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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 2. Travellers and Tourists: Lost Tracks, Roads and Beaten Paths





This chapter studies the explicit and implicit auto-image (the writing self) of the travellers to the islands and their perception of the activity of travelling, particularly in the first third of the twentieth century. The analysis focuses on three issues. Firstly, this chapter scrutinises the tendency (or lack thereof) by the writers to present their accounts as the result of travel rather than tourism. In this regard, it can be asserted that the creation of a protagonist ‘self ’ is not an innocent activity and leads the reader, in many cases, to witness a process of implicit and explicit auto-construction. Often the travellers adopt assimilating, auto-affirming and mimetic practices together with an occasional exoticisation of the self. This chapter tries to frame the devices deployed in this process. Particular mention is made of the state of travel/tourism on the islands and the writers’ position in that development. It also reveals the extent of the travellers’ conscious or unconscious participation in the incipient industry of tourism.

Secondly, it is interesting to note the discursive inconsistencies between word (expressions of who they are and what they want) and performance (the expression in the text of what they actually do and what they attain). From a narratological viewpoint, such inconsistencies can be understood as the fruit of an unreliable narrator, “whose values, on one or more axes, or whose pictures of the facts of...

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