'The books one reads in childhood- and perhaps most of all the bad and good bad books -create in one's mind a sort of false map of the world - a series of fabulous countries into, All the islands in the ocean all the heaven's in motion, which one can retreat at odd moments throughout the rest of life and which in some cases can survive a visit to the real countries which they are supposed to represent.
‘I like maps, because they lie.
Because they give no access to the vicious truth.
Because great-heartedly, good-naturedly
they spread before me a world
not of this world.’
- Wilslawa Szymborska
translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh
Maps can be beautiful objects, and I like ancient ones very much. this one precedes paper by some time and is carved into rock, managing to last for thousands of years. It is deemed to be one of the oldest maps in the world (your world, Earth, at present that is).
It has been verified as being 14,000 years old and they found it within a cave in Abauntz Lamizulo in the Navarre region of northern Spain in 2009. It sits upon a small sandstone rock that would fit into your hand. By all the Gods and Dogs that is some age for anything created by man/woman/wombat.
Here it is –
There are other maps worth of a muse mind you.
The Brain Map for instance, which I could swear I have seen previously…
This leads, nay pushes me with force to…
Then, we have maps of the heart – male and female, as portrayed in a 1960’s magazine. Obviously they are quite real and not a huge pile of steaming codswallop.
Next, a famous map – ‘The World Map Drawn in a Fool’s Head’, by an unknown artist, circa 1590. I think the illustrator had a fair point.
I found the next one quite amusing too. It is a comic map, inscribed ‘A new Map of England & France’, actually showing England and Wales, the SW. corner of Scotland, the north of France, just including ‘Paris’, and the Belgian coast as far as Ostend. England is represented by the body of George III (John Bull), his head in profile to the right, wearing a fool’s cap composed of ‘Northumberland’. His left leg is drawn up, Norfolk forms the knee, the mouth of the ‘River Thames’ the ankle, Kent the foot. His outstretched right leg terminates as Cornwall. From the coast, at the junction of ‘Hampshire’ and ‘Sussex’, issues a blast of excrement inscribed ‘British Declaration’, which smites a swarm of ‘Bum-Boats’ extending from Ushant to the mouth of the Seine. The map is divided (inaccurately, and with omissions, but with a rough correctness) into counties, Wales representing the flying coat-tails of the King, who strides across the ocean with great vigour. Basically he’s having a big poo on France. Charming I’m sure. laughs.
But where is a map of the Clouds? Why that would be a Cloud Atlas would it not?
Got one right here in ma pocket-some.