A Literary Map of San Francisco

A Literary Map of San Francisco. [Source:SF Gate/San Francisco Chronicle]

For Ms. Modigliani’s next journey. Thanks to SF Gate/San Francisco Chronicle for this Literary map of San Francisco

A nub of 47 square miles, much of it punctuated by vertigo-inducing hills, most of it surrounded by ocean water – half of it the open, not-so-tranquil Pacific, the other half the calm, protected currents of a gray-blue bay.

Just as San Francisco has been shaped by its dramatic earthquake-scarred, coastal setting, the city, despite its relative youth, has also been defined by legions of writers whose words have brought it to life. Jack London, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Alice Adams, Amy Tan, Michelle Tea – they have all etched the landscape for us.

And so we thought it would be fun to create a map of San Francisco composed of some of the very words – from novels, poems and essays – that animate our city.

Ian Huebert’s beautiful, whimsical literary map – loosely inspired by one of St. Petersburg, Russia, by Vera Evstafieva and Andrew Biliter – fittingly evokes the colorful, free-form and text-rich rock concert posters from a music scene that put San Francisco on the map in the 1960s.

If you’d like to read more quotes, a few books make for excellent resources: “City by the Bay: San Francisco in Art and Literature” (edited by Alexandra Chappell; SFMOMA; 2002), “San Francisco Stories: Great Writers on the City” (edited by John Miller; Chronicle Books; 1990) and “The Literary World of San Francisco and Its Environs” (Don Herron; City Lights Books; 1985). Also, a San Francisco literary map illustrated by Paul Madonna (826 Valencia; 2005) is a useful guide to landmarks, resources and events. Read more

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