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Mapping Counterfactual Spaces

Barbara Piatti, Lorenz Hurni
Mapping the Ontologically Unreal – Counterfactual Spaces in Literature and Cartography

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This paper deals with the realm of alternate worlds. Although the emphasis of such creations relies on historical alteration (resulting in an alternate time stream), settings can impressively support the historical alternative: most alternate history plots come with shifted or even newly drawn political borders and are set in transformed urban and rural spaces. Not surprisingly, actual maps or at least remarkably detailed layouts of the geographical framework play a significant role. In other words, counterfactual spaces can be mapped with words or cartographic symbols; they can be both told and visualized. By including both concepts from the field of theory of the narrative and from a cartographer’s point of view, focus is laid on various strategies in order to map and/or remap cities, countries, as well as entire geopolitical situations.

Piatti, B. (2009); Hurni, L.:Mapping the Ontologically Unreal – Counterfactual Spaces in Literature and Cartography.“ The Cartographic Journal, Volume 46, Number 4, Art & Cartography Special Issue,  November 2009, pp. 333–342 (10), Maney Publishing ➔ Download

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