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Carte blanche to Travel Narrative

Philippe Vasset's Un livre blanc

Sara Bédard-Goulet

alienation to language. Representations of space are equally marked by power relations and contribute to the production of space, as it is the case with cartography ( Farinelli 2012 ). The input of maps in travel narratives thus bears consequences, as they

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Women's Travel Narratives in Early Modern Japan

Genre Imperatives, Gender Consciousness and Status Questioning

Laura Nenzi

In the two and a half centuries of Tokugawa rule (1600–1868) Japan underwent profound transformations of an economic, social, political and cultural nature. What began as an era of warrior rule, of apparently strict application of the law and of theoretically impenetrable social compartments evolved at a fast pace into a time when popular culture attained unprecedented brilliance, the samurai’s identity as fighters was virtually nullified and money often supplanted rank in mediating access to services. In this environment, travel and travel narratives came to play a significant role in the commoners’ gradual assertion of their own personas. Through a confrontation with otherness mediated by cultural precedent and implemented by detachment from the ordinary, the space of travel allowed for alternative creations of the self and re-definitions of the individual in society. Travel, to a great many people of all social standings, offered both a chance for recreation (in the leisure-related connotation of the term) and for re-creation (that is, re-generation, or creation of a new persona). Detachment from one’s pre-assigned social niche offered the possibility to challenge, however momentarily, one’s roles and identity by subtly questioning the parameters of gender and status that defined the individual in the space of the ordinary.

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Self-Fashioning and Auto-Ethnography

Samuel Baron's Description of Tonqueen (1686)

Anna Winterbottom

Samuel Baron's A Description of the Kingdom of Tonqueen (1686) contains many tropes of the European travel narrative. However, its author was no stranger to the country, but was born to a Vietnamese mother and Dutch father in mid-seventeenth-century Hanoi. Here I discuss how Baron fashioned his identity during his life to attract multiple patrons in the unstable maritime world of Southeast and East Asia. I re-read his Description as an example of “auto-ethnography,” showing how the author shaped his work to achieve certain ends. A comparison with a contemporary Chinese description of northern Vietnam reveals many similarities in tone and approach and helps situate Baron's text within the commercial and diplomatic exchanges of the region.

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Urooj Akailvi

This article analyzes means of self-representation, conflicts between self/other, and the conscious and unconscious quest for identity by the writer. It attempts to understand travel narratives as being about the journey undertaken in a quest for

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At the Threshold to the New World

Equator Crossings, Sunsets, and Claude Lévi-Strauss’s Tristes Tropiques

Michael Bies

representation of equator crossings as travel narratives. As travel narratives, the accounts do not merely depict the ceremonies and rituals performed but they indeed mark, or reenact, such crossings by narrating them as “liminal” events, to borrow Victor Turner

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Linda Gruen

(Recuerdos de viaje) was the first published travel narrative by an Argentine woman. The text, released as the first book in an uncompleted two volume series, also functioned to reestablish Mansilla's presence within the national literary circle after an

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Captured by Texts

Travel Tales of Captivity in Rabbinic Literature

Joshua Levinson

Although travel narratives are notoriously difficult to define, they all concern the crossing of some sort of boundary; “an encounter between self and other that is brought about by a movement through space” ( Thompson 2011: 10 ). Now borders, as

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Introduction

Print Culture, Mobility, and The Pacific, 1920–1950

Victoria Kuttainen and Susann Liebich

, thus explore how print culture was part of the practices, experiences, mediations, and representations of travel and mobility. The special section moves beyond studies of travel writing and the literary analysis of travel narratives by discussing a

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“Pretty as a Picture”

The Aesthetics of the Picturesque in British Travel Accounts of Tunis (1835–1887)

Imene Gannouni Khemiri

purpose of this article is to explore the aestheticization of landscape in a case study of the Regency of Tunis during the years 1835–1887 in three British travel narratives. The aesthetic values of the landscape are depicted using the concept of the

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New Mobilities, Spaces, and Ideas to Market

European Travel Writers and the Making of a Genre—Comment

Steven D. Spalding

benefit to both fields of inquiry. I examine the ambitions of the section, discuss strengths and weaknesses of each article, and then conclude with thoughts on ways forward. The introduction explains that “itinerant knowledge” is about travel narratives