Monday, September 2, 2019
Travel Writing: Romantics to Newspaper :: Analysis Literature Traveling Essays Papers
Travel Writing: Romantics to Newspaper After reading various works from Romantic travel writers such as Gilpin, Wordsworth, Goethe and others, I was interested in how their writings' conventions have changed when a different medium is used. Every Saturday the local newspaper, The Edmonton Journal, has a section that is strictly dedicated to travel destinations and topics pertaining to travel. Appropriately named "Travel," this section describes exotic locations for tourist and travelers. Its articles contrast the Romantics' description of the environment by having less emphasis on the picturesque and sublime, more focus on historical background, and greater detail in the lives of people living there. I believe that these differences are credited largely to one factor; the writing's medium influences what is being stressed as the purpose of the writer is different. Travel articles focus largely on describing nature only in terms of basic description. When referencing a scene with specific characteristics (such as cliffs, waterfalls or mountains) the Romantic writer describes the scene as if the reader has very little experience or expectation for what the scene should look like. The result is often elaborate description after elaborate description. Newspaper travel sections do not concern themselves with such sensory description near the same extent for a number of reasons. The newspaper focuses less on creating imagery for the reader because of the increase in availability to travel, images of the picturesque and sublime on television and movies, and the presence of photographs physically next to the text. 1. Nearly every article, within this section, is accompanied by a large photograph showing the landscape. By presenting the writers' description of the land next to the photograph, the article intrinsically promotes a comparison by the reader, contrasting the colourful photograph with the writer's words. If the photograph presents a landscape different from the vivid description of the travel writer (which inevitably happens with readers' mental constructs) the reader will find it hard to trust the writer in the accuracy of description. The writer wisely follows the saying that a "picture says a thousand words" and is better off letting the picture do the talking. After all, the journalist has less space and more constrictions than the novelist does. 2. The dominant concern for the travel journalist is conveying what they want in a limited space. The journalist does not have space to elaborately describe every cliff, river or valley. It is, therefore, up to the writer to assume that, with the addition of the given photographs, the reader would be able to visualize a serene waterfall or placid lake.