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Mexican Travel Writing


Thea Pitman

This book is a detailed study of salient examples of Mexican travel writing from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. While scholars have often explored the close relationship between European or North American travel writing and the discourse of imperialism, little has been written on how postcolonial subjects might relate to the genre. This study first traces the development of a travel-writing tradition based closely on European imperialist models in mid-nineteenth-century Mexico. It then goes on to analyse how the narrative techniques of postmodernism and the political agenda of postcolonialism might combine to help challenge the genre’s imperialist tendencies in late twentieth-century works of travel writing, focusing in particular on works by writers Juan Villoro, Héctor Perea and Fernando Solana Olivares.
Contents: Foreign travel accounts of Mexico – The ‘travel chronicle’ genre, costumbrismo/paisajismo, Mikhail Bakhtin’s ‘chronotope of the road’ model – Imperialist tendencies in travel writing – The nineteenth-century tradition of Mexican travel writing – Postmodernism, postcolonialism and contemporary Mexican travel writing: the ‘chronotope of the net’ model – Virtual and archival travel writing – Juan Villoro, Palmeras de la brisa rápida: un viaje a Yucatán (1989) – Héctor Perea, México: crónica en espiral (1996) – Fernando Solana Olivares, Oaxaca: crónicas sonámbulas (1994).