Literature, Culture and the Open Road
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This book introduces the idea and experience of wandering, as reflected in cultural texts from popular songs to philosophical analysis, providing both a fascinating informal history and a necessary vantage point for understanding - in our era - the emergence of new wanderers.
Wanderers offers a fast-paced, wide-ranging, and compelling introduction to this significant and recurrent theme in literary history. David Brown Morris argues that wandering, as a primal and recurrent human experience, is basic to the understanding of certain literary texts. In turn, certain prominent literary and cultural texts (from Paradise Lost to pop songs, from Wordsworth to the blues, from the Wandering Jew to the film Nomadland) demonstrate how representations of wandering have changed across cultures, times, and genres. Wanderers provides an initial overview necessary to grasp the importance of wandering both as a perennial human experience and as a changing historical event, including contemporary forms such as homelessness and climate migration that make urgent claims upon us.
Wanderers takes you on a thoroughly enjoyable and informative stroll through a significant concept that will be of interest to those studying or researching literature, cultural studies, and philosophy.
Table of Contents
- Don’t Fence Me In 2. Wanderers and Walkers 3. The Happy Wanderer 4. Wandering as Punishment 5. Nomadlands 6. What Is Called Wandering? 7. I’m Going Nowhere 8. Nomad Thought 9. Sideward Glances 10. Mind-Wandering 11. Romantic Wandering 12. Travelers, Tourists, and Tramps 13. Drift and Dérive 14. The Wandering Jew 15. Women Who Wander 16. Gypsy in my Soul 17. Lines, Circles, and Boxes 18. Wordsworth’s Wanderers 19. The Fallen 20. Wandering While Black 21. Accidental Wanderers 22. Wandering Eros 23. Wandering and Wondering 24. A Migratory Species? 25. Leaving Home 26. The End of the Road
David Brown Morris is a writer-scholar, and Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Virginia, USA. He is very widely published, including two prize-winning books in eighteenth-century studies, and is internationally known for contributions in pain medicine. The Culture of Pain (1991) won a PEN prize and initiates a trilogy that includes Illness and Culture in the Postmodern Age (1997) and Eros and Illness (2017).