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Flâneurs Without Borders: Benjamin And The Cultural Politics Of Travel Writing

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author begins by showing how the tradition of Critical Theory contains a number of models for reflecting on modern travel that can be applied to the criticism of travel writing. The author then explores the figure of the modern traveler and Edward Said's critique of Orientalism, a critique that resonates with Horkheimer's and Adorno's criticism of Homer's Odyssey. The author reviews and revises the critique of Said, Adorno and Horkheimer by offering brief readings of a few selected literary texts. More helpful in gaining a better understanding of important countercurrents in contemporary travel writing is some of Benjamin's thoughts on the matter. In conclusion, the author hopes to show how these reflections might turn out to be useful for rethinking the connections between travel, travel writing and the contours of new forms of global ecumenical consciousness.

Keywords: Adorno; Benjamin's thoughts; Critical Theory; Edward Said; Horkheimer; travel writing



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