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Title: Destination USA : William Least Heat-Moon and American travel writing.
Author: Moore Willby, Melissa.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3418 8070
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2001
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Destination USA examines the works of the travel writer William Least Heat-Moon and his place ·in the tradition of American travel writing. The study begins with an overview of the current scholarship and trends within contemporary American travel writing and then moves on to limit and to define its scope. Next an outline and an in-depth explanation of the structure and thematics of such works is presented. Contemporary American travel writing has two dominant structures: the on-the~road motif and the intimate journey Of~ place. Woven into these two structures are three main themes common to both. The first theme focuses on the role of selfdiscovery in travel writing. The second theme highlights the role of travel writing in discovering hidden or marginalised American voices. The third theme centres around travel writing's use as a warning about or an assessment of the current American situation. Next a historical overview of the roots of American travel writing is undertaken which highlights the role it has played in the foundation of the country as well as providing the basis for those structures and themes outlined above. From there the dissertation moves onto an analysis of the works of William Least Heat-Moon: Blue Highways (1982), PrairyErth (1991) and River-Horse (1999). Heat-Moan's works provide an effective focal point for the understanding of contemporary American travel writing as a whole. They are forward looking and experimental while retaining a continuity with the tradition of American travel writing. An in-depth analysis of his trilogy on the American landscape is supported by previously unpublished interviews by the author. His works are then examined to uncover how they point to travel writing's elision with naturalist prose and work together to form a multifaceted vision of America. !
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Self discovery; Identity; Blue Highways; America