Selection from a transposition of The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle into modern Norfolk. One of the fun things about adaptation, especially of canonical literature or genre fiction, is reading all the criticism about a work. I picked up on one journal article’s thesis, which was that The Last Unicorn was about reasserting the idea of magic in modern fiction where it had lost parlance to cynical, nostalgic, scientific, and nihilistic narratives.
Transposing it to Norfolk was about identifying “lost magic” in this part of England. I eventually settled on legends about explorers, an uncanny number of whom come from East Anglia. It was a useful choice because the explorer has disappeared in its romantic form all over the world, now that exploration is the domain of scientists and tends to occur in more abstract forms: undersea and microscopic territories in particular.