There’s currently a boom in the making of writer’s house museums across the world, and twenty-first century culture bids fair to produce more and more writer’s house museums. The internet revolution continues to produce a proliferation of forms of new subjectivity and celebrity; the virtualisation of culture produces as an equal and opposite effect an urgent desire for personal, lived experience; we live in an era where the local faces off against the global with ever-increasing intensity; the pressure for self-expressive yet commercially-viable creativity shows little sign of weakening. Faced with this, tourists will undoubtedly continue their quest to construct themselves as individuals in relation to common cultural memory. They will make their imaginations at home in iconic literary places, take selfies of themselves to share the statement ‘I was there’ with a community of like-minded fans, and buy souvenir tea-towels and mugs to gift to others and to enrich their own domestic spaces. But it’s anyone’s guess whether eventually it will become unnecessary to have done much reading of books at all… future tourists may be driven by the desire to locate and create memories of some as of yet unimagined form of immersive virtual experience.
But, meanwhile, here’s this postcard as a souvenir of our adventure. It’s a picture of my absolutely favourite writer’s house. (Note the plaque!) Hope you like it too. After all, we both spent quite a while here.