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Literary Maps: Take Our Imagined Cartography Quiz

Maps can be complicated things; they can obscure more than they reveal, depending on who is using it and what is understood. In Songlines, Bruce Chatwin introduces the aboriginal idea of mapping out the world through song, beginning with the unforgiving terrain of western Australia. In modern times, they have been used in reconnaissance missions, assassination attempts, and the division of urban areas. They can also be navigational charts that allude to the location where treasure is buried or even the cave where Osama bin Laden has been hiding all these years. In the following novels, maps are used as guides for the reader to understand the place described. They aid and abet our imagination, ensuring the suspension of disbelief that is necessary to fully take in the story. So what better way to start the immersion then to take this quiz? Just slide across the black boxes at the bottom of each page to reveal the answers (or to cheat).

Fantasy nerds — reveal yourselves! This is a map from a certain hefty novel by a certain man of letters who once worked on the “W” section of the Oxford English Dictionary. What book it is from?

Answer: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

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