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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Travelling the desert : desert travel writing as indicator species

Graulund, Rune (2006) Travelling the desert : desert travel writing as indicator species. Studies in Travel Writing, 10 (2). pp. 141-159.

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Abstract

Travel writing, like so much else, is allegedly succumbing to a postmodern distrust of 'the real'. Some now find it hard to distinguish it from fiction. This article considers the possibility that desert travel writing in particular has, for a long time, furnished the best evidence for such a claim, nurtured as it is by an almost featureless environment that seems to drive authors towards self-referentiality. If this is so, desert travel writing may be said to anticipate developments in the genre as a whole. However, as the work of Robyn Davidson, Martin Buckley, Jonathan Raban and others suggest, the desert has also played a key role as a place of refuge for those seeking authenticity. Perhaps in this respect, too, the subgenre has something important to tell us about travel writing in general.