We’re big fans of maps: We study them at the minutest level to investigate sprawling fantasy worlds and eagerly invite mapmakers to explain their detailed processes. So we have to tip our hearts to 17-year-old artist Martin Vargic, who constructed a truly epic Map of Literature: a meta exploration into the many genres of literature, with a nod to the intricate guides included in many of the kinds of books mentioned.
Vargic’s work, which pulls from data and pop culture, is being collected in Vargic’s Miscellany of Curious Maps, out September 24 in the UK from Penguin UK and December 1 in the U.S. from HarperCollins. BuzzFeed got their hands on some wonderfully detailed close-ups of the map, plus a gorgeous image of the entire thing. We were especially interested in the Fantasy and Sci-Fi realms, though there were also plenty of Related Subjects to keep our eyes busy.
He tells BuzzFeed, “The Map of Literature is a graphical visualization of how the world’s literature evolved from the ancient era to the present day.” It’s separated into four distinct “continents”: prose fiction, prose nonfiction, drama, and poetry. If you look at the full map, you’ll see that Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, the Bible, and other long-ago cultures populate the pole; fittingly, the other genres ripple out from there. Vargic clearly approached this map from multiple dimensions: It’s fascinating to see how authors like Douglas Adams and Aldous Huxley share borders in Sci-Fi—ditto Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin in Fantasy—but there are also fun touches like the Cliché and Creativity Seas and the Protagonist Peninsula. These little detours are just as important as the lands they border.