The Cambridge Companion to American Travel Writingby Alfred Bendixen
Pub. Date: 02/28/2009
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Travel writing has always been intimately linked with the construction of American identity. Occupying the space between fact and fiction, it exposes cultural fault lines and reveals the changing desires and anxieties of both the traveller and the reading public. These specially-commissioned essays trace the journeys taken by writers from the pre-revolutionary
Travel writing has always been intimately linked with the construction of American identity. Occupying the space between fact and fiction, it exposes cultural fault lines and reveals the changing desires and anxieties of both the traveller and the reading public. These specially-commissioned essays trace the journeys taken by writers from the pre-revolutionary period right up to the present. They examine a wide range of responses to the problems posed by landscapes found both at home and abroad, from the Mississippi and the Southwest to Europe and the Holy Land. Throughout, the contributors focus on the role played by travel writing in the definition and formulation of national identity, and consider the experiences of minority writers as well as canonical authors. This Companion forms an invaluable guide for students approaching this new, important and exciting subject for the first time.
Table of Contents
Chronology; Introduction: new worlds and old lands: the travel book and the construction of American identity Judith Hamera and Alfred Bendixen; Part I. Confronting the American Landscape: 1. Beginnings: the origins of American travel writing in the Pre-Revolutionary period Philip Gould; 2. Landscape and American travel writing William W. Stowe; 3. New York to Niagara by way of the Hudson and the Erie Christopher Mulvey; 4. The Mississippi river as site and symbol Thomas Ruys Smith; 5. The Southwest and travel writing Martin Padget; Part II. Americans Abroad: 6. American travel books about Europe before the Civil War Alfred Bendixen; 7. Americans in Europe: Henry James to the present William Merrill Decker; 8. Americans in the Holy Land, Israel and Palestine Hilton Obenzinger; 9. Americans in the larger world: beyond the Pacific coast Christopher McBride; 10. South of the border: American travel writing in Latin America Terry Caesar; Part III. Social Scenes and American Sites: 11. African American travel literature Virginia Whatley Smith; 12. American women and travel writing Susan L. Roberson; 13. Driving that highway to consciousness: late twentieth-century American travel literature Deborah Paes de Barros; Guide to further reading; Index.
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