Just imagine, for a moment, what Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Richard Wagner and Mark Twain might have said to each other, if they met by chance — on the roof of a train, no less — while travelling through the Lake Lucerne area of central Switzerland. Or consider, if you will, how giant helium balloons might be deployed to propel gondolas to the summit of the Rigi.
It is questions such as these, and a thousand others, which are triggered by the debut product of the new Swiss publisher Imaginary Wanderings Press. This is a remarkable venture, one which stretches our imagination about places but also invites us to rethink the very nature of ‘the book’. For the first title, focusing on the region around Lake Lucerne and the Gotthard, is very much more than merely a book. It is a handsome boxed set of twelve detailed tableaux which focus on themes germane to the history, culture and landscape of the region. Also included is a volume of essays, one on each of the twelve themes covered in the tableaux. The entire product is bilingual with texts in both German and English.