Travel gets us from one place to another—often with wonderful attendant enjoyment–but exploration makes us understand our travel, the places we travel to—and ourselves. The essays in this collection constitute a major step toward this understanding. They open up new areas for concern and draw many valuable insights and conclusions.
Are We There Yet? Virtual Travel and Victorian Realism connects the Victorian fascination with "virtual travel" with the rise of realism in nineteenth-century fiction and twenty-first-century experiments in virtual reality. Even as the expansion of river and railway networks in the nineteenth century made travel easier than ever before, staying at home and fantasizing about travel turned into a favorite pastime. New ways of representing place—360-degree panoramas, foldout river maps, exhaustive railway guides—offered themselves as substitutes for actual travel. Thinking of these representations as a form of "virtual travel" reveals a surprising continuity between the Victorian fascination with imaginative dislocation and twenty-first -century efforts to use digital technology to expand the physical boundaries of the self.
Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson: Travel, Narrative, and the Colonial Body is the first book-length study about the influence of travel on Robert Louis Stevenson’s writings, both fiction and nonfiction. Within the contexts of late-Victorian imperialism and ethnographic discourse, the book offers original close readings of individual works by Stevenson while bringing new theoretical insights to bear on the relationship between travel, authorship, and gender identity.
Oliver S. Buckton develops “cruising” as a critical term, linking Stevenson’s leisurely mode of travel with the striking narrative motifs of disruption and fragmentation that characterize his writings. Buckton follows Stevenson’s career from his early travel books to show how Stevenson’s major works of fiction, such as Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Ebb-Tide, derive from the innovative techniques and materials Stevenson acquired on his global travels.
Exploring Stevenson’s pivotal role in the revival of “romance” in the late nineteenth century, Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson highlights Stevenson’s treatment of the human body as part of his resistance to realism, arguing that the energies and desires released by travel are often routed through resistant or comic corporeal figures. Buckton also focuses on Stevenson’s writing about the South Seas, arguing that his groundbreaking critiques of European colonialism are formed in awareness of the fragility and desirability of Polynesian bodies and landscapes.
Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson will be indispensable to all admirers of Stevenson as well as of great interest to readers of travel writing, Victorian ethnography, gender studies, and literary criticism.
Kim Fortuny University Press of Colorado, 2003 Library of Congress PS3503.I785Z666 2003 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Kim Fortuny argues that Bishop's travel poetry reveals a political and social consciousness that, until fairly recently, has largely been seen as absent from her poetry and her life. Fortuny argues that questions of travel bring up questions of form in Bi
"The Elsewhere." Or, midbar-biblical Hebrew for both "wilderness" and "speech." A place of possession and dispossession, loss and nostalgia. But also a place that speaks. Ingeniously using a Talmudic interpretive formula about the disposition of boundaries, Newton explores narratives of "place, flight, border, and beyond." The writers of The Elsewhere are a disparate company of twentieth-century memoirists and fabulists from the Levant (Palestine/Israel, Egypt) and East Central Europe. Together, their texts-cunningly paired so as to speak to one another in mutually revelatory ways-narrate the paradox of the "near distance."
Recent figures suggest that there will be 1.6 billion arrivals at world airports by the year 2020. Extreme Pursuits looks at the new conditions of global travel and the unease, even paranoia, that underlies them---at the opportunities they offer for alternative identities and their oscillation between remembered and anticipated states. Graham Huggan offers a provocative account of what is happening to travel at a time characterized by extremes of social and political instability in which adrenaline-filled travelers appear correspondingly determined to take risks. It includes discussions of the links between tourism and terrorism, of contemporary modes of disaster tourism, and of the writing that derives from these; but it also confirms the existence of more responsible forms of travel/writing that demonstrate awareness of a chronically endangered world.
Extreme Pursuits is the first study of its kind to link travel writing explicitly with structural changes in the global tourist industry. The book makes clear that travel writing can no longer take refuge in the classic distinctions (traveler versus tourist, foreigner versus native) on which it previously depended. Such distinctions---which were dubious in the first place---no longer make sense in an increasingly globalized world. Huggan argues accordingly that the category "travel writing" must include experimental ethnography and prose fiction; that it should concern itself with other kinds of travel practices, such as those related to Holocaust deportation and migrant labor; and that it should encompass representations of travelers and "traveling cultures" that appear in popular media, especially TV and film.
Graham Huggan is Professor of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Leeds. He is the coauthor, with Patrick Holland, of Tourists with Typewriters: Critical Reflections on Contemporary Travel Writing (University of Michigan Press) and coauthor, with Helen Tiffin, of Postcolonial Ecocriticism (Routledge).
Journeys beyond the Pale is the first book to examine how Yiddish writers, from Mendele Moycher Sforim to Der Nister to the famed Sholem Aleichem, used motifs of travel to express their complicated relationship with modernization. The story of the Jews of the Pale of settlement encompasses current-day Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland.
For all of the scholarship done on postcolonial literatures, little has been applied to Scandinavian writing. Yet, beginning with the onset of tourism beyond Scandinavia in the 1840s, a compelling body of prose works documents Scandinavian attitudes toward foreign countries and further shows how these Scandinavian travelers sought to portray themselves to uncharted cultures.
Focusing on Danish and Norwegian travelogues, Elisabeth Oxfeldt traces the evolution of Scandinavian travel writing over two centuries using pivotal texts from each era, including works by Hans Christian Andersen, Knut Hamsun, and Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen). Oxfeldt situates each one in its historical and geopolitical context, and her close readings delineate how each travelogue reflects Scandinavia’s ongoing confrontation between Self and the non-European cultural Other.
A long-overdue examination of travel literature produced by some of Denmark and Norway’s greatest writers, Journeys from Scandinavia unpacks the unstable constructions of Scandinavian cultural and national identity and, in doing so, complicates the common assumption of a homogeneous, hegemonic Scandinavia.
A masterwork of history and cultural studies, Marvelous Possessions is a brilliant meditation on the interconnected ways in which Europeans of the Age of Discovery represented non-European peoples and took possession of their lands, particularly in the New World. In a series of innovative readings of travel narratives, judicial documents, and official reports, Stephen Greenblatt shows that the experience of the marvelous, central to both art and philosophy, was manipulated by Columbus and others in the service of colonial appropriation. Much more than simply a collection of the odd and exotic, Marvelous Possessions is both a highly original extension of Greenblatt’s thinking on a subject that has permeated his career and a thrilling tale of wandering, kidnapping, and go-betweens—of daring improvisation, betrayal, and violence. Reaching back to the ancient Greeks, forward to the present, and, in his new preface, even to fantastical meetings between humans and aliens in movies like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Greenblatt would have us ask: How is it possible, in a time of disorientation, hatred of the other, and possessiveness, to keep the capacity for wonder—for tolerant recognition of cultural difference—from being poisoned?
Marvelous Possessions is a study of the ways in which Europeans of the late Middle Ages and the early modern period represented non-European peoples and took possession of their lands, in particular the New World.
In a series of innovative readings of travel narratives, judicial documents, and official reports, Stephen Greenblatt shows that the experience of the marvelous, central to both art and philosophy, was cunningly yoked by Columbus and others to the service of colonial appropriation. He argues that the traditional symbolic actions and legal rituals through which European sovereignty was asserted were strained to the breaking point by the unprecedented nature of the discovery of the New World. But the book also shows that the experience of the marvelous is not necessarily an agent of empire: in writers as different as Herodotus, Jean de Léry, and Montaigne—and notably in Mandeville's Travels, the most popular travel book of the Middle Ages—wonder is a sign of a remarkably tolerant recognition of cultural difference.
Marvelous Possession is not only a collection of the odd and exotic through which Stephen Greenblatt powerfully conveys a sense of the marvelous, but also a highly original extension of his thinking on a subject that has occupied him throughout his career. The book reaches back to the ancient Greeks and forward to the present to ask how it is possible, in a time of disorientation, hatred of the other, and possessiveness, to keep the capacity for wonder from being poisoned?
"A marvellous book. It is also a compelling and a powerful one. Nothing so original has ever been written on European responses to 'The wonder of the New World.'"—Anthony Pagden, Times Literary Supplement
"By far the most intellectually gripping and penetrating discussion of the relationship between intruders and natives is provided by Stephen Greenblatt's Marvelous Possessions."—Simon Schama, The New Republic
"For the most engaging and illuminating perspective of all, read Marvelous Possessions."—Laura Shapiro, Newsweek
Over the course of the Middle Ages, the economies of Europe, Asia, and northern Africa became more closely integrated, fostering the international and intercontinental journeys of merchants, pilgrims, diplomats, missionaries, and adventurers. During a time in history when travel was often difficult, expensive, and fraught with danger, these wayfarers composed accounts of their experiences in unprecedented numbers and transformed traditional conceptions of human mobility.
Exploring this phenomenon, The Medieval Invention of Travel draws on an impressive array of sources to develop original readings of canonical figures such as Marco Polo, John Mandeville, and Petrarch, as well as a host of lesser-known travel writers. As Shayne Aaron Legassie demonstrates, the Middle Ages inherited a Greco-Roman model of heroic travel, which viewed the ideal journey as a triumph over temptation and bodily travail. Medieval travel writers revolutionized this ancient paradigm by incorporating practices of reading and writing into the ascetic regime of the heroic voyager, fashioning a bold new conception of travel that would endure into modern times. Engaging methods and insights from a range of disciplines, The Medieval Invention of Travel offers a comprehensive account of how medieval travel writers and their audiences reshaped the intellectual and material culture of Europe for centuries to come.
Contemporary theory is replete with metaphors of travel—displacement, diaspora, borders, exile, migration, nomadism, homelessness, and tourism to name a few. In Questions of Travel, Caren Kaplan explores the various metaphoric uses of travel and displacement in literary and feminist theory, traces the political implications of this “traveling theory,” and shows how various discourses of displacement link, rather than separate, modernism and postmodernism. Addressing a wide range of writers, including Paul Fussell, Edward Said, James Clifford, Gilles Deleuze, Jean Baudrillard, Gayatri Spivak, Edward Soja, Doreen Massey, Chandra Mohanty, and Adrienne Rich, Kaplan demonstrates that symbols and metaphors of travel are used in ways that obscure key differences of power between nationalities, classes, races, and genders. Neither rejecting nor dismissing the powerful testimony of individual experiences of modern exile or displacement, Kaplan asks how mystified metaphors of travel might be avoided. With a focus on theory’s colonial discourses, she reveals how these metaphors continue to operate in the seemingly liberatory critical zones of poststructuralism and feminist theory. The book concludes with a critique of the politics of location as a form of essentialist identity politics and calls for new feminist geographies of place and displacement.
In this wide-ranging and sophisticated study, Rowland Sherrill explores the resurgence and transformation of an old literary form--the picaresque narrative--into a new form that he shows to be both responsive and instructive to late twentieth-century American life.
Road-Book America discloses how the old picaresque tradition, embodied in such novels as Henry Fielding's Tom Jones and Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders, opens to include a number of new American texts, both fiction and nonfiction, that decisively share the characterizing form. Sherrill's discussion encompasses hundreds of American narratives published in the past four decades, including such examples of the genre as William Least Heat-Moon's Blue Highways, John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, James Leo Herlihy's Midnight Cowboy, Bill Moyers's Listening to America, and E. L. Doctorow's Billy Bathgate.
Sketching the socially marginal, ingenuous, traveling characters common to both old and new versions, Sherrill shows how the "new American picaresque" transforms the satirical aims of the original into an effort to map and catalog the immensity and variety of America.
Open, resilient, perennially hopeful, and endowed with a protean adaptability, the protagonist of the new American picaresque follows a therapeutic path for the alienated modern self. Mining the relevance of the reformulated picaresque for American life, Road-Book America shows how this old form, adaptable as the picaro himself, lays the groundwork for spiritual renewal and a restoration of cultural confidence in some old ways of being American.
For four decades, the American road narrative has been a significant and popular literary genre for expressing journeys of self discovery. These works have been used as springboards for authors to define our national identity, to explore opportunities to escape from the daily routine, and to express social protest. This comprehensive study of an important American art form examines how road narratives create dialogues between travelers, authors, and readers about who we are, what we value, and where we hope to be going.
Writers examined include Jack Kerouac, Jim Dodge, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Least Heat Moon, Robert M. Pirsig, Henry Miller, Joan Didion, Mona Simpson, and Walt Whitman.
The first extensive survey of contemporary travel writing, Tourists with Typewriters offers a series of challenging and provocative critical insights into a wide range of travel narratives written in English after the Second World War. The book focuses in particular on contemporary travel writers such as Jan Morris, Peter Matthiessen, V. S. Naipaul, Barry Lopez, Mary Morris, Paul Theroux, Peter Mayle, and the late Bruce Chatwin. It examines some of the reasons for travel writing's enduring popularity, and for its particular appeal to readers--many of them also travelers--in the present.
The book maps new terrain in a growing area of critical study. Although critical of travel writing's complacency and its often unacknowledged ethnocentrism, the book recognizes its importance as both a literary and cultural form. While travel writing at its worst emerges as a crude expression of economic advantage, at its best it becomes a subtle instrument of cultural self-perception, a barometer for changing views of "other" (i.e., foreign, non-Western) cultures, and a trigger for the information circuits that tap us into the wider world.
Tourists with Typewriters gauges both the best and worst in contemporary travel writing, capturing the excitement of this most volatile--and at times infuriating--of literary genres. The book will appeal to general readers interested in a closer examination of travel writing and to academic readers in disciplines such as literary/cultural studies, geography, history, anthropology, and tourism studies.
"An eminently readable and informative study. It breathes tolerance and intelligence. It is critically perceptive and very au courant. It raises issues (coloniality, postmodernity, gender. . . ) and discusses books that readers of many different stripes will want to find out about." --Ross Chambers, University of Michigan
Patrick Holland, Associate Professor of English, University of Guelph, was born in New Zealand and educated in England, Australia, and Canada. Graham Huggan, Professor of English, University of Munich, was born in Hong Kong and educated in England and in British Columbia.
Armchair travel may seem like an oxymoron. Doesn’t travel require us to leave the house? And yet, anyone who has lost herself for hours in the descriptive pages of a novel or the absorbing images of a film knows the very real feeling of having explored and experienced a different place or time without ever leaving her seat. No passport, no currency, no security screening required—the luxury of armchair travel is accessible to us all. In Traveling in Place, Bernd Stiegler celebrates this convenient, magical means of transport in all its many forms.
Organized into twenty-one “legs”—or short chapters—Traveling in Place begins with a consideration of Xavier de Maistre’s 1794 Voyage autour de ma chambre, an account of the forty-two-day “journey around his room” Maistre undertook as a way to entertain himself while under house arrest. Stiegler is fascinated by the notion of exploring the familiar as though it were completely new and strange. He engages writers as diverse as Roussel, Beckett, Perec, Robbe-Grillet, Cortázar, Kierkegaard, and Borges, all of whom show how the everyday can be brilliantly transformed. Like the best guidebooks, Traveling in Place is more interested in the idea of travel as a state of mind than as a physical activity, and Stiegler reflects on the different ways that traveling at home have manifested themselves in the modern era, from literature and film to the virtual possibilities of the Internet, blogs, and contemporary art.
Reminiscent of the pictorial meditations of Sebald, but possessed of the intellectual playfulness of Calvino, Traveling in Place offers an entertaining and creative Baedeker to journeying at home.
A much-needed contribution to the expanding interest in the history of travel and travel writing, Voyages and Visions is the first attempt to sketch a cultural history of travel from the sixteenth century to the present day. The essays address the theme of travel as a historical, literary and imaginative process, focusing on significant episodes and encounters in world history.
The contributors to this collection include historians of art and of science, anthropologists, literary critics and mainstream cultural historians. Their essays encompass a challenging range of subjects, including the explorations of South America, India and Mexico; mountaineering in the Himalayas; space travel; science fiction; and American post-war travel fiction. Voyages and Visions is truly interdisciplinary, and essential reading for anyone interested in travel writing.
With essays by Kasia Boddy, Michael Bravo, Peter Burke, Melissa Calaresu, Jesus Maria Carillo Castillo, Peter Hansen, Edward James, Nigel Leask, Joan-Pau Rubies and Wes Williams.
From the Archaic period to the Greco-Roman age, the figure of the wanderer held great significance in ancient Greece. In the first comprehensive study devoted to this theme, Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture unearths the many meanings attached to this practice over the centuries. Employing a broad range of literary and philosophical texts, Silvia Montiglio demonstrates how wandering has been conceptualized from Homer's Odysseus—the hero "who wandered much"—in the eighth century BCE to pagan sages of the early Roman Empire such as Saint John the Baptist in the first century AD.
Attitudes toward wandering have evolved in accordance with cultural perspectives, causing some characterizations to persist while others have faded. For instance, the status of wanderers in Greek societies varied from outcasts and madmen to sages, who were recognized as mystical, even divine. Examining the act of wandering through many lenses, Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture shows how the transformation of the wanderer coincided with new perceptions of the world and of travel and invites us to consider its definition and import today.