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A Motor Flight Through France

Author : Edith Wharton
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This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

A Motor Flight Through France

Author : Edith Wharton
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"Those who have been charmed with Mrs. Wharton's novels will not be disappointed by her venture into the unfamiliar role of a travel writer." —New York Times, 1908 A trailblazer among American women at the turn of the century, Edith Wharton set out in the newly invented "motor-car" to explore the cities and countryside of France. As the Whartons embark on three separate journeys through the country in 1906 and 1907, accompanied first by Edith’s brother, Harry Jones, and then by Henry James, Edith is enamored by the freedom that this new form of transport has given her. With a keen eye for architecture and art, and the engrossing style that would later earn her a Pulitzer Prize in fiction, Wharton writes about places that she previously “yearned for from the windows of the train." A Motor-Flight Through France captures the riches and charm of France during the Belle Époque in gorgeous, romantic prose. With the automobile in its infancy, Wharton experienced the countryside as few people ever had, liberated from the tedium and passivity of train travel. “The motor-car has restored the romance of travel,” she writes. Seeing through Wharton’s eyes, readers are sure to have their own appreciation for the road trip reawakened. Now published for the first time as an illustrated ebook with photographs reproduced directly from the 1908 first edition, with a new introduction by acclaimed travel writer Lavinia Spalding, the Restless Books edition of A Motor-Flight Through France kicks off an eye-opening new series of women writing about travel, with fresh introductions by some of our best contemporary travel writers. This overlooked classic will inspire current and future generations of readers and adventurers. Praise for A Motor-Flight Through France "Edith Wharton's graceful sentences create dramatic, populous tableaux and peel back layer after layer of artifice and pretense, of what we say and how we wish to appear, revealing the hidden kernel of what human beings are like, alone and together." —Francine Prose, New York Review of Books "Those who have been charmed with Mrs. Wharton's novels will not be disappointed by her venture into the unfamiliar role of a travel writer." —New York Times (1908) "Wharton's reflections will still charm those who've been and those who dream. A nice addition to American literature as well as travel collections." —Library Journal "A portrait of a long-forgotten France, a country that, when Wharton ranged over it in her 1904 Panhard-Levassor, was largely unchanged from medieval times." —New York Times Book Review Edith Wharton (1862–1937) was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Having grown up in an upper-class, tightly controlled society known as “Old New York” at a time when women were discouraged from achieving anything beyond a proper marriage, Wharton broke through these strictures to become one of that society’s fiercest critics as well as one of America’s greatest writers. The author of more than 40 books in 40 years, Wharton’s oeuvre includes classic works of American literature such as The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, The Age of Innocence, and Ethan Frome, as well as authoritative works on architecture, gardens, interior design, and travel. Lavinia Spalding is a writer, editor, teacher, and lapsed luddite. She’s the author of Writing Away: A Creative Guide to Awakening the Journal-Writing Traveler, named one of the best travel books of 2009 by the LA Times, and With a Measure of Grace: The Story and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant. She is also the series editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing. Lavinia is a regular contributor to Yoga Journal, and her work has appeared in many print and online publications, including Sunset, Post Road, The San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco magazine, Tin House, Gadling, Overnight Buses, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and The Best Travel Writing Volume 9. Lavinia lives in San Francisco, where she’s a resident of the Writers’ Grotto and co-founder of the award-winning monthly travel reading series Weekday Wanderlust.

European Encounters Language Culture and Identity

Author : Irén Annus
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This volume is a collection of studies that analyze cultural encounters in Europe from multidisciplinary perspectives. The book faithfully reflects the research conducted at various departments within the Faculty of Arts and Letters at the University of Szeged, Hungary. The idea for the collection was conceived during a dissemination meeting for a four-year research project involving some of the authors known as Languages in a Network of European Excellence (LINEE), cofounded by the European Commission (FP6, contract 28388), whose generous support also made the publication of this volume possible—for which I would like to extend my gratitude here. Our contemporary world has been persuasively described in a wealth of literature as an era of postmodernity, characterized by a series of particular features, including the development of digital culture and mediation, an intricate interplay between globalization and localization, the compression of time and space, the rapid and constant movement of information and of people as well as the crossing of boundaries, both in symbolic and concrete terms (Lyotard, Harvey, and Appadurai [Modernity], among others). It has been depicted as a transitory period marked by a series of turns—linguistic, cultural and pictorial/visual (e.g. by Rorty, Jameson and Mitchell)—that have captured new mental frameworks for the comprehension of reality(-ies) and resultant principles and processes of knowledge production, also opening up avenues towards pluralism, the politics of identity and difference, and the centrality of issues concerning discourse, power and ideology (Calhoun, Gupta and Ferguson, Fairclough, etc.). Having investigated various aspects of globalization, Appadurai (“Disjuncture”) concluded that one way to understand this phenomenon is through the notion of cultural flows, a concept that captures the speed and dynamism with which particular cultural forms and practices may travel and gain recognition outside of the local cultures within which they appear. He proposed that these global cultural flows can best be explored through five imagined dimensions, often in disjunction with each other: ethnoscapes, mediascapes, technoscapes, financescapes and ideoscapes. Of these, the studies in this volume focus primarily on ethnoscapes and ideoscapes: the cultural flow that both the movement of people, be they students, tourists, immigrants or artists, and that of ideas, from subcultures to teaching paradigms, bring about and the representation of the various encounters these entail in language use, cultural production and identity constructions. This collection of studies tackles some of these issues as they appear in Europe, particularly within the boundaries of Hungary, where they have received particular attention after Hungary joined the European Union in 2004. Hungary’s accession introduced not only EU rules, norms and expectations to the country but also encouraged the flow of people, cultural exchange and cooperation within the EU in numerous ways, such as research projects and academic exchange programs (e.g. Tempus and Erasmus) and cultural projects, such as the European Capital of Culture award program. In the implementation of the various programs and broad cooperation upon which a united Europe may emerge, it is imperative to ensure communication; thus, language teaching and learning and the attainment of a particular level of proficiency have received particular attention within the EU. All this, in a broader context, can be regarded as part of the problematization tied to the word “European,” including the construction and meaning of a European identity, particularly in relation to other, such as national, regional and local, identities, while not being blind to other powerful factors, such as ethnicity, religion and gender, that also shape self-identities in compelling ways. The authors in this volume represent a multiplicity of academic fields, from linguistics and literary criticism to cultural anthropology and cultural studies. They share the characteristic of reaching across traditional methods and disciplines, thus typically applying an interdisciplinary approach in their investigations, all of which focus on the construction, mediation, outcome or impact of cultural encounters in a variety of contexts. Except for one, all of these studies explore particular aspects of contemporary issues and practices. As reflected in the subtitle of the volume, the papers have been organized around three major themes: language use, cultural interaction and identity construction. The first set of studies investigates the significance of language in the postmodern age. Globalization is often associated with tendencies towards standardization and homogenization (e.g. Featherstone), in the course of which “English is becoming the global language, and culture is becoming more and more dominated by American and Western European models” (Smith 14). In this context, issues such as the way in which English is used in the global community, the forms of power English may represent in particular local communities, or the washback effect this global role may have on emerging techniques used in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom, require further investigation.

Edith Wharton and Genre

Author : Laura Rattray
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Based on extensive new archival research, Edith Wharton and Genre: Beyond Fiction offers the first study of Wharton’s full engagement with original writing in genres outside those with which she has been most closely identified. So much more than an acclaimed novelist and short story writer, Wharton is reconsidered in this book as a controversial playwright, a gifted poet, a trailblazing travel writer, an innovative and subversive critic, a hugely influential design writer, and an author who overturned the conventions of autobiographical form. Her versatility across genres did not represent brief sidesteps, temporary diversions from what has long been read as her primary role as novelist. Each was pursued fully and whole-heartedly, speaking to Wharton’s very sense of herself as an artist and her connected vision of artistry and art. The stories of these other Edith Whartons, born through her extraordinary dexterity across a wide range of genres, and their impact on our understanding of her career, are the focus of this new study, revealing a bolder, more diverse, subversive and radical writer than has long been supposed.

Atlantic Automobilism

Author : Gijs Mom
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Our continued use of the combustion engine car in the 21st century, despite many rational arguments against it, makes it more and more difficult to imagine that transport has a sustainable future. Offering a sweeping transatlantic perspective, this book explains the current obsession with automobiles by delving deep into the motives of early car users. It provides a synthesis of our knowledge about the emergence and persistence of the car, using a broad range of material including novels, poems, films, and songs to unearth the desires that shaped our present “car society.” Combining social, psychological, and structural explanations, the author concludes that the ability of cars to convey transcendental experience, especially for men, explains our attachment to the vehicle.

Travel Modernism and Modernity

Author : Robert Burden
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Focusing on the significance of travel in Joseph Conrad, E.M. Forster, D.H. Lawrence, Henry James, and Edith Wharton, Robert Burden shows how travel enabled a new consciousness of mobility and borders during the modernist period. For these authors, Burden suggests, travel becomes a narrative paradigm and dominant trope by which they explore questions of identity and otherness related to deep-seated concerns with the crisis of national cultural identity. He pays particular attention to the important distinction between travel and tourism, at the same time that he attends to the slippage between seeing and sightseeing, between the local character and the stereotype, between art and kitsch, and between older and newer ways of storytelling in the representational crisis of modernism. Burden argues that the greater awareness of cultural difference that characterizes both the travel writing and fiction of these expatriate writers became a defining feature of literary modernism, resulting in a consciousness of cultural difference that challenged the ethnographic project of empire.

Literature of Travel and Exploration

Author : Jennifer Speake
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Containing more than 600 entries, this valuable resource presents all aspects of travel writing. There are entries on places and routes (Afghanistan, Black Sea, Egypt, Gobi Desert, Hawaii, Himalayas, Italy, Northwest Passage, Samarkand, Silk Route, Timbuktu), writers (Isabella Bird, Ibn Battuta, Bruce Chatwin, Gustave Flaubert, Mary Kingsley, Walter Ralegh, Wilfrid Thesiger), methods of transport and types of journey (balloon, camel, grand tour, hunting and big game expeditions, pilgrimage, space travel and exploration), genres (buccaneer narratives, guidebooks, New World chronicles, postcards), companies and societies (East India Company, Royal Geographical Society, Society of Dilettanti), and issues and themes (censorship, exile, orientalism, and tourism). For a full list of entries and contributors, a generous selection of sample entries, and more, visit the Literature of Travel and Exploration: An Encyclopedia website.

A Forward Glance

Author : Clare Colquitt
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This collection focuses on questions of biography, autobiography and aesthetics in Wharton's works, with particular attention to gender, race and class. The volume high-lights previously unpublished manuscripts and letters - notably, an unfinished short story in Italian and Wharton's correspondence with her niece Beatrix Farrand.

Edith Wharton

Author : Janet Beer Goodwyn
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' this study, Goodwyn sets the standard for Wharton criticism.' - Judith E. Funston, American Literature 'Janet Goodwyn sets out, by looking at Wharton's appropriation of different cultures, to nail the 'canard' that she was 'but a pale imitator of Henry James' - Hermione Lee, Times Literary Supplement `The Land of Letters was henceforth to be my country and I gloried in my new citizenship'. So Edith Wharton described her elation upon the publication of her first collection of short stories; her nationality was henceforth `writer' and as such she moved with ease between landscapes, between cultures and between genres in the telling of her tales. In this acclaimed study of Wharton's work, the discussion is shaped by her use of specific landscapes and her consistent concern with ideas of place: the American's place in the Western world, the woman's place in her own and in European society, and the author's place in the larger life of a culture. Her landscapes, both actual and metaphorical, give structure and point to the individual texts and to the whole body of her work.

The Architectural Imagination of Edith Wharton

Author : Annette Benert
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Edith Wharton has recently returned to prominence as a major American novelist. But few have taken her architectural work as seriously as she herself took it, or noticed its effects on her career. Two early architectural books and three travel works give sustained critical attention to the built environment. Early novels graphically portray the physical miseries of the poor and marginalized and their course in hierarchies of class and gender. By contrast, her letters consistently celebrate the tastes and manners of the elite. At its best, her fiction embodies this tension - the beauty and grace of elegant houses and public spaces, juxtaposed to their effects on those under their control. This book tracks Wharton's literary and architectural work in tandem, revealing their complex relationship. It also foregrounds the odd symmetry of her career, which began and ended in fierce attachment to traditional values, moved from delight in Italy to despair for France, and centered on the brilliantly crafted structures and spaces of the prewar novels. Annette Larson Benert is Associate Professor of English at DeSales University.