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Travellers' Tales of Wonder

Chatwin, Naipaul, Sebald

Simon Cooke

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Exploring travellers’ tales of wonder in contemporary literature, this study challenges a sensibility of disenchantment with travel. It reassesses travel writing as an aesthetically and ethically innovative form in contemporary international literature, and demonstrates the crucial role of wonder in the travel narratives of writers such as Bruce Chatwin, V.S. Naipaul, and W.G. Sebald. Their ‘travellers’ tales of wonder’ are read as a challenge to the hubris of thinking the world too well known, and an invitation to encounter the world – including its most troubling histories – with a sense of wonder.

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About the Author

Research Fellow in English Literature, Edinburgh University. He holds a BA in English from the University of Hull and an MA in English: Issues in Modern Culture, from UCL, and gained his PhD at Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany, in 2010. His research and teaching interests are broad, with an emphasis on modern and contemporary English and comparative literature, and a specialist interest in the literature of travel.

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