By Christine Salins
Journeying and Journalling
Edited by Giselle Bastin, Kate Douglas, Michele McCrea and Michael X. Savvas
(Wakefield Press, $29.95, softcover, 232 pages)
This book has its genesis in an international conference titled “Journeying and Journalling” that was held in Penneshaw on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island in 2004. The conference was aimed at providing a space for creative and critical meditations on travel writing.
A collection of essays on the subject have been brought together in “Journeying and Journalling: Creative and critical meditations on travel writing” and if there’s one criticism of the book it’s that the essays appear to be presented much as they were at the conference.
More rigorous editing could have weeded out sentences such as “In this paper I want to suggest that …” or “This essay will focus on…”, making the book easier to read and less academic.
Having said that, for someone who avidly reads travel books or narratives written by people reflecting on the world around them, the book is an interesting snapshot of current directions and preoccupations in contemporary travel writing.
With essays by Tim Youngs, Helen Tiffin, Paul Sharrad and many other leading writers, it looks at subjects as diverse as how indigeneity has been represented in travel writing, the impact of blogging, the relationship between the narratives of old diggers and the ANZAC myth, and the importance of place in Australian crime fiction.
There’s much food for thought here, and it’s thanks to relatively small independent publishers like Wakefield Press, that a book exploring such esoteric topics can find a voice.
To find out more about Christine Salins click here.