Mind Map of Love

A Novel by Christian Zott

Christian Zott
Romane & Erzählungen, Reise & Abenteuer

Going, to arrive. Munich-based businessman Christian Zott undertook a 5000 kilometre long journey: on foot, almost 40 kilometres a day, through the South of Europe from the most westerly point in Portugal to the Eastern border on the Bosporus. The book, developed during this hike, is an unusual reflection on the forms of love in our times.

Mind map is a term used by psychologists and managers referring to a cognitive technique for ordering and visualising one's thoughts. Christian Zott uses this method to examine the phenomenon of love in greater detail. His novel "Mind Map of Love" consists of 21 chapters written in the form of complete, self-contained short stories. These take place at various locations – mostly European cities but also pastoral scenescapes – which are never specifically named but which are always clearly identifiable. At the end of the individual stories there are turning points at which the reader him/herself can determine the future of the two main figures, Romeo and Juliet.

Each of these episodes forms a potential point in a universal love story. Corresponding to the external events, the descriptions of the inner development of the protagonists seek to capture the various stages of this major emotion in the shape of concise psychograms of the lovers. The result is a 'compendium' of the many manifestations of love, with the most beautiful and the ugliest, the most sincere and the lowest, the most animalistic and the most tender of emotions.

Travel itself becomes a key metaphor for the concept of love in this book. Being mindful and paying attention to one's partner, the environment and oneself are the takeaways subtly offered to the reader at different points. "Each was there for the other because they both lived in balance", is the key phrase describing a successful and authentic romantic relationship.

Christian Zott is the founder and CEO of consulting firm mSE Solutions GmbH with branches in Munich, Lübeck, Singapore and Pittsburgh. His company specialises in the field of Supply Chain Management and looks after customers around the world. In 2011 he took time out and during that period wrote the "Mind Map of Love". On his route along the coast of Europe he met many "seekers and lovers". This book is dedicated to them. Several travel photos by Christian Zott, directly or indirectly relating to the subject of "love", are included in the book.