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Interpersonal Encounters in Contemporary Travel Writing

French and Italian Perspectives

Catharine Mee
 

Interpersonal Encounters in Contemporary Travel Writing

A critical study on the theme of interpersonal encounter in late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century French and Italian travel writing.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9781783080373
March 2014 | 202 Pages | 229 x 152mm / 9 x 6
 
PRICE:  £60.00  /  $99.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com
 
 
9781783080373

About This Book

‘This book brings together some of the best known names of the French and Italian postwar traditions with a new generation of writers whose work is still waiting to be discovered in the Anglophone world. It illuminates aspects of travel writing which go well beyond any specific writer or national context.’ —Loredana Polezzi, University of Warwick

‘Mee’s thoughtful study details how writers working in French and Italian depict interpersonal encounters. Their difficulty, she rightly concludes, shows us “what makes a journey a story”. ’ —Stacy Burton, University of Nevada, Reno

This critical study examines the theme of interpersonal encounter in a range of late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century travel writing written in French and Italian. Structured typologically, each chapter focuses on a typical activity that brings traveller-protagonists into contact with those they encounter: guiding and interpreting, hosting, staring and photography, challenging, and accompanying. Drawing on a wide variety of writing, the study offers a unique focus on this central but overlooked aspect of travel, demonstrating the key place that encounter occupies in the contemporary travel culture.

With reference to the literary critical study of travel writing, sociological and anthropological approaches to the study of tourism, as well as research in French and Italian area studies, the volume locates encounter firmly within the context of modern tourism. Elucidating the nature of encounter in unprecedented ways, the study demonstrates how the treatment of encounter determines the generic boundaries of travel writing and how narratives of encounter reveal the gap between ideals and practices in travel. The volume also analyses the dynamics between the traveller and ‘travellee’, as they are represented in narrative form, re-evaluating traditional notions of the traveller’s power and examining the potential for travellee agency, with particular reference to discourses of authenticity and ethics.

Readership: Academic researchers, postgraduates and undergraduates working in the fields of travel writing studies, travel studies, French studies, Italian studies, English literature and tourism studies.

Author Information

Catharine Mee is an independent researcher. She completed her DPhil at the University of Oxford in 2009, writing her thesis on French and Italian travel writing.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; List of Abbreviations; 1. ENCOUNTERING, TRAVELLING, WRITING: 1.1 Encounter; 1.2 Travel Writing and Tourism; 1.3 Voyage/Viaggio; 1.4 Chapters; 2. STRATEGY, AUTHENTICITY, ETHICS: 2.1 Strategy; 2.2 Authenticity; 2.3 Ethics; 3. GUIDING: 3.1 Authenticity and Mediation; 3.2 Translation and Voice; 4. HOSTING: 4.1 Hospitality and Authenticity; 4.2 Freedom; 4.3 The Nature of Encounters; 5. STARING: 5.1 The Stare of the Travellee; 5.2 Photography and Encounter; 6. CHALLENGING: 6.1 Economic Power; 6.2 Justification: Rickshaw Riders; 6.3 Distancing: Prostitutes; 6.4 Dilemma: Beggars; 7. ACCOMPANYING: 7.1 Absent Friends; 7.2 Alter Ego or Mirror?; 7.3 Chance Companions; 8. CONCLUDING; Notes; Bibliography; Index