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 Travel Writing once more :)

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Laura
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Dictionary Definition : Laura: Also known as "Solveig", her internet pseudonym, this female specimen of Homo Sapiens founded the Literary Cabinet world. One can spot "Laura," by the fun she has grading papers and drinking coffee, with triple coffee consumption ever since she quit smoking. Like another species, Homo Sapiens Zarasahanous, she enjoys picking at the extreme Twilight fans. This specimen is particularly fond of procrastinating, as most of the other species of the Literary Cabinet Universe are.
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PostSubject: Travel Writing once more :)   Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:14 pm

So, I got my topic approved: I'll be writing my final thesis about British Women travelling in the Orient and Africa in the 18th and 19th century. Yay!

So far, so good. I've spent a fortune on primary sources (i.e. travelogues), and am now working my way through them. And here's the twist: Right now I am reading "Travels in Persia and Kurdistan" by Isabella Bird. Nothing against Ms Bird in principle, but that woman can't bloody write! She describes stuff. Landscapes. People. Landscapes again. The exact price of a horse in some tiny village between Baghdad and Teheran. Then landscapes for a change. Her whining dragoman. The oppression of women. Landscapes.

And that's it: She merely describes these things. She does not judge, she does not express any opinion except when things are wrong with herself. One place she lodges in is described as "not quite as handsome as we had been assured" - meaning they freaking had to shovel the snow out of her bed before she could lie down in it. But she does not say anything about it. She does not comment on anything, she merely states facts! It's driving me mad. I mean, there's this one scene in which Armenian women are allowed to sit on chairs and talk, and Moslem women in the very same room must sit on the floor and keep their mouths shut. And Ms Bird doesn't even say as much as "I was puzzled" or "I have problems understanding the customs in this place". She just changes the subject.

How am I going to write a paper about someone so absolutely indifferent to things? HOW? Question Question Question Question Question Question Question Question Question Question Question Question Question Question Question Question

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Paul
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PostSubject: Re: Travel Writing once more :)   Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:42 pm

Just describe all the pretty hills and valleys she saw. Why describe pertinent cultural modes in a travelogue when you have all those landscapes! lol!

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Laura
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Number of posts : 2387
Age : 32
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Dictionary Definition : Laura: Also known as "Solveig", her internet pseudonym, this female specimen of Homo Sapiens founded the Literary Cabinet world. One can spot "Laura," by the fun she has grading papers and drinking coffee, with triple coffee consumption ever since she quit smoking. Like another species, Homo Sapiens Zarasahanous, she enjoys picking at the extreme Twilight fans. This specimen is particularly fond of procrastinating, as most of the other species of the Literary Cabinet Universe are.
Registration date : 2008-12-02

PostSubject: Re: Travel Writing once more :)   Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:14 am

Good news: Yesterday I read "Letters from the Orient" by Mary Wortley Montagu, and those actually make for good reading. It sort of feels like 18th century chicklit, set in Constantinople (and other places), and thankfully, Lady Montagu actually expresses feelings and judgments! Very Happy A definite recommendation for anyone interested in the nonfiction travelogue field.

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