Over the past century, narratives of travel changed in response to modernist and postmodernist literary invation, world wars, the demise of European empires, and the effect of new techlogies and media on travel experience. Yet existing critical studies have t examined fully how the genre changes or theorized why. This study investigates the evolution of Anglophone travel narrative from the 1920s to the present, addressing the work of canical authors such as T. E. Lawrence, W. H. Auden and Rebecca West; best-sellers by Peter Fleming and H. V. Morton; and texts by Colin Thubron, Andrew X. Pham, Rosemary Mahoney, and others. It argues that the genre's most important transformation lies in its reinvention as a means of narrating the subjective experience of violence, cultural upheaval, and decline. It will interest scholars and students of travel writing, modernism and postmodernism, English and American literature, and the history and sociology of travel.
Stacy Burton is an associate professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her work on modernist fiction, travel narrative and literary theory has appeared in Modern Language Quarterly, Modern Philology, Comparative Literature, Genre, and elsewhere.