Foreword: Literature, Aesthetics, Travel


  • Alex Norman


Travel has been variously conceived as a rite of passage, an educational undertaking, a means of gathering intelligence, a core aspect of trade, a release from the everyday, and an act of faith. In addition travel is a central component of war, colonisation, migration, and exploration. As a physical act it typically takes place on the boundaries of the traveller’s regular world, but increasingly it is able to occur within the conceptual everyday. As an imaginative subject, however, travel is to be found employed in a range of contexts that often cast it as ‘the other’ to the quotidian life at home; be it as a mode of education, salvation, or fascination. Despite the normalcy of the overseas holiday in many societies, as a literary or philosophical device, or as a motif, travel is something different; something out of the ordinary. The articles that follow this introduction begin to unpack travel in this respect.