Doctor of Philosophy
School of Creative Arts
Borthwick, John, Travelling writing, writing travelling: the text as journey, the journey as text, PhD thesis, School of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong, 1991. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/560
Travelling Writing, Writing Travelling travels the writing which writes of travelling. This thesis is seen as an investigative journey itself, while journeys are seen as resembling texts. Part One's point of departure is to question several expectations of formal thesis-writing. The paper proposes that in travel narratives (a) some constituent discourses cluster around 'the quest' as theme and structuring device; and (b) the quest has two dimensions, inner and outer.
Part Two, 'Travelling Writing' covers broad issues in travel literature: metaphors of 'journey as text' and 'text as journey'; genre, definition, variations and fiction; travelling in general and travellers (adventurers, anthropologists, explorers, tourists, nomads, women travellers). Travel writers are discussed, as is 'an incomplete history' of travel writing, with attention to Romanticism, American, and British work.
In Part Three, 'Writing Travelling' several major constituent discourses of travel narratives are examined: the Diary, Autobiography, the Other (in terms of imperialism, place, tourism, topography), Exoticism (as spectacle, erotica, nostalgia, anthropology, tourism, etc.), and the Quest (sublime quest, myth, and the double quest).
Part Four, 'Australian Travel Writing,' considers aspects of 'writing Australia,' Aboriginality, the Outback and accounts by Australian authors. Seven Australian travel narratives - one per decade, 1920s to 1980s - are discussed at length and in relation to the five nominated constituent discourses and the 'double quest' narrative. The texts are interrogated as follows: Who are the heroes of this work? What are they doing here? What is the nature of the outer and inner search? Are the various goals achieved? Is there a 'narrative quest' involving the textual representation of reality? Is the reader required to actively negotiate meaning and text?
The Conclusion summanses the answers to the above questions, and evaluates the earlier propositions. Within the limited sample of Australian texts the constituent discourses are seen to cluster around 'the quest,' with their quests having inner and outer dimensions supported to varying extents by those discourses. Discussion of the idea of 'the travel writer as shaman,' in terms of that writer's analogous role of 'messenger between two worlds,' concludes but does not end this text's journey.