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Hidden Texts, Hidden Nation(Re)Discoveries of Wales in Travel Writing in French and German (1780-2018)$
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Kathryn N Jones, Carol Tully, and Heather Williams

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621433

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621433.001.0001

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Safe Haven, Literary Paradise and Present-Day Adventureland

Safe Haven, Literary Paradise and Present-Day Adventureland

Wales in Travel Writing in Breton, French and German from 1945 to 2018

(p.189) Chapter Five Safe Haven, Literary Paradise and Present-Day Adventureland
Hidden Texts, Hidden Nation

Kathryn N. Jones

Carol Tully

Heather Williams

Liverpool University Press

This chapter analyses the new interpretative frameworks offered by travel narratives published between the late 1980s and the present day. As a prelude, the chapter offers a snapshot of the ‘lost decades’ of the interwar and post-war years, when travel accounts on Wales were far less frequent than before the First World War. It explores how the trope of a hidden, undiscovered and unknown Wales has proven to be surprisingly persistent, with the continued common portrayal of Wales as a quasi-invisible unknown quantity, a peripheral site of inspiration and alterity. Once Wales resurfaced in mainstream Continental travel writing in the 1980s, it was viewed as an entity and often a country in its own right. Yet paradoxically, Wales’s increasing accessibility, through the proliferation of dedicated guidebooks and travel websites as well as improvements to its travel infrastructure, also led to the atomization and fragmentation of visions of Wales and modes of experiencing the nation. These include a sensory or physical ‘consumption’ of Wales, the ‘internationalization’ of Wales for a global visitor and a shift away from engagement with the Welsh language and its cultures, leading to their neutralization and dilution.

Keywords:   Tourism, War, Exile, Brittany, Eisteddfod, Dylan Thomas

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