Traveling in Place: A History of Armchair Travel

University of Chicago Press
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Armchair travel may seem like an oxymoron. Doesn’t travel require us to leave the house? And yet, anyone who has lost herself for hours in the descriptive pages of a novel or the absorbing images of a film knows the very real feeling of having explored and experienced a different place or time without ever leaving her seat. No passport, no currency, no security screening required—the luxury of armchair travel is accessible to us all. In Traveling in Place, Bernd Stiegler celebrates this convenient, magical means of transport in all its many forms.
Organized into twenty-one “legs”—or short chapters—Traveling in Place begins with a consideration of Xavier de Maistre’s 1794 Voyage autour de ma chambre, an account of the forty-two-day “journey around his room” Maistre undertook as a way to entertain himself while under house arrest. Stiegler is fascinated by the notion of exploring the familiar as though it were completely new and strange. He engages writers as diverse as Roussel, Beckett, Perec, Robbe-Grillet, Cortázar, Kierkegaard, and Borges, all of whom show how the everyday can be brilliantly transformed. Like the best guidebooks, Traveling in Place is more interested in the idea of travel as a state of mind than as a physical activity, and Stiegler reflects on the different ways that traveling at home have manifested themselves in the modern era, from literature and film to the virtual possibilities of the Internet, blogs, and contemporary art.
Reminiscent of the pictorial meditations of Sebald, but possessed of the intellectual playfulness of Calvino, Traveling in Place offers an entertaining and creative Baedeker to journeying at home.
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About the author

Bernd Stiegler is professor of twentieth-century German literature and of literature and media at the University of Konstanz. Peter Filkins is a poet and teaches literature at Bard College at Simon's Rock.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Oct 28, 2013
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780226081151
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / European / French
Travel / Essays & Travelogues
Travel / General
Travel / Special Interest / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Although much has been written about how the novel relates to the epic, the drama, or autobiography, no one has clearly analyzed the complex connections between prose fiction as it evolved before 1800 and the literature of travel, which by that date had a long and colorful history.

Percy Adams skilfully portrays the emergence of the novel in the fiction of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and traces in rich detail the history of travel literature from its beginnings to the time of James Cook, contemporary of Richardson and Fielding. And since the recit de voyage and the novel were then so international, he deals throughout with all the literatures of Western Europe, one of the book's chief themes being the close literary ties among European nations.

Equally important in the present study is its demonstration that, just as early travel accounts were often a combination of reporting and fabrication, so prose fiction is not a dichotomy to be divided into the "adult" novel on the one hand and the "childish" romance on the other, but an ambivalence -- the marriage of realism and romanticism. Travel Literature and the Evolution of the Novel not only shows the novel to be amorphous and changing, it also proves impossible the task of defining the recit de voyage with its thousand forms and faces. Often the two types of literature are almost indistinguishable; even before Don Quixote, Adams writes, many travel accounts could have been advertised as having "the endless fascination of a wonderfully observed novel."

This study by Percy Adams will both modify opinions about the novel and its history and provide an excellent introduction to the travel account, a form of literature too little known to students of belles lettres.

This latest volume in the Culture & Civilization series gathers interdisciplinary voices to present a collection of essays on travel and travel narratives. The essays span a range of topics from iconic ancient travel stories to modern tourism. They discuss travel in the ancient world, modern heroic travels, the literary culture of missionary travel, the intersection of fiction and travel narratives, modern literary traditions and visions of Greece, personal identity, and expatriation. Essays also address travel memoirs, the re-imagining of worlds through travel, transformed landscapes and animals in travel narratives, diplomacy, English women travel writers, and pilgrimage and health in the medieval world. The history of travel writing takes in multiple pursuits: exploration and conquest, religious pilgrimage and missionary work, educational tourism and diplomacy, scientific and personal discovery, and natural history and oral history. As a literary genre, it has enhanced a wide range of disciplines, including geography, ethnography, anthropology, and linguistics. Moreover, twenty-first-century interests in travel and travel writing have produced a global framework that promises to expand travel’s theoretical reach into the depths of the Internet, thus challenging our conventional concept of what it means to travel. The fact that travel and travel writing have a prehistory that is embedded in foundational religious texts and ancient narratives of journey, like the Odyssey and the Epic of Gilgamesh, makes both travel and travel writing fundamental and essential expressions of humanity. Travel encourages writing, particularly as epistolary and poetic chronicling. This is clearly a history and tradition that began with human communication and which has kept pace with our collective development.
Focusing on travel journals by writers, navigators, philosophers, scientists, and anthropologists--from the eighteenth-century grand tour to the modern period--Dennis Porter explores how male authors at different historical moments conceptualized and represented the lands they encountered. Efforts to portray unfamiliar peoples and cultures are shown to give rise to rich and complex works, in which individual psychic investments frequently subvert an inherited cultural discourse. In exploring the various uses and pleasures of travel, Porter interprets it as a transgressive activity animated by desire and haunted by different forms of guilt.

Broad in its historical scope and interdisciplinary in its approach, the book draws on literary theory, psychoanalysis, gender criticism, and the social history of ideas. Texts analyzed include works by Boswell, Diderot, Bougainville, Cook, Stendhal, Darwin, Flaubert, Freud, D. H. Lawrence, T. E. Lawrence, Gide, Lvi-Strauss, Barthes, and V. S. Naipaul.

Originally published in 1990.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Journey back in time with this collection of classic travel writing from great authors and adventurers. These extraordinary odysseys over land and sea captivated audiences and gave them a glimpse into countries, cities and cultures like never before.

Tales include Robert Falcon Scott's doomed Antarctic expedition of 1910-13; Robert Byron's ten-month journey through Persia to Afghanistan in the early 30s; Jack London's 1907 sailing adventure across the south Pacific; and Teddy Roosevelt's scientific exploration of the Brazilian jungle's exotic flora and fauna.

Each author and their piece of writing is introduced by editor Mark Mackenzie, who gives context to the work and provides an insightful look into how travel has changed since they were originally published.

Features extracts from:

The Worst Journey in the World - Apsley Cherry-Garrard The Road to Oxiana - Robert Byron Sea and Sardinia - DH Lawrence Cruise of the Snark - Jack London American Notes - Charles Dickens Through the Brazilian Wilderness - Teddy Roosevelt Life on the Mississippi - Mark Twain Letters Written During a Short Residence in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark - Mary Wollstonecraft In Morocco - Edith Wharton Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa - David Livingstone The Histories - Herodotus South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917 - Ernest Shackleton

About Lonely Planet: Lonely Planet is a leading travel media company and the world's number one travel guidebook brand, providing both inspiring and trustworthy information for every kind of traveller since 1973. Over the past four decades, we've printed over 145 million guidebooks and grown a dedicated, passionate global community of travellers. You'll also find our content online, on mobile, video and in 14 languages, 12 international magazines, armchair and lifestyle books, ebooks and more.

Important Notice: The digital edition of this book may not contain all of the images found in the physical edition.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Wilde in Love, a joyful chronicle of a year in one of the most beautiful cities in the world: Paris.

“What a beautiful and delightful tasting menu of a book: the kids, the plump little dog, the Italian husband. Reading this memoir was like wandering through a Parisian patisserie in a dream. I absolutely loved it.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

When bestselling romance author Eloisa James took a sabbatical from her day job as a Shakespeare professor, she also took a leap that many people dream about: She sold her house and moved her family to Paris.

With no classes to teach, no committee meetings to attend, no lawn to mow or cars to park, Eloisa revels in the ordinary pleasures of life—discovering corner museums that tourists overlook, chronicling Frenchwomen’s sartorial triumphs, walking from one end of Paris to another. She copes with her Italian husband’s notions of quality time; her two hilarious children, ages eleven and fifteen, as they navigate schools—not to mention puberty—in a foreign language; and her mother-in-law Marina’s raised eyebrow in the kitchen (even as Marina overfeeds Milo, the family dog).

Paris in Love invites the reader into the life of a New York Times bestselling author and her spirited, enchanting family, framed by la ville de l’amour.

Praise for Paris in Love

“Exhilarating and enchanting . . . brims with a casual wisdom about life.”—Chicago Tribune

“In this delightful charm-bracelet of a memoir, [Eloisa James shares] her adventures as an American suddenly immersed in all things French—food, clothes, joie de vivre.”—People

“Enchanting . . . gives the reader a sense of being immersed along with James in Paris for a year . . . you see the rain, taste the food, observe the people.”—USA Today

“This delectable confection, which includes recipes, is more than a visit to a glorious city: it is also a tour of a family, a marriage, and a love that has no borders. Très magnifique!”—Library Journal (starred review)

“A charming, funny and poignant memoir . . . steeped in Paris and suffused with love.”—Star Tribune

“Charming . . . a romance—for a city, a life, a family, and love itself.”—The Huffington Post
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