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Journeys in the Sun: Travel Literature and Desire in the Balearic Islands (1903–1939)

Second edition

Eduard Moyà

The Mediterranean and the Balearic Islands have always enticed the minds of British travellers. In the first years of the twentieth century, the tourist industry made the islands accessible for a wide number of visitors, who depicted them in pictures and words. In the following decades, however, the image of the islands shifted and developed considerably from a quiet and pastoral winter resort to a popular destination for pleasure-seeking tourists and "sea ‘n’ sun" tourism. Taking these last representations as a starting point, this book travels back in time to explain how, by whom and why these images were created/shifted/developed to articulate the ultimate place of leisure and pleasure signified in today’s Majorca and Ibiza. The depiction and the evolution of topics such as ‘travel’, ‘tourism’, ‘authenticity’, ‘landscape’, ‘South’, ‘North’, ‘margin’, ‘centre’, ‘exoticism’, ‘people’, ‘costumes’ and ‘customs’ are examined in order to establish their contribution to the formulation of the ‘Balearic paradise’ in the first third of the twentieth century. This book will help the reader to understand the imagery associated with the islands today.

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Chapter 1. Travel Writing in the South: On the Production of Other Places

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CHAPTER 1.

TRAVEL WRITING IN THE SOUTH:

ON THE PRODUCTION OF OTHER PLACES

Traditionally, literary criticism has given scarce attention to travel literature as a genre. In the last forty years of literary and cultural criticism, however, travel accounts have proven to be—parallel to their historical, poetical, mythological and scientific aspects—a valuable source of information in the way audiences perceive ‘exotic’ landscapes, different settings, sceneries encountered, and foreign populations. In general terms, it has been a way to mediate between ourselves and the Other.

This book looks beyond travel accounts to compare the representations of the Other (its space and customs) with those of the observer. In order to do so, I deploy the analytical tools of imagology, which has been shown to be especially effective in fields concerning travel literature and the study of national stereotypes. It is not the veracity or the falsity of these images that concerns this study. Rather, the key point is the understanding of what causes them, what gives them authenticity, the foundings on which they are based. The analyst has to be aware that the eyes of the traveller always look from a certain perspective, from a definite set of ideas that shape and profile the subject observed. These perspectives and ideas, ever changing promontories from which we observe a metamorphosed landscape, are the ones that concern this research. The intention of this study is not only to evaluate the Other in the...

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