Dislocating Borders: The Writing of Place and the New Frontiers of Elsewhere

  • Luigi Marfè
Keywords: Travel Writing Geocriticism, Globalization, Borders, Elsewhere


The essay defines the new paradigm which has recently reshaped the representation of borders, frontiers and edges in contemporary travel writing. Focusing on a wide range of texts, taken from different linguistic and cultural contexts, the essay describes the changes which have delocalized the notion of border and turned it into a metatextual concept. From Chatwin and Theroux to Magris and Saramago, frontiers are no more perceived as geographical objects, but as autonomous spaces where to travel, wander and live. The essay demonstrates that this new conception of borders represents the essential basis for a new theory of cultural encounter, which replaced the traditional dialectics between «we» and «the others» with the postmodern notion of perpetual hybridization. Borders became what Homi Bhabha called the «in-between»: spaces of intercultural mediation, and thus metaphors of what the same travel writing should be.


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Author Biography

Luigi Marfè
Luigi Marfè, University of Turin, post-doc research fellow, works on travel writing, literary theory, and the history of creativity between literature and science. He is the author of Oltre la fine dei viaggi (Olschki 2009; shortlisted in the “Premio Pen-Compiano”) and Introduzione alle teorie narrative (ArchetipoLibri 2011). He wrote essays and reviews on “L’Indice” and many other Italian and international literary magazines. He taught comparative literature at the University of Parma in 2011. He has recently translated Nicolas Bouvier’s poems (Il doppio sguardo, Diabasis forthcoming in 2011).


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How to Cite
Marfè, L. (2011). Dislocating Borders: The Writing of Place and the New Frontiers of Elsewhere. Between, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/93
Geocriticism, Geopolitics: The Gaze of the Other