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Why writers treasure islands: Isolated, remote, defended – they’re great places

For a writer, where the story happens is as important to the evolution of the idea as what happens. Setting creates mood and context for the drama, even dictating the kinds of dramas that can happen. We know already that there are many story expectations attached to certain times and places – prisons, police stations, Paris in 1832 – all of these conjure up memories of stories played out in these contexts – a quick mental round up: Orange is the New Black, The Wire, Les Misérables.

So, too, with an island, a familiar place for setting stories since Plato wrote about Atlantis – the island state that dared to threaten Athens, and in return was sunk by Zeus somewhere in the Aegean. But what is it about these places – land surrounded by sea, isolated, remote, defended – that makes for such useful contexts for storytelling? Not to mention the fact that we are, much as we might choose to forget it, an island nation. In the British Isles alone, there are 123 inhabited islands with thousands of smaller uninhabited isles dotted across the whole territory.

Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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