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Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Fall 2008

ANS 388 • Travel Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
33620 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
CAL 200

Course Description

Restricted enrollment; contact the department for permission to register for this course. Consent of the graduate adviser must be obtained. Course number may be repeated for credit when topics vary. In this course, we shall study the written narrative of travel in its various generic forms, the travel poem, the essay, the novel, the letter, the adventure narrative, the narrative of self-discovery, the artistic expression of encounter with the Other and the Past, the shipwreck narrative. We shall also concentrate on certain preferred locations such as Japan, China, Central Asia, Near East, and South America. The texts chosen are intended as examples of finished efforts with the intention of producing esthetic satisfaction in the reading, information, adventure and an invitation to travel. The course will seek to define the generic terminology of travel literature, its parameters and limitations. We shall also interpret the role of narrator and the narratee, the function of the Other and the performance of Otherness, the centrality of its discourses overt and covert i.e., colonial and Post-Colonial discourse, etc. Emphasis will be placed on the role of description and its relation to themes, psychology, the creation of the exotic, the role of style. Questions to be tested: why travel literature, why its popularity today, the role of the reader, the identity of the author and relationship to both the Other and intended audience, the evolution of Travel literature, its contemporary definition as opposed to earlier prescriptions, etc. In short, what is the Art of Travel and why the need to turn travel into narrative and its import today.

Grading Policy

Class presentation 20% Midterm 30% Final or final paper 40% Participation in class discussion 10%


The majority of the texts will be chosen form the 19th and 20th century from English, American, French, Russian, and Portuguese texts. Examples: Travel Poems: Baudelaire, Invitation au voyage; Cendrars, Prose de la Transsibirien; Michaux, Ecuador; Camilio Pessanha, A Clepsedra; Ozymandias Letters: Lady Montagu, Letters from Turke; Cocteau, Lettres de New York Novel: Gogol, Dead Souls; Xavier de Maitre, Voyage autour de ma chamber, Paul Bowles; James, Aspern Papers Region, Japan: Texts of Lacadio Hearn; Wenceslau de Moraes; Claudel; Bouvier, Japanese Chronicles. China: Classic Travel Diaries of: Fang Cha, Hsu Hsia k'o, Lu Yu Near East: (from a French perspective), Chateaubriand, Nerval, Gautier, Flaubert, Loti, Fromentin, Gide, Gobineau Adventure travel: Patrick Fermor, On Foot to Constantinople,; Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia; Freya Stark, Valleys of the Assassins; Robert Byron, Road to Oxiana, Ella Maillart, Turkesan Solo; Peter Fleming, News from Tartary. Essay: Mandelstam, Armenia; Banville, Prague Pictures; Segalen, on the Exotic Shipwreck Narrative: Romantic Period shipwreck narratives, Portuguese examples


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