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On restlessness and patience

On restlessness and patience This article develops a post-structuralist analysis of Bruce Chatwin’sfamous travel narrative The Songlines (1987). This narrative is compellingbecause Chatwin positions his narrator as the cosmopolitan traveller moved by astrong desire to know the world in its difference. The desire that informs traveland travel writing is rarely theorized within the sociological literature ontourism, and yet desire is a fundamental social relation that structures encountersbetween self and other/difference. By analysing the different trajectories of desirewithin Chatwin’s travel narrative we can begin to unravel the socialprocesses that transform the western subject and mediate the embodied experience oftime (as lived temporality). Within The Songlines travel is characterizedby a constant tension between the western subject’s experience ofrestlessness and patience as these embody quite distinctly different notions oftime. Drawing on insights from contemporary phenomenology, psychoanalytic theory andFrench feminism, I analyse the temporal nature of Chatwin’s journeys inorder to theorize the desire that mediates his ambivalent relationship between homeand away. Home is a complex signifier of the feminine (and heterosexual identity)for Chatwin that is also associated with stasis and death as they figure in anoppositional relation to travel as an imagined freedom. This freedom is producedthrough a particularly nostalgic relation to Aboriginal culture as the othernessthat provides the materiality and background for Chatwin’s quest for truthand self certainty as a western subject. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tourist Studies: An International Journal SAGE

On restlessness and patience

Tourist Studies: An International Journal , Volume 4 (1): 16 – Apr 1, 2004

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
1468-7976
eISSN
1741-3206
DOI
10.1177/1468797604053076
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article develops a post-structuralist analysis of Bruce Chatwin’sfamous travel narrative The Songlines (1987). This narrative is compellingbecause Chatwin positions his narrator as the cosmopolitan traveller moved by astrong desire to know the world in its difference. The desire that informs traveland travel writing is rarely theorized within the sociological literature ontourism, and yet desire is a fundamental social relation that structures encountersbetween self and other/difference. By analysing the different trajectories of desirewithin Chatwin’s travel narrative we can begin to unravel the socialprocesses that transform the western subject and mediate the embodied experience oftime (as lived temporality). Within The Songlines travel is characterizedby a constant tension between the western subject’s experience ofrestlessness and patience as these embody quite distinctly different notions oftime. Drawing on insights from contemporary phenomenology, psychoanalytic theory andFrench feminism, I analyse the temporal nature of Chatwin’s journeys inorder to theorize the desire that mediates his ambivalent relationship between homeand away. Home is a complex signifier of the feminine (and heterosexual identity)for Chatwin that is also associated with stasis and death as they figure in anoppositional relation to travel as an imagined freedom. This freedom is producedthrough a particularly nostalgic relation to Aboriginal culture as the othernessthat provides the materiality and background for Chatwin’s quest for truthand self certainty as a western subject.

Journal

Tourist Studies: An International JournalSAGE

Published: Apr 1, 2004

There are no references for this article.