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Balkan Departures: Travel Writing from South-Eastern Europe

Balkan Departures: Travel Writing from South-Eastern Europe

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ISBN: 9781845457884    Publisher: Berghahn Books Year of publishing: 2010     Format:  Paperback No of Pages: 182        
In writings about travel, the Balkans appear most often as a place travelled to. Western accounts of the Balkans revel in the different and the exotic, the violent and the primitive traits that serve (according...Read more
In writings about travel, the Balkans appear most often as a place travelled to. Western accounts of the Balkans revel in the different and the exotic, the violent and the primitive traits that serve (according to many commentators) as a foil to self-congratulatory definitions of the West as modern, progressive and rational. However, the Balkans have also long been travelled from. The region's writers have given accounts of their travels in the West and elsewhere, saying something in the process about themselves and their place in the world. The analyses presented here, ranging from those of 16th-century Greek humanists to 19th-century Romanian reformers to 20th-century writers, socialists and 'men-of-the-world', suggest that travellers from the region have also created their own identities through their encounters with Europe. Consequently, this book challenges assumptions of Western discursive hegemony, while at the same time exploring Balkan 'Occidentalisms'.
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About the author:
Wendy Bracewell is Senior Lecturer in History and Deputy Director at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London, and Director... Read more
Wendy Bracewell is Senior Lecturer in History and Deputy Director at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London, and Director of the AHRC research project 'East Looks West' on East European travel writing in Europe. She has published extensively on the Balkans and on travel writing. Alex Drace-Francis is Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Liverpool. He is the author of The Making of Modern Romanian Culture (2006) and of many articles on Romanian and Balkan history, historiography and literature.
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Review:
...offers a set of unique perspectives on how travel writers have imagined, experienced and represented other people and other places. It shifts attention to the voices and agency of travellers...Read more
...offers a set of unique perspectives on how travel writers have imagined, experienced and represented other people and other places. It shifts attention to the voices and agency of travellers from the Balkans and the ways in which they have experienced and described the sometimes strange and exotic West... Most fascinating the multi-faceted trajectories of expectations, perceptions and imageries which reverse the standard hegemonic gaze from West to East." * Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London
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