April 1, 2022
Cover of Gösta von Fersens underbara resa genom de södra amerikanska delstaterna och bortom Mississippi floden, med berättelser om manga konstiga och gåtfulla händelser, an 1837 travelogue written by minor Swedish nobleman Gösta von Fersen, the English title of which would translate to Gösta von Fersen’s Amazing Journey through the Southern States of America and beyond the Mississippi River, with Narratives of Many Strange and Enigmatic Occurrences. The book sold poorly when it was first released, being regarded as an odd combination of rather dull diary entries and dated fantastic tales, and it has not yet been published in a complete English translation. The interest in the manuscript by Arkansas historians in the twenty-first century relates to one particular section, which is seen as offering possible evidence for the existence of a heretofore undocumented settlement in the central part of the state (the area through which von Fersen traveled in 1813). However, given the mystical aspects of this part of his travelogue, debate continues to rage as to whether von Fersen’s narrative might actually be an allegory of some kind or simply the record of a fever dream brought on by malaria.