An Anthology of East European Travel Writing, ca. 1550–2000
$111.00 / €95.00 / £90.00
Publication date: 
424 pages

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.

This is the first volume of the three-part set East Looks West. Vol. 2. Under Eastern Eyes. A Comparative Introduction to East European Travel Writing on Europe, 1550–2000; Vol. 3. A Bibliography of East European Travel Writing on Europe.

East European Travel Writing: A Guide to Orientation

I. Europe in All its Variety (16th–18th centuries)

Words for the Traveller
Bartolomæus Georgius, A phrasebook for captives (1544)
Joannes Sambucus, Against travel (1564)
David Froelich, Instructions for travel: Ars apodemica (1639)
Mihály Nadányi, Paternal advice, 1656
Anonymous Proskynetarion, He who has this book in his home, has a great treasure, 1742

Variations: Pilgrims, Emissaries, Scholars and Adventurers
Nicander Nucius, Journey to the Occident, 1546
Antonius Verantius, A land so foreign to ours, 1553
Anonymous Pole, Pilgrimage diary, 1595
Simēon of Poland, An Armenian pilgrimage to Rome, 1611
Márton Szepsi Csombor, Europe’s Diversity: England (1620)
Daniel Strejc Vetter, Iceland (1638)
Osman-aga of Temesvar, Escape from the infidels, 1724
Vasyl' Hryhorovych-Bars'kyi, A defence of pilgrimage, 1724
Marco Antonio Cazzaiti, A Venetian Greek in the Ottoman Balkans, 1742
Parteniĭ Pavlovich, Sinful sufferings, 1749
Constantin Hurmuzaki, Faking exile on a Greek island, 1764
Juwenalis Charkiewicz, A Franciscan’s journey from Lithuania to Spain, 1768
Ruggiero Boscovich, An ‘Astronomical Voyage’ through the Apennines (1770)
Mauritius Benyowsky, Exile to Siberia (1790)

II. Voyages of Discovery (18th-mid-19th centuries)

On Travel Writing
Leopold Berchtold, The Inquiries of Patriotic Travellers (1789)
Milota Polák, Reasons for travel writing (1821)
Krystyn Lach Szyrma, ‘Miraculous and absurd’ accounts of the Sclavonians (1823)
Polyxena Wesselényi, Writing as a woman (1842)
Lőrinc Tóth, Up off your cushions! (1844)
Dragutin Galac, On (domestic) travel (1846)

Discoveries in Europe
Greeks: from the Latin West to Europe
Ioannis Pringos, Amsterdam Chronicle, 1760s-70s
Stamates Petrou, Letters from Amsterdam, 1770s
Adamantios Korais, Letter from Paris to Smyrna, 1788

South Slav travellers: Light and darkness, East and West
Dositej Obradović, Educational pilgrimages (1788)
Gerasim Zelić, A representative of Orthodox Dalmatia (1823)

From Moldavia and Wallachia:
Dinicu Golescu, Learning from Enlightened Europe (1826)
Nicolas Soutzo, Geography or class? 1820s

Hungarian reformers:
István Széchenyi, Three things to be learned in England, 1815
Sándor Bölöni Farkas, Questions about Hungary, 1830
Bertalan Szemere, ‘Images of Hungary and the Hungarians’ (1840)

From Poland, before and after partition:
Stanisław August Poniatowski, English education, 1775
August Moszyński, The further we go, the worse things get, 1784-85
Zygmunt Krasiński, London and Messina, 1839
Łucja Rautenstrachowa, Industrial civilization (1841)

Domopis: Travel at Home
Alecu Russo, ‘Fragment from a Journey in Upper Moldavia in 1839’, 1839
Ivan Trnski, Our travellers vs. foreign ones (1839)
Ljubomir Nenadović, Travelling at home, German-style, 1845
Janko Buor, A nationalist pilgrimage (1846)
Emanuel Arnold, On the run in Bohemia, 1849
Gheorghe Sion, Frontier ambivalence (1857)

Domopis: Slav Travels
Jan Potocki, Travels in Search of Slavic Antiquities (1795)
Ján Kollár, Daughters of Slava (1843)
Antun Nemčić, Travel Trifles (1845)
Václav Stanĕk, Railways and Slavs (1846)
Anton Aškerc, Equal to the Russians (1903)
Karel Drož, The idea and practice of a Slavonic travelogue (1907)
Franjo Ksaverski Horvat-Kiš, Sokol excursion (1911)
Václav Karel Krofta, The sea! The sea! (1923)

Variations: Three Women
Dragojla Jarnević, My sphere of activity is too narrow…, 1839–1840
Polyxena Wesselényi, Travels in Italy and Switzerland (1842)
Dora D’Istria, The women of Greece (1863)

III. On the Tourist Track (mid-19th century–1940s)

Tourists and Travel Writing
Albert Pákh, The Hungarian tourist (1855)
Miltiades Vratsanos, The Greek tourist, 1861

Nicolae Filimon, Real Magyars: the complacent tourist (1863)
Ion Codru Drăguşanu, The Transylvanian Pilgrim; the patriotic tourist (1865)
Nicolae Iorga, Recollections from Italy: the anti-tourist (1890)
Ion Caragiale, Letter from Berlin: the ironic tourist, 1905

The European Metropolis
Aleko Konstantinov, American cities and London (1894)
Endre Ady, Letter to Paris (1904)
Josip Lavtižar, If you’ve seen one big city… (1906)
Kallirhoe Parren, Paris for women (1909)
Mihail Sebastian, ‘Letters from Paris: Rue de Lappe’ (1930)
Kostas Ouranis, What a European city used to be, 1939
Prežihov Voranc, No other European city is as dirty, 1939
Jovan Dučić, Back home in Belgrade, after Paris (1940)

Exoticism and the Self
Mihail Kogăliceanu, Comparative orientalisms: Spain and Romania, 1846
Ljubomir Nenadović, Letters from Italy (1869)
Konstantin Jireček, A Czech Slavist in Serbia (1875)
Iaroslav Okunevs’kyi, Outlandish uniforms (1898)
Nicolae Mihăescu-Nigrim, Sketches from Brussels (1906)
Dezső Kosztolányi, Austrian – or worse (1913)
Camil Petrescu, Stamboul for Romanians (1931)
Slavko Batušić, ‘The Barbarian Assault on Paris’ (1932)

Domopis: Know your Country
Liuben Karavelov, Plovdiv (1868)
Fülöp Jákó Imets, Expedition to investigate exotic fellow Hungarians (1870)
Bolesław Prus, No place like home (1875 -78)
DimitriosVikelas, Come to Greece (1885)
Richard Hofmeister, The delights of home (1925)
Lajos Nagy, Darkest Hungary (1932)
Nikos Kazantzakis, Journey to the Morea (1937)

Why Keep Writing about Travel?
Josef Svatopluk Machar, Across the Alps; why write about Venice? (1907)
Antun Gustav Matoš, ‘Holidays, 1908’ (1908)
Dezső Kosztolányi, ‘Bittersweet Introduction’ (1927)
M.M Pešić, ‘Our Newest Travel Writers’ (1930)
Mircea Eliade, ‘What We Learn Travelling’ (1933

Octavian Goga, Travel notes: Spain, Milan and Paris, 1913
Mid’hat Frashëri, Albania and Switzerland, 1914
Miroslav Krleža, An Excursion to Russia (1926)
Isidora Sekulić, Letters from Norway (1914, 1951)

IV. Europe Divided (1945–1989)

Tasks of Travel Writing
Fadil Hadžić, Travel writing, then and now (1962)
Teodor Mazilu, ‘To Be or Not to Be a Tourist’ (1973)
Ivan Kušan, The view from a periphery (1986)

Domopis: Fraternal Travels
Stanisław Czernik, A Pole in Bulgaria (1961)
Aleksandar Tišma, ‘Meridians of Central Europe’ (1963)
Vasil Tsonev, Through Europe (1973)
Antonín Jakeš, Cossacks and collective farms (1980)
Miloslav Nevrlý, Carpathian Games (1981, 2006)

Cold War Variations:
Jerzy Stempowski, Waiting for a visa, 1947
Gyula Illyés, Variations à la France (1947)
Mimiki Kranaki, Exile Journal (1950)
Demetres Psathas, ‘The Expatriate Caryatid’ (1951)
Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna, ‘My Holiday in England’, 1957
Zbigniew Herbert, The Barbarian in the Garden (1962)
Josef Hotmar, Venice and Naples: disillusion (1976)
Milica Mićić Dimovska, ‘Austro-Hungarian Travel Brochure’, 1987

V. A Single Europe? (since 1989)

Bohumil Hrabal, ‘A Pity We Didn’t Burn to Death Instead’ (1990)
Demetres Nollas, ‘Travemünde, Baltic Sea’ (1998)
Vesna Biga, Bus People (1999)
Stefan Borbély, The East European Scholar (2001)
Andrzej Stasiuk, Travelling to Babadag (2004)

Notes for Further Reading

"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."
"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"
"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."
"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."