Thursday, February 11, 2010

Writers and Real Estate

Oberlin professor, Anne Trubek offers this interesting perspective on the dismal prospect of turning writers' former homes into tourist destinations. Even as a great lover of literature and of museums, I'll admit that the only writer's home museums I've been to that felt worth writing home about are the James Joyce house in Dublin and the L. M. Montgomery home on Prince Edward Island in Canada. Dublin has so thoroughly embraced Joyce as its most iconic voice, that this makes a lot of sense. The same is true (perhaps even to excess!) of PEI.

The famous person's home as museum works best when that person inhabited the place thoroughly and for a significant period of time. Although a home can be turned into a resonant artifact with proper attention to interpretation, it ultimately needs to be worthy of such a transformation to warrant it.

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