Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-qcsxw Total loading time: 0.709 Render date: 2022-08-19T20:01:15.407Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

6 - Arrival

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 July 2019

Steve Clark
Affiliation:
University of Tokyo.
Get access

Summary

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, ‘arrival’ can refer to (1) the act of disembarkation, (2) a landing-place, (3) the act of coming to the end of a journey, (4) a cargo, (5) the coming to a state of mind or (6) one who arrives. Yet does it also signify a new beginning? It may seem to indicate a point of origin, but arguably in travel writing, the reverse is the case. Arrival presupposes previous departure and future assimilation. The latter occurs both in the location of the visit, and in the ultimate reception of the travelogue. Somebody, or something, must have already returned to make the story publicly available; if the unexamined life is not worth living, the un-narrated journey is equally undeserving of attention. It could be argued that confirmation that a travel writer has truly arrived requires the signing of a contract, the delivery of a manuscript or topping a bestseller list.

When does travel begin? In the physical motion of a body through space? In the preliminary preparations for the trip? In the restlessness that prompts the initial decision to leave, or arduous preliminary acquisition of necessary competence? The past self might be discarded out of voluntary relinquishment or enforced expulsion. Arrival brings the possibility of entering a ‘brave new world’, with attendant experiences of astonishment and wonder. Yet delight in novelty, curiosity as gratified desire, is always mediated by prior expectation: Columbus readingMarco Polo on La Santa Maria, or Jonathan Raban ruminating on Huck Finn while sailing down the Mississippi.

Arrival at various kinds of border crossings – beach, harbour, coaching-inn, railway station, airport – always involves an act of intrusion in the ‘contact zone’ (Pratt 2007 [1992], 292, 895), potential seizure and appropriation, inviting a reciprocal display of antagonism. The ethics of originary encounter therefore frequently oscillate between hospitality and confrontation. There is always the possibility of territorial claim, the threat of displacement or competition for resources (water in the Sahara, food supplies in the Pacific, queuing for late-night taxis in Paris). The stranger may bring symbolic or even literal contamination.

Type
Chapter
Information
Keywords for Travel Writing Studies
A Critical Glossary
, pp. 16 - 18
Publisher: Anthem Press
Print publication year: 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×