Not just travel writing: an interdisciplinary reading of the work of Bruce Chatwin

Featherstone, K., 2000. Not just travel writing: an interdisciplinary reading of the work of Bruce Chatwin. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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In this thesis, I make a contribution to Chatwin scholarship by taking a view of his oeuvre as being thematically coherent. I give a reading of identity formation in his work: marking a departure from much other criticism, which has tended either to consider his texts in isolation, or to make comparisons between them and other literary texts. The thesis is innovative in the discipline of literary studies for its use of interdisciplinary materials to offer close readings. Chatwin has most frequently been categorized as a travel writer, and in this thesis I argue that due to the diverse nature of his writing, which includes fiction, reportage and autobiography as well as depictions of travel, criticism of his work only in relation to questions of literary genre is limited, and does not articulate the thematic coherence of Chatwin's work.

Chapter One deals with the problematic issue of genre. In Chapter Two, I examine the authorial strategies of realist and reflective ethnography, and examine Chatwin's authority as a narrator in the light of this work. In Chapters Three and Four, I establish further inter-disciplinary comparisons by examining theories of globalization and reflexive modernization. Again, I offer readings of Chatwin's work which identify the same processes in literary texts as are described in the theoretical material. In Chapter Five, I examine the opposition of collecting and nomadism in the light of theoretical work in the fields of collector psychology and consumer research. Throughout the thesis, the close readings of Chatwin's work focus on the theme of identity formation, both of characters and narrator. The conclusion proposes other possibilities for interdisciplinarity, and for the reading of both theoretical and literary texts.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Featherstone, K.
Date: 2000
ISBN: 9781369312942
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 27 Aug 2020 15:11
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2023 10:41

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