by Mikhaeyla Kopievsky
Hello and welcome to my very own piece of online space – my writing place. If you want to learn more about me, please check out my brief bio here. As a long time lover of books and emerging independent fiction author, this place will serve as the ship I captain across the dark oceans and calming waters of writing and word craft.
Having a place is important. In his book, Understanding Cultural Geography: Places and Traces, Jon Anderson notes that, “Places are at once the medium and the message of cultural life. They are where cultures, communities and people root themselves and give themselves definition. Places then are saturated with cultural meaning” (p37). He goes on to suggest that, “Spaces are scientific, open and detached; places are intimate, peopled and emotive…Place then is the counterpoint of space: places are politicised and cultured; they are humanised versions of space. It is from the empty abstraction of space that different cultures take and make place” (p.38) (my emphasis).
The critical difference between space vs place is at the forefront of both a) the online place I co-create here with all of you and b) the fictional spaces and places my characters inhabit in my books. Undoubtedly, both will be influenced and shaped by the other.
And this, I believe, is what makes great fiction – an ambiguous and messy synthesis between the real world of the author and the alternative reality of the author’s mind….
What books or pieces of literature do you think provide a genuine and authentic sense of place? Let me know your thoughts…