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An Anthology of East European Travel Writing, ca. 1550–2000

East Looks West, Vol. 1

Edited by
Wendy Bracewell, Senior Lecturer in History, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London

Excerpts from over 100 travel writings of Europe, from 16th c. pilgrimage diaries thru early specimens of modern tourism accounts to 20th c. impressions from the other side of the Iron Curtain… By focusing on east European travel writings, this work enlarges both the documentary base and the terms of the debate over a rich source for discussions of identities and mentalities; knowledge and power; gender; and cultural change.

The texts – chosen for their relevance, but literary criteria have also been taken into account – illustrate the variety of ways in which east Europeans have written about the West. Most of the material is presented in English for the first time or, in a few cases, rescued from dusty oblivion in long out-of-print volumes. Each text is introduced with a short passage placing it in context.


East European Travel Writing: A Guide to Orientation I. Europe in All its Variety (16th–18 th centuries) Words for the Traveller Variations: Pilgrims, Emissaries, Scholars and Adventurers II. Voyages of Discovery (18th-mid-19 th centuries) On Travel Writing Discoveries in Europe Greeks: from the Latin West to Europe South Slav travellers: Light and darkness, East and West From Moldavia and Wallachia Hungarian reformers From Poland, before and after partition Domopis: Travel at Home Domopis: Slav Travels Variations: Three Women III. On the Tourist Track (mid-19th century–1940s) Tourists and Travel Writing The European Metropolis Exoticism and the Self Domopis: Know your Country Why Keep Writing about Travel? Variations IV. Europe Divided (1945-1989) Tasks of Travel Writing Domopis: Fraternal Travels Cold War Variations V. A Single Europe? (since 1989) Notes for Further Reading

"Bracewell's anthology offers a whirlwind tour of almost five centuries and many more countries and languages. What emerges after reading the book from cover to cover is a symbolic map of Europe which undergoes clear changes over time, but which also glitters invitingly yet elusively at any given historical moment. The selections are so carefully chosen that style, stance, and key questions are presented in anywhere from half a page to five pages (the latter is reserved for literary gems). The translations are eminently readable.

In short, this book is an enjoyable and informative read, a good resource for scholars of Europe, and exceptionally well suited for use in the classroom." - Slavic and East European Journal

"Wendy Bracewell's anthology makes it possible to imagine a dialogue between Western and Eastern European travellers. In order to represent 20 languages Bracewell collaborated with a team of editors and translators. The remarkable variety of selections in the anthology includes both published and unpublished sources. The book consists of five chronologically sequenced sections, each of which includes clusters that highlight themes or itineraries characteristic of the given period." - Studies in Travel Writing

"The reader may find literary gems, presenting insights on customs, mentalities, cultural differences, gender, and class, as well as describing the scenery of the visited land. Encompassing both the nation and the world, these perceptive glimpses, as well as descriptions of cities and terrain of European countries, place in focus political and cutlural issues that create the East-West apposition - for example liminality, inferiority, and practice of justice. Summing up: recommended." - Choice

"Es gereicht dem Werk sehr zum Vorteil, dass es nicht nur geographisch und chronologisch gegliedert wurde, sondern übergreifend auch thematisch. Die Herausgeberin überzeugt mit ihrer Strukturierung des Buches gleich zu Beginn, indem sie die „Orientierungen“ mit Texten aus dem 16. bis 18. Jahrhundert eröffnet, die sich als Ratgeber für oder gegen das Reisen an sich aussprechen.
Die Herausgeberin leistet mit dieser Anthologie, wie mit der Trilogie insgesamt, einen wichtigen Beitrag zu den lebhaften Diskussionen über Mentalitäten, Identitäten, Empfindungen der Zugehörigkeit, über Wissen und Macht, Kulturtransfer und kulturellen Wandel und bereichert die Kulturwissenschaften um seltene oder gar unbekannte Dokumente. Die Trilogie „East looks West“ kann nur wärmstens empfohlen werden". - Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas

424 pages
ISBN 978-963-9776-10-4 cloth $50.00 / €45.00 / £35.00

This is the first volume of a three-part set of East Looks West. Vol. 2. Undern Eastern Eyes. A Comparative Introduction to East European Travel Writing on Europe. Vol. 3. A Bibliography of East European Travel Writing on Europe.

ISBN 978-963-9776-09-8 ö (number of the set)