Constructing Male Narrative Personae in British Travel Books, from the Beginnings to the Second World War
Chapter One Travel Books as Objects of Scholarly Interest Travel Books and Travel Writing: Generic Issues in Synchronic and Diachronic Perspectives The Anti-Generic Bias of Anglophone Scholarship Charles Forsdick—himself a professor of French Literature at Liverpool University and the author of numerous articles and four books on travel literature in French— wrote in New Approaches to Twentieth-Century Travel Literature in French: Genre, History, Theory (2006) that: It has been claimed that anglophone scholarship, heavily influenced by postcolonialism and notions of (neo)colonial discourse, has focused on travel literature's ideological taintedness to the detriment of considerations of the text's literariness, whereas many francophone scholars, drawing on narratology and genre theory, tend to emphasize literary typology to the detriment of understanding what Edward Said has usefully dubbed the “text's worldliness.”1 And by quickly adding that “careful consideration of form and genre can in fact enable reflection on the textualization of travel,”2 he expressed his conviction that a middle of the road approach, avoiding the extremities of anglophone and francophone scholarship, and at the same time drawing strongly on both of them is possible; he was to put this into practise in his book. I, in turn, believe that such an approach can be fruitfully employed to trace the developments of the travel book as a genre. Considerations in relation to forms, history, generic definitions and generic boundaries have never been at the centre of the attention of anglophone scholars since they started writing in a more or less regular...
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