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Title: 'A shifting question-mark' : representations of Central Asia in modern British travel writing
Author: Flory, Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 2954
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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My thesis seeks to examine the representation of Central Asia in the work of British travel writers from Robert Byron in 1937 to Philip Glazebrook, Geoffrey Moorhouse and Col in Thubron, who have been writing about Central Asia since the 1990's. The introduction explores the ways Central Asia has been represented over time and how this is referenced by the writers in my study, who create an epistemology of travel as they seek to understand and represent Central Asia. In Chapter 1 the history of Central Asia, the conceptualisation of the area and how the writers I am studying engage with this is explored. Chapter 2 analyses the work of Robert Byron tracing the development of his use of a fragmented, diaristic style to convey pace, immediacy and the experience of the fragmentary nature of the traveller's experience and also to create a liminal space into which the reader is drawn. I argue that this stylistic innovation marks out The Road to Oxiana as a seminal travel text and also links to the work of future writers about the region. This theme is developed in Chapter 3 which looks at the work of Colin Thubron on Central Asia, exploring his reasons for travelling there and how his exploration of the process of "othering", by which the travel writer "constructs" the other, challenges and undermines the assumption of power in the writer's construction of alterity. This is further explored in Chapter 4 where a critical analysis of the work of Philip Glazebrook and Geoffrey Moorhouse examines how they construct alterity in their engagement with Central Asia and the way their intentions are undermined by their experience of the place travelled. The thesis concludes with a review of "recent voices" particularly two texts by authors writing in the last three years .
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available