Forgiving the Boundaries : Home As Abroad in American Travel Writing (Hardcover)

Author: Caesar, Terry

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Forgiving the Boundaries is the first major study of American writing about foreign travel. Considering travel memoirs and journals, guidebooks, and novels, Terry Caesar applies recent forms of ideological and postcolonial criticism to a body of work published during the period extending roughly from Benjamin Silliman's Journal of Travels in England, Holland, and Scotland (1810) to Moritz Thomsen's The Saddest Pleasure (1992).
In the tension between fact and fiction implicit in the American romance genre, Caesar finds parallels - across time and place - in the dualities that characterize American travel writing. Although the overarching purpose of American travel writing is to enable the representation of home and the authentication of our culture, says Caesar, "the experience of some primal condition of homelessness has never finally offered sufficient reason to go abroad." That the experiences travel writers presume to represent might be worthless, pointless, and either inferior to or no different from those in the land they already know leads to an intense skepticism that complicates and subverts notions of home and abroad, difference and sameness, self and other, British and American, representation and representativeness, and innocence and sophistication.
Caesar attempts to historicize the sustaining interplay between romanticism and travel writing, but also emphasizes that his understanding of American travel writing has more to do with narrative form, epistemology, and cultural inheritance than particular historical shapings.

Specifications

Publisher Univ of Georgia Pr
Mfg Part# 9780820316734
SKU 213694517
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0820316733
Release Date 12/28/2009
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