In this post, we share an infographic that includes a number of iconic literary cafés to inspire your next masterpiece.
Now that we’re all on mandatory stay-cation, you probably have a lot more free time to pursue the passion piece that’s been lurking in the back of your drawer for months. It seems like the perfect time to finish that poignant short story or your one-thousand-page fantasy novel.
However, being stuck indoors all day doesn’t usually lend itself to bursts of inspiration and creativity. Get out of your funk by travelling around the world right from your desk and finding your muse in one of these famous literary cafes.
Iconic Literary Cafés to Inspire Your Next Masterpiece
For the Fantasy Writer
Imagine yourself in Edinburgh, Scotland, overlooking the beautiful Edinburgh Castle. You’re sitting in The Elephant House, the iconic “birthplace of Harry Potter”, as the writing in the window reads. This cafe was founded in 1995. Only a few years later, J.K. Rowling published the first of her iconic series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Keep The Elephant House and Rowling’s creativity in mind for inspiration for your next fantasy novel.
For the Poet
For poetic inspiration, think about the beautiful La Closerie des Lilas in Paris, frequented by American writers and French poets alike. Famous poets like Ezra Pound, Charles Baudelaire, and Theophile Gautier frequently came to this cafe to write poetry and novels. Translating to “The Closet of Lilacs”, this literary cafe in Montparnasse attracted important modernist poets of the 20th century and gave them a “home away from home” as Hemingway called it. When you’re writing your next poem, whether free verse or rhymed, haiku or sonnet, think about the closet of lilies in Paris that so many poets found their musings.
For the “Lost Generation” Admirer
If you’re a fan of the Lost Generation and can’t get enough of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and T.S. Eliot, get motivated by La Rotonde, another iconic literary cafe in Montparnasse, Paris. This quintessential literary cafe attracted all kinds of creators and welcomed starving artists during hard times. The popular place was even referenced in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, showing just how important it was to these great authors. Take La Rotonde as inspiration for your next modernist novel, short story, or poem that’ll become a classic of American literature.
For the Romantic Writer
Find inspiration from the movement of romanticism emerging in the later 1700s and early 1800s. Art, music, and literature saw the rise of many spectacular writers and creators in this period. These works were characterised by emotion, individualism, and attention to the past and nature. The second generation of Romantic poets such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats all frequented the Antico Caffè Greco in Rome. Here, they wrote and discussed their famous and influential works, drawing from Romanticism in Italy. Take heed of these famous writers and their favourite cafe when writing your emotional and individualistic poem or novel.
For the Beat Generation Devotee
Focus on the Beat writers of the 1950s and 60s for your next post-war piece. Engulf yourself in their world by imagining yourself in the iconic Vesuvio Café that writers such as Jack Kerouac, Henry Miller, and Allen Ginsberg frequented during the later 20th century. These Beat Generation authors transformed literature by focusing on topics previously absent from their world such as sexual exploration, spirituality, experimentation with drugs, and rejection of materialism. Explore American culture and politics of the Beat Generation by taking inspiration from the Vesuvio Café in San Francisco, California.
For the Science Fiction Writer
When writing about faraway planets, crazy technology, or the distant future, get inspired by the literary cafe in Oxford, England, where C.S. Lewis wrote his famous Space trilogy. The Eagle and Child served as a meeting place for many 1930s fantasy and fiction writers, including J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote The Lord of the Rings trilogy there as well. Their writer’s group would meet in one of the lounges and discuss their sci-fi and fantasy worlds and ideas. Think about The Eagle and Child in Oxford when brainstorming your next science fiction novella or short story.
Literary cafes are great bucket list places to visit whilst travelling. But in the times when you can’t adventure, take inspiration from places that inspired others before you. Find your favourite writer’s preferred cafe with this infographic, courtesy of ETIAS, and put yourself in the shoes of the greats.
by Jessica Baker. Jessica is a Content Marketing Specialist who enjoys generating traffic via quality content for her clients. When she’s not in the office, you can find her enjoying nature or reading novels.
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