The subjective nature of travel writing has always been part of its appeal

“For the personal, subjective nature of [travel] literature has always been one of its chief and most endearing elements, no matter how often some readers and critics through the ages have tried to eliminate it from all travel accounts as undesirable, or have failed to find it except in those published after the supposed rise of something called “romanticism.” Even in the eighteenth-century critical conflict over the personal and objective in travel literature, as well as the definition, often published, that attempted to limit, even eliminate, the subjective, simply proves the point that, if the personal element had not already been so popular and so much desired, the purists – found in any age – would not have been so insistent on muting it and stressing the factual content of the account. The most widely read of Renaissance travelers were the subjective ones, and in the eighteenth century Johnson was obviously voting with the majority when he found Boswell’s first-person narrative of his own experiences more attractive than the historical-geographical section he added to his book on Corsica.”
–Percy G. Adams, Travel Literature and the Evolution of the Novel(1983)

Posted by | Comments Off on The subjective nature of travel writing has always been part of its appeal  | October 14, 2013
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

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