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Orienteering-Related


by Peter Amram

Literary Orienteering, or Lit-O, is not sterile cogitation by professors at Ivory Tower U. English departments but rather a search in books similar to that quest in the woods for little triangular box kites with a code and a recording device and a welcoming crooked orange-and-white smile, if indeed you do find the damn thing.

In Lit-O, the target is a passage which demonstrates not only that, at its best, art imitates life, but that at its best, life imitates orienteering.

by Peter Amram

Historical note:

Grigory Potemkin, an 18th-century marshal in the Russian Army, aspired to the confidence of the Empress, Catherine. To demonstrate his diligence on Russia’s behalf, Potemkin ordered facades of fake prosperous villages erected along routes that Catherine traveled. Catherine proved a gullible czarina: much impressed, she granted Potemkin influence in her court.

Thus, a “Potemkin village” is an illusionary facade: like the back-lot set for a movie.

Marshal Potemkin died in 1791; the first true orienteering meet was not until 1919.

And yet .....

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