Travel Culture: Essays on What Makes Us Go

By Carol Traynor Williams | Go to book overview

NOTES
1.
Some of the aspects of nature Burke classifies as sublime include darkness, vastness, magnitude, and suddenness, qualities which produce two kinds of "passion": astonishment and horror (primarily), as well as admiration, reverence, and respect ( Burke57, 73). The beautiful, by contrast, is "that quality or those qualities in bodies by which they cause love, or some passion similar to it" (91).
2.
As a key example, see Jefferson's description of Virginia's Natural Bridge in Notes on the State of Virginia ( 1787): "It is impossible for the emotions, arising from the sublime, to be felt beyond what they are here: so beautiful an arch, so elevated, so light, and springing, as it were, up to heaven, the rapture of the Spectator is really indiscribable! [sic]" ( Jefferson 25).
3.
See Tzvetan Todorov's The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other ( 1984) for a thorough and nuanced analysis of the literature of conquest, particularly the writings of Columbus.
4.
I feel obligated to note that a one-paragraph summary cannot do justice to the intricacies and forcefulness of Pratt's argument. Interested readers should spend some time working through Imperial Eyes, particularly pages 1-60.

REFERENCES

Bartram, William. Travels. 1791. Ed. Mark Van Doren. New York: Dover, 1928.

Bryson, Bill. The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America. New York: HarperCollins, 1990.

Burke, Edmund. A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. 1757. Ed. J. T. Boulton. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958.

Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1962.

Darwin, Charles. Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History of the Various Countries Visited by H.M.S. Beagle . . . from 1832 to 1836. London: Henry Colburn, 1839.

Erlich, Paul, and Anne Erlich. Extinction: The Causes and Consequences of the Disappearance of Species. New York: Random House, 1981.

Fuller, Margaret. Summer on the Lakes, in 1843. Reprint of the 1844 edition. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1991.

Greenblatt, Stephen. Marvelous Possessions: The Wonders of the New World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.

Humboldt, Alexander. Ansichten der Natur (Views of Nature). 1808. Trans. E. C. Otte and Henry G. Bohn. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1850.

Jefferson, Thomas. Notes on the State of Virginia. 1787. Ed. William Peden. New York: Norton, 1954.

Jones, Roger S. Physics as Metaphor. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982.

Park, Mungo. Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa. 1799. Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1860.

Powell, John Wesley. The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons. Reprint of the 1895 edition. New York: Dover, 1961.

Pratt, Mary Louise. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. New York: Routledge, 1992.

Quammen, David. The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions. New York: Scribner, 1996.

-70-

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