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.
This comprehensive study of the Russian literary travelogue, a genre that blossomed in the early nineteenth century, sheds new light on Russian literature and culture of the period.In the decades before and during the rise of the Russian novel, a new form of prose writing took hold in Russia: travel accounts, often fictional, marked by a fully developed narrator's voice, interpretive impressions, scenic descriptions, and extended narrative. Prompted in part by the growth of leisure travel and in part by publication of Western European examples of travel writing, the genre attracted the talents of numerous writers, including Radishchev, Karamzin, and Pushkin. In illuminating analyses of major texts as well as lesser known but influential works, Andreas Schönle surveys the literary travelogue from its emergence in Russia to the end of the Romantic era. His study offers new insight on the construction of the authorial persona and on the emergence of fiction in a culture that valued nonfiction writing.
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).
Illustration: "Shadow Wall," 2006 © Shaun Tan.
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.
This informative and provocative study focuses on the centrality of departure in the texts of five major American women novelists.
An important moment in many novels and poems by American women writers occurs when a central character looks out a window or walks out the door of a house. These acts of departure serve to convey such values as the rejection of constraining social patterns, the search for individual fulfillment, and the entry into the political.
Janis Stout examines such moments and related patterns of venture and travel in the fiction of five major American novelists of the 20th century: Mary Austin, Willa Cather, Anne Tyler, Toni Morrison, and Joan Didion. Stout views these five writers within a spectrum of narrative engagements with issues of home and departure—a spectrum anchored at one end by Sarah Orne Jewett and at the other by Marilynne Robinson, whose Housekeeping posits a vision of female transience.
Through the Window, Out the Door ranges over an expansive territory. Moving between texts as well as between texts and contexts, Stout shows how women writers have envisioned the walls of physical and social structures (including genres) as permeable boundaries, drawing on both a rhetoric of liberation and a rhetoric of domesticity to construct narrative arguments for women's right to move freely between the two. Stout concludes with a personal essay on the dilemmas of domesticity and the ambivalence of departure.
In the sixth month of 736, a Japanese diplomatic mission set out for the kingdom of Silla, on the Korean peninsula. The envoys undertook the mission during a period of strained relations with the country of their destination, met with adverse winds and disease during the voyage, and returned empty-handed. The futile journey proved fruitful in one respect: its literary representation—a collection of 145 Japanese poems and their Sino-Japanese (kanbun) headnotes and footnotes—made its way into the eighth-century poetic anthology Man’yōshū, becoming the longest poetic sequence in the collection and one of the earliest Japanese literary travel narratives.Featuring deft translations and incisive analysis, this study investigates the poetics and thematics of the Silla sequence, uncovering what is known about the actual historical event and the assumptions and concerns that guided its re-creation as a literary artifact and then helped shape its reception among contemporary readers. H. Mack Horton provides an opportunity for literary archaeology of some of the most exciting dialectics in early Japanese literary history.
This book explores the parallel and yet profoundly different ways of seeing the outside world and engaging with the foreign at two important moments of dislocation in Chinese history, namely, the early medieval period commonly known as the Northern and Southern Dynasties (317–589 CE), and the nineteenth century. Xiaofei Tian juxtaposes literary, historical, and religious materials from these two periods in comparative study, bringing them together in their unprecedentedly large-scale interactions, and their intense fascination, with foreign cultures.By examining various cultural forms of representation from the two periods, Tian attempts to sort out modes of seeing the world that inform these writings. These modes, Tian argues, were established in early medieval times and resurfaced, in permutations and metamorphoses, in nineteenth-century writings on encountering the Other. This book is for readers who are interested not only in early medieval or nineteenth-century China but also in issues of representation, travel, visualization, and modernity.
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