Literary Tourism and Gilmore Girls

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Tell Tale TV/CW

It’s no secret that the literary nature and constant references to books is one of the most loved element of Gilmore Girls. Just google Rory’s Book List and you will find Buzzfeed posts and quizzes devoted to it, blogs from fans attempting to read all 339 books and even a decades old WB site encouraging fans to read. This kind of literary fanaticism isn’t common in most TV shows (and I, as a young teenager, attempted to read Rory’s book list-I will never forgive her for that Ayn Rand suggestion).

But I’m also interested in the literary tourism, both implicit and explicit, found throughout  the series. This isn’t necessarily traditional literary tourism to birthplaces and house museums-but literary tourism of all kinds.

I’m thinking about Rory’s first trip to Harvard with Loralai, where she visits the enormous Harvard Library and panics about not having read enough. Or the much told story of the time she visited the Mark Twain House with Dean’s girlfriend Lindsay, who bought a magnet shaped like Mark Twain’s head.

On trips to New York, Lorelai and Rory made the touristy pilgrimage to the the Strand (which led to my own pilgrimage to the Strand at 18-and the John Waters tote bag to prove it).

One of my favorite instances of literary tourism in the series is The Poe Society visit in “A Tale of Poe’s and Fire.” Filled with men dressed up like Poe,  recitations of the Raven, and a ton of Raven related jokes, Lorelai and Rory mock literary tourism while near constantly participating it in themselves.

I’m not simply interested in the literary trips made by characters in the show, but by the literary pilgrimages, both physical and intellectual, Gilmore Girls has inspired.

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