Under Eastern Eyes
A Comparative Introduction to East European
Travel Writing on Europe, 1550–2000
East Looks West, Vol. 2
Wendy Bracewell, Senior Lecturer in History,
School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University
Alex Drace-Francis, lecturer in Modern European
History, School of History, University of Liverpool
Twelve studies explicitly developed to elaborate on
travel writing published in book form by east Europeans
travelling in Europe from ca. 1550 to 2000. How did
east Europeans have positioned themselves with relation
to the notion of Europe, and how has the genre of travel
writing served as a means of exploring and disseminating
A truly comparative and collective work with a substantial
introductory study, the book has taken full advantage
of the interdisciplinary and comparative potential of
the team of project scholars working in the different
national literatures, from different disciplinary perspectives.
This is the second volume of a three-part set
of East Looks West. Vol. 1. Orientations.
An Anthology of East European Travel Writing on Europe.
Vol. 3. A Bibliography
of East European Travel Writing on Europe.
Foreword, Wendy Bracewell, Alex Drace-Francis;
1. Towards a natural history of east European travel
writing, Alex Drace-Francis; 2. The travel
narrative as a (literary) genre, David Chirico;
3. The limits of Europe in east European travel
writing, Wendy Bracewell; 4 ‘They are
laughing at us’: Hungarian travellers and early
modern European identity, Graeme Murdock, 5.
Travels through the Slav world, Wendy Bracewell;
6. The Odyssey of national discovery: Hungarians
in Hungary and abroad, 1750 – 1850, Irina
V. Popova-Nowak; 7. European identity and Romantic
irony: Juliusz Słowacki’s journey to Greece,
Maria Kalinowska; 8. Metaphor and monumentality:
the travels of Nicolae Iorga, Andi Mihalache; 9.
Oh, to be a European! What Rastko Petrović learnt
in Africa, Zoran Milutinović; 10. Excursions
into national specificity and European identity: Mihail
Sebastian’s interwar travel reportage, Diana
Georgescu; 11. The Cold-War traveller’s gaze:
Jan Lenica’s 1954 sketchbook of London, Katarzyna
Murawska-Muthesius; 12. Images of the West in Bulgarian
travel writing during socialism (1945–1989),
Rossitza Guentcheva; Notes on contributors; Index
"An interesting mix of analyses by practitioners
of different disciplines. A commendable attempt at assessing
the present state of travel writing about east Europe.
The time has come to explore the way different writing
modes, contexts, and publishing strategies contributed
to east European travelers' representations of Europe."
- Slavic Review
"The volume qualifies as a 'comparative' introduction
covering a wide geographical and chronological range
(from early modern history until the end of the bipolar
world order), involving articles that are mostly excellent
studies on their particular topic.
Under Eastern Eyes can be recommended not only
to readers interested in matters of Eastern European
collective identities, since the studies it contains
are also stimulating texts illustrating different methodological
ways to combinee diverse levels of research and interpretation
within the wider field of intellectual history."
- ECE Journal
"An important contribution to European studies
conceived in the broadest possible sense. They should
find room in university and personal libraries next
to other recent efforts to write and map the literary
and cultural histories of Central and Eastern Europe."
- Slavic and East European Journal
"Commentators on the travel genre must likewise
be selective in view of the fast growing bulk of diverse
critical work on it. The book under review testifies
to the widening scope of research of this kind. It focuses
on East European travel writing and, as its editors
point out in their Foreword, is the first work of criticism
to analyse it in a systematic fashion, thus
filling gaps in both the study of travel writing and
in research into the development of personal and
collective identities in the old continents
One of the purposes behind Under Eastern Eyes is to
introduce much needed clarity into the analysis of European
cultural mapping, an area of interdisciplinary inquiry
that has been developing with exceptional vigour since
the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the
disintegration of the former Yugoslavia.
Under Eastern Eyes brings together different strands
of inquiry, ranging from genre criticism and narratology,
through postcolonial theory and its critique, to imagology,
anthropology and sociology, and this, together with
the fresh insights it introduces into the academic study
of travel writing, is among its indisputable merits."
- Slavonic and East European Review
"Nearly all of the travelers discussed in this
volume, from seventeenth-century Hungarian students
ot the Reformed Church to Bulgarians who ventured west
during the Cold War, seem preoccupied with their own
Europeanness and where their homelands fit within an
imagined geography of Europe.
The editors deserve high praise for a volume with a
well-defined subject, common research questions, and
a coherent argument about imagined geographies and Europeanness.
The accompanying bibliography and the editors' contributing
essays reveal a deep knowledge of eastern European travel
writing that has resulted from many, many hours of careful
research." - Austrian History Yearbook
"This interesting and rich volume considers the
east European as traveler--in particular, as a traveler
about Europe, one who has produced travel writing that
sheds light on what it means to be European. It represents
part of a conscientious attempt to lay the foundations
for all future study of the phenomenon.
A major step in the direction of laying a solid foundation
for the systematic study of east European travel writing.
The opening three chapters neatly set the stage for
further investigations. They, and the other pieces,
should be welcome additions in courses dealing with
travel and tourism as well as depictions of East and
West." - HABSBURG,
"Ein scharfsinniges, überlegt komponiertes
Buch, das auf eindrücklichen Literaturstudien fusst.
Die Fallstudien eröffnen zwar keinen brisant neuen
Einsichten in den östlichen Blick auf 'Europe',
vertiefen und erweitern aber bekannte Aspekte des Ost-West-Verhältnisses
um reiche und nicht zuletzt auch stilistisch brilliante
Facetten. Der Sammelband und die umfassende Bibliographie
seien all jenen empfohlen, die sich für einen umfassenden
kontext, in den der mobile Mensch eingebettet is, interressieren."
für Geschichte Osteuropas
ISBN 978-963-9776-11-1 cloth $50.00 / €45.00 /
ISBN 978-963-9776-09-8 ö (number of the set)