E 379S • Travel Literature
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
The focus of this course will be on the reinvention of travel literature as an active and diverse genre. At a time when tourism has triumphed over travel and when you can surf the Web while drinking a Coke throughout much of the world, the possibilities of travel have been rediscovered by some of the best writers living today.
We will begin the course by examining the urge to travel and what we learn from traveling, starting with Ernesto "Che" Guevara's motorcycle trip across South America. Then we'll read Dervla Murphy's tale of a bicycle trip from Ireland to India, Sara Macdonald's wanderings in India, Redmond O'Hanlon's trek through the jungles of Venezuela, Jon Krakauer's account of disaster on Mt. Everest, and Robyn Davidson's solo odyssey across the Australian desert with four camels and a dog.
You will keep a reading journal, which you will share with the class. You'll also write a travel essay, an essay on a travel book, and a seminar paper organized around a central issue or question raised in three travel books.
Reading journal (10 entries, 200-400 words each) 30%
Travel essay (5 pages) 20%
Essay on a travel book (3 pages) 10%
Seminar paper (10-12 pages) 40%
Ernesto Guevara. The Motorcycle Diaries. Ocean P, 2004. ISBN 1-920888-10-1
Dervla Murphy. Full Tilt. Overlook, 1987. ISBN 0-87951-248-2
Sarah Macdonald. Holy Cow. Broadway, 2003. ISBN 0-7679-1574-7
Redmond O'Hanlon. In Trouble Again. Vintage, 1990. ISBN 0-679-72714-0
Robyn Davidson. Tracks. Vintage, 1995. ISBN 0-679-76287-6
Jon Krakauer. Into Thin Air. Knopf, 1999. ISBN 0-385-49478-5