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December 10, 2012

One of the flaws of travel books is the assumption of national stereotypes

“I am not sure I believe in national characters. I think it is nonsense to talk about the French being like this or the Italians like that. I agree that one of the flaws of the travel book is this assumption that there is a national stereotype. What I do like in the English travel writing tradition, and what you find in Robert Byron and Colin Thubron, is the reading of the monuments of the past to interpret the present, which seems to me a different thing. There are continuities with the past in any country and I think that is a very interesting game to play.”
–William Dalrymple interviewed by Tim Youngs, Studies in Travel Writing, 2005

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