Today I finished reading this beautiful book, The pocket Atlas of Remote Islands, by Judith Schalansky. First of all, I love the subtitle of the book: “Fifty Islands I have not visited and never will”. Ms Schalansky Says in the Introduction of her book that
Many Islands lie so far from their mother countries that they no longer fit on the maps of that country. They are mostly left out altogether…
Wherther an island such as Easter Island can be considered remote is simply a matter of perspective. Those who live there, the Rapa Nui, call their homeland “the Navel of the World”. Any point on the infinite globe of the Earth can become a Centre.
And this is precisely what she did with her book. She centered the world in each remote island and poetically told us their milestones, product of intensive research in libraries in Germany.
I read the book jumping from Island to Island. Only one per day. Enjoying each story, picturing their topographies and vegetation (if there were), guessing what happened to their residents, walking by their footpath in my mind and waiting for any ship that could pick my up from there and put me in the next Island tomorrow. While reading this book I was thinking on Italo Calvino’s Invisible cities. I think this peculiar book is going to be next to Calvino’s book in my bookshelve and I’m sure they are going to be good friends when they know each other.
Here I left you two Island: Raoul Island, where the New Zealand Department of Conservation sends each summer 9 volunteers to live there for twelve months and the island of Iwo Jima, the battlefield that gave us the most famous war photograph of all time.
Enjoy these excerpts. Surely after doing so, you will want to buy the book. I also did an exploration to know them, and visited one by one in Google Earth. I share the G.E. images of both Islands with you