This book, Writing Spaces: Travel, Global Cities and Landscapes, consists of three sections. The first section consists of three papers on travel literature. Claude Rawson’s essay, “Gulliver, Travel and Empire,” a keynote speech for 2011 International Conference held by the Center for the Humanities at National Sun Yat-sen University, discusses Gulliver’s Travels as “a central document of European intellectual history, touching the most important debates about colonial exploration, conquest, and genocide” (1). Chia-Huan Chen explores the images of the Chinese as the Other in John Bell and George Anson, while Melissa Lee discusses the languages of hospitality found in Early Modern captivity narratives and how questions of acculturation and belonging. The second section focuses on the “Other” city. Borim’s paper deals with aesthetics of architecture; Rajendra’s paper represents South African Indian writings. Larkosh, by exploring a number of divergent narratives of colonization, displacement, imperial expansion and national consolidation, finds San Francisco as Urban “Other”. Yokota-Murakam traces the reason why Osaka has become a city of carnivalesque hybridity.
The section of Spaces and Landscape Writing approaches landscapes through different perspectives. Shao finds in contemporary Taiwan literature topos of forgotten landscapes, while Barros-Grela and Bobadilla-Perez discuss dystopian scenarios. Kocak explores the meaning of space in George Elliott Clarke’s novel George & Rue via Michel Foucault’s notion of heterotopia. Kim brings up the meanings of spaces in the cape as well as the sea. Mi’s paper on homescape by discussing “jia” compares and contrasts spatial deterritorialization and cultural imagination of a new home in modern Chinese literature. Spatial imagination and travel narratives discussed in the papers mentioned above not only highlight geographical experience of the people but also question the relationship between the self and the other.