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Travel Writing as a Dialectic

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The creation of a global community, international relationship building, and identity construction through travel has existed for almost every audience in the form of reports from travelers to their native audience. In this paper, I discuss the resolution of how

The creation of a global community, international relationship building, and identity construction through travel has existed for almost every audience in the form of reports from travelers to their native audience. In this paper, I discuss the resolution of how an individual self is formed not solely from self-knowledge and reflection, but instead from a dialectic of themselves as singular beings within communities encountered by traveling. The dialectic model I use is that of "the dialectic of solitude" (Paz, 1985, p. 195) - it is the dialectic needed and enacted when a traveler learns of themselves through communion with all that travel entails - new environments, culture shock, and encounters with novel experiences and people - that all solitary individuals inherently search for. It culminates in the production of a written product, and the need to share their self-development with an audience. Ultimately, travel writing, as the product of the traveler's experience, is the manifestation of, and represents, the dialectic of solitude among individual and cultural identity formation.

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Date Created
2017-05