ABSTRACT

My reading of Edward W. Said's important book Orientalism l has occurred in the context of an inquiry into travel literature and its modes of representation. I come to it preoccupied by such questions as the following: What are some of the principal forms that travel literature has taken? What techniques of reportage and representation does it employ? What happens when a writer encodes atomized features of an alien culture into the linguistic codes and conventional narrative forms of a culture of reference? Does a natural language itself set up subject/object relations that are also power relations? Are we so positioned by a given historical and geopolitical conjuncture that misrepresentation is a structural necessity or is there a place of truth?