Contemporary Travel Narratives Criticism: Major Authors - Essay

David E. Johnson (essay date spring 1995)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Johnson, David E. “‘Writing in the Dark’: The Political Fictions of American Travel Writing.” American Literary History 7, no. 1 (spring 1995): 1-27.

[In the following essay, Johnson uses three texts to juxtapose literary traditions surrounding travel narratives originating in the Americas.]

The phoneme, the akoumenon, is the phenomenon of the labyrinth.

Jacques Derrida, Speech and Phenomena

En todas partes del mundo, hasta en los desiertos, los Estados Unidos han establecido sus hoteles e impuesto el American Way of Life, el...

(The entire section is 11010 words.)

Ihab Hassan (essay date 1995)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Hassan, Ihab. “Motion and Mischief: Contemporary British Travel Writing.” In Rumors of Change: Essays of Five Decades, pp. 208-27. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1995.

[In the following essay, Hassan focuses on travel writing originating in Britain, comparing two texts—one from the late-nineteenth century and another from the late-twentieth century—to explore shifts in the British travel writing genre.]

Travelling is a fool's paradise. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places. At home I dream that at Naples, at Rome, I can be intoxicated with beauty and lose my sadness. I pack my trunk, embrace my...

(The entire section is 7585 words.)

Joanne P. Sharp (essay date 1999)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Sharp, Joanne P. “Writing Over the Map of Provence: The Touristic Therapy of A Year in Provence.” In Writes of Passage: Reading Travel Writing, edited by James Duncan and Derek Gregory, pp. 200-18. London: Routledge, 1999.

[In the following essay, Sharp provides a critical appraisal of Peter Mayle's popular memoirs about his life in Provence.]

Recently in the West there has been much lamenting of the demise of cultural difference, a public dismay over the closure of the Age of Exploration and the initiation of an age of homogenization. Despite this fear, the phenomenon of travel writing—a literary form apparently dependent upon difference and...

(The entire section is 9105 words.)

Jeffrey J. Folks (essay date winter 2004)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Folks, Jeffrey J. “Mediterranean Travel Writing: From Etruscan Places to Under the Tuscan Sun.Papers on Language and Literature 40, no. 1 (winter 2004): 102-12.

[In the following essay, Folks compares Frances Mayes's Under the Tuscan Sun to other Mediterranean travel writings, notably those of D. H. Lawrence.]

To compare Francis Mayes with D. H. Lawrence seems pretty unfair, and I would not inflict the comparison except that I think it reveals something about the way in which western culture has changed for the worse since Lawrence's time, for Mayes's writing is rooted in exactly the sort of “poisonous” materialism that Lawrence...

(The entire section is 3523 words.)