"Language of the Land" describes and reproduces the fantastic maps, along with many others covering the literary landscape. The $50 book (which can be ordered at the LOC gift shop) was compiled by Hopkins of the library's Interpretive Programs Office and Michael Buscher of the Geography and Map Division.
The maps mostly cover English-speaking countries--Canada and Australia have maps that illustrate their best-known books. Even one for Paris gives a large space to Oscar Wilde and American writer Gertrude Stein, whom the French do not see as important to their literature. There's also a bright map, shaped and colored like a parrot--written in English--devoted to Latin American writers.
Maps from days when Latin and Greek got more intensive study show the voyages of Odysseus and Aeneas. Even troubled Balkan politics gets touched on--unintentionally. A map on places in Hungarian literature includes portions of Romania which once belonged to Hungary, and which many Hungarians would dearly like to get back.