Writes of Passage: Reading Travel Writing

By James Duncan; Derek Gregory | Go to book overview
Save to active project

1

Introduction

James Duncan and Derek Gregory


FIELDS OF INTEREST

The closing decades of the twentieth century have witnessed a double explosion of interest in travel writing. On the one side, bookstores whose travel shelves were once confined to atlases, guidebooks and maps—to nominally ‘factual’ and ‘objective’ accounts—now include sections devoted to personal, avowedly imaginative accounts of travel. The style varies dramatically (even in the same book): from lush and lyrical to comic and picaresque, evoking a nineteenth-century tradition of exploration, enacting the ironic stance of late twentieth-century postmodernism. Many critics agree that the work of Bruce Chatwin, Pico Iyer or Redmond O’Hanlon—to name just three prominent authors—maps not only new landscapes in a still markedly various world but also new spaces within contemporary literature. They have driven travel writing beyond itself—some reviewers claim that they have even re-invented travel writing, giving it both a new popularity and a new critical respectability—by their determination to press new possibilities of finding the terms for—of coming to terms with—other cultures and other natures.

This sense of re-imagining the world through its re-presentation, describing spiralling circles between home and away, here and there, and reworking the connective between ‘travel’ and ‘writing’ gives much of this work a decidedly critical edge. At its very best, it raises urgent questions about the politics of representation and spaces of transculturation, about the continuities between a colonial past and a supposedly post-colonial present, and about the ecological, economic and cultural implications of globalizing projects of modernity. It is in this spirit, for example, that Appiah (1997) draws attention to the radically unsettling quality of O’Hanlon’s account of his journey with James Fenton, Into the Heart of Borneo (1984):

The real secret of O’Hanlon’s success is that he subverts the conventions of this [natural-history] genre of imperial travel-writing by refusing utterly to take himself seriously. The imperial travellers—the explorers and naturalists— announced the difficulties of their journeys in order to record their triumphs over them. What they saw with their omnivorous eyes, they named ‘properly’

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Writes of Passage: Reading Travel Writing
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 228

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.