"Campbell has provided a valuable service, not only in attempting to map such distant and difficult terrain but also in drawing attention to its variety, interest, and worth, while at the same time producing a lively and readable book."Speculum
The Witness and the Other World: Exotic European Travel Writing, 400-1600by Mary B. Campbell
Surveying exotic travel writing in Europe from late antiquity to the age of discover, The Witness and the Other World illustrates the fundamental human desire to change places, if only in the imagination.Mary B. Campbell looks at works by pilgrims, crusaders, merchants, discoverers, even armchair fantasists such as Mandeville, as well as the writings of Marco Polo, Columbus, and Walter Raleigh. According to Campbell, these travel accounts are exotic because they bear witness to alienated experiences; European travelers, while claiming to relate fact, were often passing on monstrous projections. She contends that their writing not only documented but also made possible the conquest of the peoples whom she travelers described, and she shows how travel literature contributed to the genesis of the modern novel and the modern life sciences.
Meet the Author
Mary Baine Campbell is Professor of English at Brandeis University. She is the author of The Witness and the Other World: Exotic European Travel Writing, 400–1600, also from Cornell, in addition to two books of poetry.
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