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HYPER_REALITY AND NOSTALGIA IN THE HOLY LAND

Here's my paper which I wrote for  a class on travel literature in the 1600s at the Santa Fe campus of the Breadloaf School of English in 2000. Seems like an appropriate time to share this!

HYPER-REALITY AND NOSTALGIA IN THE HOLY LAND
In addition to this act of penitence and grace, the journey to Jerusalem also held deep mystical and legendary meaning for medieval men and women, for the scared city was believed to be the center of the world, the omphalos or navel, the scared hub of the world's orb. At the same time, it was the ideal of the sacred city - for Jerusalem was both the center of Christian history, the stage of Christ's redemptive sacrifice and resurrection, and the end of all history. (From the Introduction, Guide to the Holy Land, Theoderich - Ithica, 1986)

Guide to the Holy Land is a medieval guidebook written by Theoderich, a German monk of the 12th century. It is a text that explores the sacred geography of Jerusalem, and allows us, as contemporary readers, to …