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date: 18 September 2021

p. 292. The journeying selflocked

p. 292. The journeying selflocked

  • Laura Marcus

Abstract

There is a close connection between the rise of autobiography in the late 18th and early 19th century and the growing fascination with travel for its own sake, or for the sake of self-development. ‘The journeying self’ explains that with the rise of European Romanticism, Rousseau’s celebration of walking, Goethe’s Italian Journey, his fiction of Wilhelm Meister’s Wanderjahre, and his autobiography, and Wordsworth ‘wandering’ in the Lake District initiate a pattern of links between life-writing and travel, which continued through the American ‘road trip’ and more recent ‘urban walking’ and the literature of landscape. The autobiographical writings of Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, and Alfred Kazin are discussed.

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