Voyage and Emotions across Genres

by Maria-Ionela Neagu (Volume editor)
©2020 Conference proceedings 276 Pages


“The contributors to the volume, coming from different areas of the Humanities and Social Sciences, address several timely and important issues that bring together richly diverse perspectives and advance current debates in a range of fields, by carefully decoding literary texts covering a large timespan, as well as political discourse, the discourse of advertising, the discourse of education, and transpersonal discourse.”
—Professor Arleen Ionescu, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Every transdisciplinary study on voyage and/or emotion will offer new insights into the multifarious facets of these two concepts. Taking a sociolinguistic turn, this volume prompts the audience to cross the borders of a variety of genres in order to discover new strands of thought. While the first part highlights the multiple facets of the voyage as initiatory journey, as a quest for an existence code, as a spiritual passage that the traveller experiences in search for the Self or for the Other, the second part of the volume seeks to address the temporality and spatiality of emotions, the ideological dimension of the public and private space, outlining at the same time the perception of the voyage as an intercultural and interlinguistic exchange.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editors
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Acknowledgements
  • Contents
  • Introduction: Finding One’s Place (Maria-Ionela Neagu/Sky Marsen)
  • I Voyage across Literary Studies
  • Voyages to the End of Gulliver’s Night? The Dynamics of Private and Public Emotions in Gulliver’s Travels (Norbert Col)
  • Erotic Experience in Céline’s Journey to the End of the Night (Voyage à bout de la nuit) (Gerald J. Butler)
  • Contemporary Fiction as Literature of Travel (Anca Dobrinescu)
  • Voyager, “voie royale” de la connaissance et de l’émotion (Diana Rînciog)
  • The Outside and the Inside Labyrinth in Satyricon of Petronius (Cristina Iridon)
  • The Public versus the Private in Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior (Ioana Rădulescu)
  • “Voyage en Orient” de Lamartine comme voyage de l’âme en quête de Dieu et de l’Autre (Rodica Brad)
  • The Traveller and the Outsider as “Impartial Witnesses” in Romanian Novels about Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej’s Regime (Mihaela-Claudia Trifan)
  • II Space and Emotions – A Discursive Approach
  • Ideology, Conflict and Emotions in Critical Discourse Research: A Cognitive Perspective (Piotr Cap)
  • Universal Emotions in a Multicultural Classroom (Florentina Pușcalău)
  • Le stage-voyage – un échange interculturel et interlinguistique (Adriana-Viorela Gheban)
  • Shared Emotion in the Romanian and Indian Cultural Space (Elena Cristina Berariu/Andrea Peterlicean)
  • L’émotion véhiculée par le discours de spécialité contenu dans les manuels de FLE (Gabriela Toma (Bănuțoiu))
  • Les toponymes étrangers dans la littérature de voyage roumaine de XIXe siècle (Domniţa Tomescu)
  • Techniques narratives dans l’écriture de voyage. L’exemple de J.M.G. Le Clézio (Diana Costea)
  • Motivation at Play in Institutional Contexts – Metaphorical Reasoning and Representation (Maria-Ionela Neagu/Daniela Chiru)
  • Notes on Contributors

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Maria-Ionela Neagu/Sky Marsen

Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti/Flinders University

Introduction: Finding One’s Place

Place has always, everywhere, been connected with identity. In fact, one’s name, appearance, and accent cry out the existence of place. ‘What’s your name?’ and ‘Where are you from?’ are often successive questions in the attempt to know others and ‘place’ them in a context that will make them more understandable. Whether a person is ‘one of us’ or not often defines that person’s acceptance, opportunity and agency in a community. Our actions, which are said by many to define us, actually require a location to materialize. As Scollon and Scollon (2003) point out in their description of ‘geosemiotics’, “exactly where on earth an action takes place is an important part of its meaning” (2003, 19).

In a parallel way, travel, a change in place, affects one’s identity in different ways. Humans were originally a nomadic species (we have been sedentary for a mere 10,000 years of our history) and travel has been integral to our experience. A reflection on the functions of travel reveals at least four categories in relation to self and identity:

a. Travel can take one to a space of familiarity and comfort - a place one can call ‘home’, as in a return to a beloved city from exile. Variations of this theme have been a favourite in world literature from Homer’s Odyssey to Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon (1977) and Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist (1988).

b. In contrast, travel can take one to a space where one feels exiled, as in the feeling of enforced migration often experienced by refugees – a place that is ‘non-home’. In the literary area, illustrations include postcolonial and diasporic literature (see, for example, Shackleton 2008).

c. Travel can take one to a space one can escape to – a ‘pleasure place’ as in leisure travel or tourism. The rapidly growing areas of travel journalism, travel writing and travel blogging are examples (see, for example, Pirolli 2019).

d. Travel can also take one to a space that has opportunities for personal advancement and an improvement of one’s condition and status – a ‘resource place’ as in travel for business or education. Interest in this category is indicated by the substantial literature that exists around advice for the business community on intercultural communication skills (see, for example, Trompenaars and Wooliams 2003).

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Not surprisingly, because of the close connection between place and personal identity, there are many links between travel, romance and emotion. In fact, the Romantic era planted the seeds for a new attitude towards writing about travel that foregrounded the role of the narrator and the subjective point of view in describing place. Since that time, developments in writing about travel (or ‘travel writing’ as the genre has often come to be called, especially in journalistic circles) have accentuated the importance of the experiencing self in the way in which a place is represented. The Romantics initiated the link between travel writing and life writing, which has since then become increasingly emphasized.

Elements of place have been used by travellers to construct their personal identity while, at the same time, elements of self, such as desires, hopes, fears, and anxieties, colour travellers’ perceptions of place. From Twain’s (1869) individualist reflections on the foreign, to Auden and Isherwood’s (1939) striking observations of the intensity of war, and, more recently to Matthiessen’s (1978) travel as spiritual quest, writers have blended descriptions of locality with perceptions of self and subjectivity. Also, phenomenology, a philosophical tradition with roots in Romantic thought, has always taken the experiencing, embodied self, existing in a particular place, as the centre through which awareness of the world emerges. In the words of Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1945), “Our body and our perception compel us always to take as centre of the world the landscape they offer us” (1945, 330, our translation).

More recently, philosophical and theoretical excursions into the realms of cyberspace and virtual reality have given the concept of travel a new dimension while at the same time heralding the emergence of new conceptions of identity. Digital spaces have re-defined communication patterns and re-structured perceptions of space in ways that parallel the effects of architectural changes, migration and urbanization on social behavior. The ‘no sense of place’ (Meyerowitz, 1986) carried by digital environments actually gives rise to an altered sense of place and, by extension, to self.

In all, it seems impossible to detach our concept of Being from our perception of our Being-Somewhere, which indicates that the spaces we occupy and in which we exist are much more than physical locations – they are sites of meaning construction and self-representation. Travel, whether physical, mental or virtual, enables these sites to multiply and offers possibilities for new meanings to emerge. ‘Exploring’ suggests finding things- objects, people and sensations- that were unknown or hidden before and, even though these things may not always be pleasant or welcome, the choice to be able to find them seems to always be preferable to being confined or secluded.

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The proposed volume focuses on the sociolinguistic significance of both voyage and emotion, their ideological implications, starting from the linguistic instances and patterns of their realization in English, French, and Romanian, as embedded in a variety of genres, such as media discourse, the text of literary species, political discourse, the discourse of education, and even the motivational discourse via LEGO® Serious Play®.

Broadly speaking, the topic of research is represented by identifying and explaining the linguistic patterns and argumentation strategies that outline the Self’s journey throughout time and space, the discovery of the Other, of alterity, resulting in the adjustment of emotions, of identity and in the need for legitimization of actions. Drawing on Piotr Cap’s Proximization frameworks (2013, 2017), Mark Johnson’s image schema dynamics (1987), Paul Chilton’s Deictic Space Theory (2004), Zoltan Kovecses’ cognitive approach to the metaphors of emotion (2004), Rachid Amirou’s L’imaginaire touristique (1995), and Edward T. Hall’s perception of ‘hidden’ space (1982), the research papers will uncover the entities and the facets of emotion that pervade the Self’s proximity. Hence, the division of the volume into two parts: 1. Voyage across literary studies; 2. Space and emotions: a discursive approach.

Among the distinctive features that characterize our volume, one may easily notice from the very beginning the range of fields under focus that the concepts of ‘voyage’ and ‘emotion’ pervade, namely: political discourse, the discourse of advertising, literary texts, the discourse of education, and psychotherapeutic discourse. Furthermore, while the first part of the volume highlights the multiple facets of the ‘voyage’ as initiatory journey, as a quest for an existence code, as a spiritual passage that the traveler experiences in search for the Self or for the Other, the second part of the volume seeks to address the temporality and spatiality of emotions, the ideological dimension of the public and private space, outlining at the same time the perception of the voyage as an intercultural and interlinguistic exchange.

The two languages (English and French) of the proposed contributions unite several scholars belonging to different institutions and different fields of research that have been offered the freedom to express their views in the language of their preference.

The structure of the volume

Whereas the first part of the volume Voyage across Literary Studies highlights some of the most enlightening journeys taken by famous characters, the second part Space and Emotions – a Discursive Approach seeks to explore the emotions ←11 | 12→exhibited by common individuals in real life, through their political, scientific, professional, or therapeutic discourse.

Norbert Col’s chapter entitled Voyages to the End of Gulliver’s Night? The Dynamics of Private and Public Emotions in Gulliver’s Travels represents a great endeavour to depict the anguished, metaphysical issues whereby Gulliver’s initiatory journey is a journey to an alienated self. In a word, the dynamics of public and private emotions point to a Gulliver who has lost himself by trying to fit himself to environments that he cannot inhabit.

Gerald J. Butler’s contribution goes in line with Freud’s idea that “the sexual act is basically something degrading”. In spite of how uninhibited Bardamu in Journey to the End of the Night may appear to be, he reveals in his experiences, especially in his travels to America, that he is no exception to this ‘psychical impotence’, which Freud describes as a very typical condition and, in the end of the novel, Bardamu laments his condition.

In her study, Anca Dobrinescu aims to prove that much of the force of contemporary fiction, especially after the much heralded death of the novel, comes from its ability to discover new subject matters by exploring the Other and the cultural ‘abroad’. Contemporary fiction is analysed starting from the assumption that ‘travelling informs it’ to a large extent, in a mixture of different voices and new ways of perceiving the cultural trends.

Diana Rînciog’s research focuses upon Gustave Flaubert’s correspondence, which together with his travel notes stand proof for his wish to escape the quotidian space. Traveling represents, at the same time, his source of inspiration, if we think about the way he prepared Salammbo, including his visit to Cartagena’s ruins. Flaubert perceives traveling as a means to discover more and to discover himself, just like Montaigne, one of his favourite writers.

In her chapter entitled The Outside and Inside Labyrinth in Satyricon of Petronius, Cristina Iridon highlights the complexity of the Petronian novel, as a result of its morphological features and semantic layer. The novel remains a puzzle to be revealed, even to the modern reader, who is attracted by its original and anti-classical mixture. Its labyrinthic structure symbolizes the trap in which the ancient Neronian society was caught, where all the paths were so tangled that no way back was possible.

Ioana Rădulescu’s research accounts for the idea that The Woman Warrior is the result of a conflicting junction of two powerful cultures: American and Chinese. On the background of the protagonist’s struggle to integrate herself in a Western world while being haunted by inherited Chinese reminiscences, numerous talk stories seem to be inserted in order to bring to the fore deeper meanings. The present paper aims at exploring the relation between the public ←12 | 13→and the private space considered from a conflicting perspective in the chapter entitled No Name Woman.

In her contribution, Rodica Brad suggests the initiatory travel and the search for spirituality as the key to reading Voyage to Orient by Lamartine. For the poet who proves to be a magician and a prophet, in the good Romantic tradition, the East represents the space of the divine relationship, and the voyage itself is a rite of passage and of initiation responding to the divine will, showing the author the secret goal of the Divinity and the meaning of Providence for him. In Orient, the poet discovered his vocation as a prophet, through the very fact of being sensitive to the differences between people and religions, especially to what people have in common as a religious sentiment, and the human communities as forms of manifestation of this sentiment.

Mihaela-Claudia Trifan’s paper analyses the ways in which a well established myth in Romanian culture was exploited during Nicolae Ceaușescu’s regime as a means of justifying official propaganda. The myth in question was the belief that foreign travelers are more credible witnesses than the people directly involved in historical events due to their impartiality. The paper focuses on the novels inspired by controversial topics from Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej’s regime which presented, by contrast, Nicolae Ceaușescu’s regime as a more humane type of government. In order to increase credibility, many of these novels relied on using a variant of the ‘foreign traveler’ as ‘reflector’ of the narration. However, there are differences between the traditional ‘foreign traveler’ and the Communist ‘outsider witness’ and these differences are symptomatic for the Romanian Communist Regime in general.

The second part of the volume entitled Space and Emotions – A Discursive Approach comprises eight papers that reveal the complexity of these two hidden dimensions of any human being who is able to interact with and connect to the individuals and entities that pervade his/her environment.

Piotr Cap’s research explores the current nexus between Cognitive Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), focusing on theories of conceptual positioning and perspective-taking in public discourse space. The author assesses the strengths, limitations, and prospects for further operationalization of spatial cognition as a valid methodology in CDA, particularly useful in political discourse studies of ideological conflict and crisis.

Florentina Pușcalău’s study attempts to determine to what extent the recognition of universal emotional expressions can influence the communication in an intercultural context. It is believed that by seeing what others do not tell, relationships can be consolidated and new horizons can be opened in the study of intercultural communication. The case study relies on the author’s observations ←13 | 14→made in a multicultural classroom in Germany and has as its main purpose the improvement of the intercultural communication through means of facial recognition of human emotions.

Adriana-Viorela Gheban’s paper is concerned with teacher training. Approaching an intercultural and interlinguistic standpoint, the author analyses some testimonies of the sectionaries of 1931 and 1939 of the Normal School of Bouzaréa who exercised their profession in Algeria.

In their contribution entitled Shared Emotion in the Indian and Romanian Cultural Space, Cristina Berariu and Andrea Peterlicean explore gender-related issues such as traditional stereotypes and discrimination in the portrayal of Romanian and Indian women. Along with shared traditional values, similar tendencies are found as regards the change in the image of the modern woman as illustrated in advertising.

Emotion, manifested by various means of expressing language, pervades all the fields of linguistics, including specialized discourses, initially considered to be precise, neutral, objective, rigid. Gabriela Toma (Bănuţoiu)’s study aims to approach the emotional dimension of the scientific and technical discourse, illustrated by examples extracted from the Romanian textbooks for French as a foreign language.

Domnita Tomescu’s scientific contribution surveys the beginnings of the travel literature from the first half of the 19th century as they represented the diffusion in the Romanian space of the occidental foreign toponyms, especially those of socio-cultural notoriety. The literary use of foreign place names has led to the emergence of variants adapted to the specificity of the Romanian language (exonyms). The process of adoption consisted in two phases: firstly, a change of names and a diversification of the foreign forms, followed by the tendency of unification by returning to the original forms.

In her paper, Diana Costea focuses upon the narrative techniques in J.M.G. Le Clézio’s travel stories. The author speaks about a fiction that derives its elements from the travel story, given the fact that the travel story uses the first-person narrative, while the novel uses the third person. In his travel stories, it is identified an instability of the enunciator, but also a very original temporality, marked by uncertainty.

Motivation at Play in Institutional Contexts – metaphorical reasoning and representation represents the topic that Maria-Ionela Neagu and Daniela Chiru approach by advocating a cognitive perspective inspired by the Conceptual Metaphor Theory. Drawing on recent research, they introduce LEGO® Serious Play® methodology as a creative problem solving technique within institutional contexts, a hands-on experience involving substantive self-disclosure that leads ←14 | 15→to improved interpersonal relationships. The workshop conducted by Daniela Chiru as a certified facilitator focused upon (de)motivational factors at work, as well as upon the cognitive and motivational dimensions of emotions.


Auden, W. H., and Isherwood, C. 1939. Journey to a War. Milton Book Project. Available at http://archive.org/details/JourneyToAWar.

Coelho, P. 1988. The Alchemist. London: Harper Collins.

Freud, Sigmund. 1912. “On the Universal Tendency to Debasement in the Sphere of Love (Contributions to the Psychology of Love II).” In Standard Edition of the Complete Works Vol. XI. London: Hogarth Press.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2020 (September)
Journey motivation intercultural identity representation space multimodality gender legitimization temporality self-development
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2020. 276 pp., 10 fig. b/w, 3 tables.

Biographical notes

Maria-Ionela Neagu (Volume editor)

Maria-Ionela Neagu is Associate Professor in the Philology Department of Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti and a committed researcher whose major fields of study range from English Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis, Argumentation Theory and Cognitive Semantics to Applied Linguistics and ELT Methodology. She has published widely in reputed academic journals and proceedings of national and international conferences.


Title: Voyage and Emotions across Genres
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