Macquarie University
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Writing Spanish journeys to Mexico: narration, invention and reverberation from the twentieth into the twenty-first century

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posted on 2022-03-28, 15:05 authored by Jane Hanley
This study explores the changing significance of travel between Spain and Mexico at the end of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first through a discussion of the historiographical and discursive context for Spain-Mexico encounters and the analysis of travel narratives about Mexico by Spanish writers. The transatlantic space is presented as a theatre of power and a crucible for the effects of globality on cultural change. To suggest the historical framework for Spanish-Mexican encounters, I analyse some key elements of the changing idea of America in Europe since the first contacts between voyaging Spaniards and indigenous Mesoamericans and its consequences for European world-views. The material context of contemporary encounters arises not only from historical relationships but also from the evolving nature of travel, and Spain-Mexico travel in particular, including industrial-scale tourism and the connections between travel and globalisation. The tensions and issues arising out of the historical associations of the work of representing otherness as well as the changing context for travel and its narration today are investigated through examples of contemporary Spanish travel writing about Mexico by writers like Francisco Solano, Eduardo Jordá, Alfonso Armada, and Alfredo Semprún. The textual analysis is framed by two fundamental concepts. Firstly, Spain is discussed as a place of origin for the contemporary traveller given the problematic history of travel writing and its complicity with colonialism and the implications of the European gaze under post-imperial globality. First-person narrations and the varying demonstrations of reflexivity about the intervention of the traveller, and of the writer, in discourses about place suggest some of the instabilities of travelling subjects and the problems of boundedness and nationally-defined belonging. Secondly, the specific characteristics of millennial Mexico as a site for travel are explored in the context of place-image in the global imaginary, subalternity and representation, and the changing communication of ideas and experiences given global acceleration and transformed networks of international mobility.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- 1. European travel writing and the idea of America -- 2. Imagining Mexico and being there -- 3. Memory, proximity and imagination and out of place -- 4. Writing violence and exoticising danger -- Conclusion.


Bibliography: p. 214-225

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


Thesis (PhD), Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Dept. of International Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of International Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Estela Valverde


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Jane Hanley 2011.






1 online resource (viii, 225 p.)

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