Edward Said's oft cited claim that Orientalists past and present have spun imaginary geographies where they sought ground truth, has launched a plethora of studies of fictive geographies. Representations often reveal more about the culture of the writer than that of the people and places written about. Yet the study of imaginary geographies has raised many questions about Western writers' abilities to provide representations of foreign places.
"Writes of Passage" explores the interplay between a system of "othering" which travelers bring to a place, and the "real" geographical difference they discover upon arrival. Exposing the tensions between the imaginary and real, the contributors focus primarily upon travelers from the 18th and 19th Centuries to pin down the imaginary within the context of imperial power. With essays covering the regions of Africa, South Asia, and Europe, this book presents a unique historical exploration of issues of place, space and landscape and contemporary studies on travel writing and migration."Writes of Passage" represents a valuable addition to the burgeoning literature on travel writing.
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