Travel and travel writing: an historical overview of hodoeporics.
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: In principio erat via: In the beginning was the road. (1) With a slight twist of the solemn beginning of the Gospel of John [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: In principio erat Verbum: In the beginning was the Word), I would surmise that travel, be it an individual's geographical displacement or the sum of the migrations of faceless masses of human beings throughout the millennia, is at the source of the human experience. It is one of the most elemental activities, almost as basic as the act of breathing. Hodos (or via: way, road, voyage), in fact, seems to possess, mutatis mutandis, some of the multifarious characteristics of the Christian Logos. We won't go so far as to alter the same verse of John's Gospel and state that [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Deus erat via (God was the road), we know, however, that a few pages later, in the same text, Christ calls himself [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], via (Ego sum via, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: I am the way, John 14:6). Thus we know that the Logos is also the hodos, as the way (back) to the Word that was (in) the beginning. This divine cycle, twisted--admittedly--with a slight hermeneutical legerdemain, will haunt the readers of this issue of Annali d'italianistica.
If the essence of nature is constant motion, akin to Heraclitus's tenet [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("everything moves"), one could say with Michel de Certeau that "tout recit est un recit de voyage": (2) in other words, all literature is hodoeporics. As some recent criticism has emphasized, "topology," "spatialization," "chronotype" (or whatever terminology is used by narratologists to indicate the sequence of events in space or the relationship between space and time in a given text) remain essential elements for any narrative. (3) Every narrative could thus be construed as spacial narrative or travel narrative. At this point, facing such a Protean element, we need to organize the immense material at hand, if we are to avoid plunging into the giant maelstrom of universal hodoeporics.
Travel began early in human history. Great mass movements were caused by the evolution of the diet of homo erectus from vegetarian to omnivorous and by the typically human characteristic of aggression against other individuals of the same species. Transhumances, following herds of animals, invasions, and conquests that deeply marked human evolution are often hidden beneath the metaphors and myths of the oral traditions. The history of travel, which has shaped the history of humanity, is, in a nutshell,
the study of a force--mobility-- ... a force of change operating through distinctly different events that make up the structure of a journey: ... from departures that detach individuals from a familiar context; from passages that set them in motion across space; from arrivals that establish new bonds and identification between strangers, creating a new union and coherence between self and context. (5)
1. TRAVEL AS A METAPHOR FOR HUMAN LIFE
Geographic displacement, as the most familiar element in human life, has easily become a symbol of an interior, non spatial operation, for "the essence of the metaphor is the use of the familiar to grasp the elusive and unrecognized, rather than mere ordering of phenomena by homology": (6) "viaggio," "cammin di nostra vita" (Inf. I, 1), passing (Petrarch's "dubbioso passo") or the last voyage, "ritorno a Dio," pilgrimage, "grand voyage," "le long voyage de la vieillesse" (Jacques Delille). Life ("le voyage de la vie," Mme de Stael) and death ("le grand voyage") have appropriated the travel metaphor, whether in a religious context or not, as in Louis de Jaucourt's article in the Encyclopedie, for example. (7)
Travel, as a metaphor for life, is a topos in many texts of the western canon, from the pseudo-Plato's "brief soujourn in a foreign land" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 365B) to Alciati's emblem "Qua Dii vocant eundum" (no 8) to Cervantes's axiom that "estan nuestras almas en continuo movimiento, y no pueden parar ni sosegar sino en su centro que es Dios"(Persiles y Sigismunda) to Baudelaire's "Notre ame est un trois-mats cherchant son Icarie" (Les Fleurs du mal, "Le Voyage," 33). (8)
Dante's journey, while the most famous case in medieval literature, is by no means unique: one of his French contemporaries, Guillaume de Guilleville (d. ca. 1358), found in the Roman de la Rose the inspiration for his allegorical Pelerinage de l'homme, also known as Le Romant des trois pelerinages, a 14th-century poem that enjoyed a great success.
The literatures of the 16th and 17th centuries offer numerous hagiographic works that develop the peregrinatio spiritualis, (9) a mystical voyage towards perfection. Teresa of Avila's Camino de perfeccion (1570) is surrounded and followed by several texts in various languages: Peregrination spirituelle (Jan Pascha, 1576), Viaggio spirituale (Cornelio Bellanda, 1578), Pilgrimage to Paradise (Leonard Wright, 1591), De sacris et religiosis peregrinationibus (Jakob Gretser, 1606), Pilgrim's Journey towards Heaven (William Webster, 1613), Duyfkens ende Willemykens pelgrimagie tot haren beminden binnen Ierusalem (Boetius Bolswert, 1628, with numerous editions and translations), Pilgrim's Passe to the New Jerusalem (M. R. Gent, 1659), The Pilgrim's Progress (John Bunyam, 1678), are but a few examples in a vast literary field. (10)
The allegorical reading of motion is evident in the fondness that some Spanish poets of the 15th and 16th centuries displayed for wordplay based on partir. Departure from the beloved was seen as a sort of death: I depart (parto) and feel divided (me parto), leaving the best part (parte) of myself behind. The tradition culminates in a madrigal by a 16th-century Spanish poet, Francisco de Figueroa:
Triste de mi que parto, mas no parto: que el alma, que es de mi la mejor parte, ni partira ni parte. (11)
Travel, in term of both real destinations and attitude towards motion, often serves as a mirror of intellectual history. If one accepts that travel is a metaphor of our journey along the road of self-knowledge, then certainly James Joyce's Ulysses must be held up as a masterful reflection of (or, perhaps, on) that voyage. Leopold Bloom's wandering about the streets of 1904 Dublin is also a journey of the mind, a journey of the self, in which constant reflection on past, present, and future guides the reader through Joyce's intellectual and spiritual world. Of course, Bloom's rambling through Dublin, setting out from his home at 7 Eccles Street, and finally returning to Ithaka past midnight, is the full expression, the metaphor for Everyman on his travels. (12)
2. TRAVEL AS TRAVAIL: OBEDIENCE TO GOD'S CALLING, ATONEMENT, EXILE, AND PILGRIMAGE
"Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee" (Gen 12:1). In asking Abraham, "a wandering Aramean" (Deut 26:4), to leave the land of his fathers, God wanted to remove him from the dangerous influence of his entourage and make him a tabula rasa on which God himself would write the history of the "great nation" that was to call him father. Abraham's departure is the beginning of a new life for an entire people (Gen 15:7); (13) his journey, although related to the idea of forced travel, is without the negative connotation of banishment. God's call requires a response, a physical motion: "Here am I, for Thou didst call me" (1 Sam 3:6). God called Noah in the same manner ("Come thou and all thy house into the ark," Gen 7:1). After Abraham's summoning, numerous divine calls mark the biblical story: Lot ("escape to the mountains!" Gen 19:19), Jacob ("[he] came into the land of the people of the east," Gen 29:1), Joseph ("[he] was brought down to Egypt," Gen 39:1), and Moses, leader of the exodus of an entire people through a barren land ("I will send thee unto Pharaoh," Ex 3:11; "Let my people go," Ex 5:1, "And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham," Ex 6:8). Many prophets and kings were called, sent, ordered to go forth and speak or lead or fight: the entire Bible can be seen as the travel narrative of a wandering people, called to move about to maintain the purity of an idea. (14)
A study of biblical travel terminology is fascinating. The path of our human experience is addressed in the Vulgate as a peregrinatio. In the Judeo-Christian world, the semantic field implied by the voyage is built around the verb peregrinari, which has the general meaning of "traveling" (Gen 17:8; 28:4; 36:7; Ex 6:4; Rt 1:22). This verb comes from per + agrare, which carries the meaning of "going far away." The Biblical man is peregrinus and advena (stranger, from ad + venire), an adjective describing the social status of the individual who happens to be far away from home, and is therefore protected by the middle-eastern laws of hospitality, a deeply rooted social custom in the Old Testament: (15) "Peregrini sumus coram te et advenae," prays David (I Paral 29:15). This is a binomy which has been established from the earliest books of the Bible (Gen 23:4; Nm 9:14; 35:15; Dt 15:3), along with peregrinus et alienus (Lev 19:10; 23:22). Peregrinus is the person traveling abroad or living in a foreign land, the foreigner, or a human who is only a temporary guest on this earth. "Dies peregrinationis meae" is how Joseph, son of Jacob, summarizes his life (Gen 47:9) and the lives of his ancestors, who "peregrinati sunt" (ibid.). The promised land is "terra peregrinationis" (Ex 6:4) and even the temple takes on an aura related to this concept, "locus peregrinationis meae" (Ps 118:54). At this point it is not difficult to extrapolate from these texts and understand why in the Old Testament man can define himself "peregrinus sicut omnes patres mei" (Ps 38:13). A term used by Cicero with the meaning of "time spent abroad" (Tuscul. V, 37, 107), peregrinatio is just a "journey" for Tertullian (De carne Christi, VII, 7). (16)
For Augustine, however, the verb peregrinari, which, at first, covers the negative semantic area of going away from God (De Civitate Dei, 19:18) becomes eventually the positive return to God (ibid., 22:8: "peregrinus autem per revelationem"), "viator tendens ad patriam" (In Ps. 40). Augustine uses the term peregrinus in a Judeo-Christian meaning which will be appropriated by Isidore of Seville: (17) man is peregrinus/advena, a guest in a foreign land, just like a ger living among the Israelites (18) or the [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] among the Greeks. The idea of humanity marching towards a Heavenly Jerusalem, however, is taken from the word viator, for Christians are engaged in a constant voyage, since this goal is unreachable during life on earth: "Perfectio viatoris est scire nondum se pervenisse ad id quo tendit" (Augustine, Sermo XVIII). (19)
All journeys start with a departure which is ultimately the uprooting of the individual. It is a painful experience ("Partir c'est mourir un peu," "Partire e un po' morire," according to popular wisdom), a form of alienation, a folly of some sort, for as Goethe wrote, "In any departure there is a small amount of craziness." Departure implies separation, loneliness, alienation, even exile; and the normal reaction is nostalgia, homesickness, "mal du pays," "Heimweh." (21)
The idea that travel is a painful chore, a torture of one's body and mind appears in the etymology of the word travel. The Anglo-French verb travailler meant both "to travel" and "to torment." It seems to have come from a late Latin form trepalium, an instrument of torture made of three (tres) stakes (pali) or a machine used to tie up horses that were being shoed; in France travail and in north-western Italy travaglio still indicates a contraption used to restrain animals (in a Latin document written in 6th-century France trepalium meant a "place of punishment"). From "to put to torture," "to vex" or "weary oneself," trepeil eventually developed in English the meaning of "travel"; in some neo-Latin languages (travail, trabajo, trabalho, treball) it retained the sense of "labor," replacing ouvrer, (22) whereas in Italian travaglio (as in English travail) still implies deep mental stress or even the "labor" of childbirth. (23)
The binomial combination travel/travail is explicitly expressed in Ben Jonson's poem to William Roe, who was about "to go / Countries and climes, manners and men to know":
This is that good Aeneas, passed through fire, Through seas, storms, tempests; and embarked for hell, Came back untouched. This man hath travailed well. (24)
A corollary of Biblical and mythological narratives, travel, as we have seen, implies a punishment, in a form of banishment from what used to be one's home. It is a form of exile, a separation which requires abandoning a part of oneself in order to rebuild a new, better self. The "penance of travel" set upon Cain, wandering about after his fratricide, started when Adam was chased from the Earthly Paradise (Gen. 3:23). Like Adam, we have to move from voluptas to dolor in order to make a living "in sudore vultus" (Gen. 3, 18). The semantic field of this kind of travel is connected to the above-mentioned evolution of the verb peregrinari. It involves a pessimistic view of the instability of human life, specifically, in Christian texts, the attempt to reach a final goal. It is fundamentally tied to the "pains and misery" that travel and wandering offer mortals, for
in life there's nothing worse than knocking about the world, no bitterness we vagabonds are spared when the curst belly rages! (Odyssey, XV; tr. by Robert Fitzgerald)
An analysis of the terminology of travel will help clarify some fundamental concepts related to travel as pilgrimage. Gregory of Nyssa still wrote about [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (to depart for Jerusalem), but John Chrysostom had already used the word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (a journey) to indicate his pilgrimage to the places where Paul had been kept prisoner. Pilgrimage and voyage are thus the same. Far away from his heavenly home, in a state of continuous [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (estrangement, depaysement, from [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], foreigner), (25) the pilgrim starts his voyage towards the heavenly Jerusalem, his true home. His itinerary is similar to the exodus of the Jewish people towards the Promised Land. It is an individual's pilgrimage as well as the voyage of the entire Church as God's people, an itinerary from the hic et nunc towards a final place which can be reached only through a penitential journey.
Only in the 5th century peregrinus and peregrinatio come to mean pilgrim and pilgrimage, as we intend them today. One of the first occurrences happens in the Itinerarium Egerioe (8, 4), written, probably, in the early 5th century. In the following century, with the Itinerarium Antonini Placentini, the modern meaning of this term has finally become a part of the common language, revealing, at least implicitly, the popularity of this custom among the Christians. (26)
The universality of the idea of the voyage as penance and purification is clear in eastern religions as well. Buddhism invites its faithful to visit four sacred places, and Islam preaches the pilgrimage to the Ka'ba (al-Hajj) and to the holy tombs throughout the Islamic world. In addition, Muhammad explicitly enjoined traveling to search for religious knowledge (had_th). The notion that travel purifies is explicit in the charter of Buddhist pilgrimage, the Aitareya Brahmana, with almost Rousseauian overtones: "There is no happiness for him who does not travel; living in the society of men, the best man often becomes a sinner.... Therefore wander." (27)
As a corollary, one could even think of the Crusades as an extension of the idea of pilgrimage, a "march to Jerusalem," the city of eternal bliss. Spurred by a long tradition of pilgrimages to the Holy Land, the Crusades can be considered "an armed pilgrimage which was granted special privileges by the Church and which was held to be specially meritorious." (28) In fact, the technical term for the Crusade was peregrinatio: Crusades, Crociate, Croisades, Kreuzzug are all words coined in the 18th century.
3. TRAVEL AS "A FOOL'S PARADISE": "ERROR" AND "VAGRANCY"
Even the purifying travel is not without aberrations, for pilgrimages per se do not make people holy. (29) Crowds of beggars dressed in rags and pseudo-monks begging on behalf of a god had been a commonplace on the roads in Roman times. In the Golden Ass the pseudo-Lucian wrote of fake paupers who carried the goddess Syria, begging for food and money "through fields and villages," mutilating themselves to scare naive peasants into giving generously (35, 37). Vagrancy of this sort was frequent in the first centuries of Christianity. Monks and pseudo-monks, taking advantage of Christ's order to provide for the indigent, abused the charity and naivete of good people. Augustine mentions them with horror:
Tam multos hypocritas sub habitu monachorum usquequaque dispersit [callidissimus hostis], circumeuntes provincias, nusquam missos, nusquam fixos, nusquam stantes.... Alii membra martyrum, si tamen martyrum, venditant, alii fimbrias et phylacterias suas magnificant, ... et omnes petunt, omnes exigunt, aut sumptus lucrosae egestatis, aut simulatae praetium sanctitatis. (31)
The councils tried unsuccessfully to eradicate this growing plague, (32) but it would spread eventually beyond the Mediterranean area. (33) There is an overwhelming streak of morbid curiositas in the medieval world; in spite of monastic rules, church councils, and Imperial decrees blasting this sin, crowds of monaci vagantes join professional beggars (cerretani) moving about Europe without a specific goal. Throngs of people roam the roads: merchants, colporteurs, vagabonds, itinerant monks, runaway religious, poets and troubadours, teachers and college students, courriers, healers, real pilgrims, gypsies, craftsmen, and parasites. (34)
This libido currendi could be considered an essential aspect of the plot of the chansons de geste and medieval romance. Their heroes move about without a precise geography, without specific chronological and topographic landmarks, as unrealistic characters whose movements are punctuated by stilted formulas. The journey itself never receives much attention; (35) it could even be reduced to a metaphor, as Virginia Woolf wrote about Sterne's Sentimental Journey, "the road was only through his own mind, and his chief adventures were not with brigands and precipices, but with the emotions of his own heart." (36)
Erasmus ridiculed the pilgrims he encountered during his travels:
superstitiosus et immodicus quorundam affectus, qui summam pietatem esse ducunt vidisse Hierosolymam; et huc per tantum terrarum marisque spatia currunt senes episcopi, relicto grege, qui curandus erat, huc viri principes relicta familia ac dictione, huc mariti, relictis domi liberis et uxore, quorum moribus a pudicitiae necessarius erat custos, huc adolescentes et foeminae, non sine gravi discrimine morum et integritatis. (37)
Rabelais poked fun at pilgrimages, "otieux et inutilles voyages" (Gargantua, XLV), seeing them as harmful and contrary to the most basic laws of economics and household propriety. After all, the morals of the pilgrim's wife could be at stake while he is absent.
If, according to Emerson, "travelling is a fool's paradise," for "the rage of travelling is a symptom of deeper unsoundness," (38) nonetheless, travel for travel's sake has always been popular. Wandering can even be a way to open one's ears and relax one's spirit while looking for the elusive Tao of oriental philosophy. Ming Liaotse, a cultured vagabond who lives a happy, carefree, almost contemplative life, is glorified in 16th-century China by T'u Lung (also known as T'u Ch'ihshui):
I go forth with a friend who loves the mountain haze.... And we two go begging through cities and through hamlets, at vermilion gates and at white mansions, before taoist temples and monks' huts.... The tone of our begging is humble, but not tragic. If people give, we leave them, and if people don't give, we also leave them; the whole object being merely to forestall hunger. If some people are rude, we take it with a bow.... We travel without a destination and stop wherever we find ourselves, and we go very slowly, ... and when we are enchanted with the springs and white rocks and water fowls and mountain birds, we choose a spot on a river islet and sit on a rock, looking at the distance. ... If it is willed that our days are numbered, then there our journey ends. But if we escape it, then we go on as before. (39)
Meanwhile, 16th-century Europe witnessed the urbanization of a faceless mass of disenfranchised people,
esa masa constituida a base de moriscos, campesinos emigrantes (sin tierras) que fuian a la ciudad, desempleados de toda laya, esclavos negros y blancos (moros apresados), esclavos y esclavas 'criollos' (negros nacidos en America y reimportados), libertos, vagabundos, mendigos (verdaderos--los menos--y simulados--los mas--), rufianes, matones, picaros, ladrones, prostitutas, chulos y guardianes ('padres') oficiales de mancebias (hombres y mujeres, reglamentados y aprobados por el Ayuntamiento). (40)
This mass movement developed into a literary representation of the life and adventures of picaros roaming the world while crossing various social classes. (41) The following inventory by Cervantes brings back Augustine's catalog of vagantes as a constant in western civilization:
!O picaros de cocina, sucios, gordos y lucios; pobres fingidos, tullidos falsos, cicateruelos de Zocodover y de la plaza de Madrid, vistosos oracioneros, esportilleros de Sevilla, mandilejos de la hampa, con toda la caterva innumerable que se encierra debajo deste nombre picaro! (42)
Geographical accuracy is not of paramount importance in picaresque literature: the subject is still an "interior" journey. Lazarillo de Tormes (1554), one of the first novels of this genre, is the forerunner of Guzman de Alfarache by Mateo Aleman (1599) and El Buscon by Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas (1626). Francisco Lopez de Ubeda's La picara Justina (1605) and Alonso Jeronimo de Salas Barbadillo's La hija de Celestina (1612) show the acceptance of a female character. In England we have Thomas Nashe's The Unfortunate Traveller, or The Life of Jack Wilton (1594), and in 17th-century France "l'instabilite des choses du monde" (43) is the leit-motiv of a series of "road novels", among which can be counted Charles Sorel's L'Histoire comique de Francion (1622), Paul Scarron's Le Romant comique (1651), and Antoine Furetiere's Le Roman bourgeois (1666). This genre will continue through the 18th century in England and France, from Defoe's Moll Flanders (1722) and Fielding's Tom Jones (1749) to Lesage's Gil Blas (1715-1735), Marivaux's Le Paysan parvenu (1734-1735), and Voltaire's biting Candide (1759); even Dickens's Picwick Papers (1838-1839) can be accommodated in this category. We can find a relationship between the variety of what is observed in the course of traveling and the variety of life itself. Again, in most of these novels the itinerary is only a metaphor of the individual's struggle for survival and his spiritual evolution. Guzman's Rome, for example, is just a symbolic haven for picaros from around the world, as a critic has remarked:
La truandaille y vit a l'ombre des basiliques, accroupie aupres des benitiers, dans les chapelles frequentees par les pelerins, dont la charite s'emeut au repugnant spectacle des plaies et des chancres si habilement imites que les medecins memes s'y trompent. (44)
Last but not least, and a world apart, we find Giacomo Casanova de Seingalt, undoubtedly a high-class bohemien, always "on the road" for no specific reason other than traveling. His autobiography (45) reads as a picaresque novel of gambling and seduction: a well-dressed and affluent runaway, surrounded by the most beautiful people of the international high society, Casanova is, for most of his life, the symbol of foolish restlessness. Restless, that is, until life's cruel contrappasso forces him to settle down in Count Waldstein's library, ironically, in a Bohemian castle.
Picaros, bohemiens, hoboes and poets share the same desire for an escape that cannot be defined exclusively in geographical terms: "Je ne suis jamais bien nulle part, et je crois toujours que je serai mieux ailleurs que la ou je suis" sighs Baudelaire, (46) followed by Gabriel Miro: "!Oh, hasta veia lejos otros barcos y entonces apetecia ir donde no iba!" (47) Lonely, "ao volante do Chevrolet," Fernando Pessoa's alias, Alvaro de Campos, keeps driving aimlessly on deserted roads "por outro sonho, por outro mundo, / ... e que mais havera em seguir senao nao parar mas seguir?" (48)
More recently, Saul Bellows's Adventures of Augie March (1953) has shown a similar attempt to escape from traditional constraints and conventions. Similarly, Jack Kerouac's characters (On the Road, 1957, Dharma Bums, 1959) set forth into a series of restless, frantic trips across America, searching for an elusive locus amoenus, soon imitated by a throng of followers, poets, hipsters, mystics, and eccentrics, in love with life and beauty, sex, drugs, and speed. (49)
4. TRAVEL AS PEDAGOGY: EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
The Renaissance did not introduce travel as a pedagogical tool; meeting other people and observing different ways of life had always been a corollary to learning. Except for Plato, who allowed only mature individuals to leave their country so that the entire community would benefit from their experience, (50) most philosophers have insisted on the importance of traveling for the institutio puerorum. For Renaissance writers the role of travel was fundamental in the institutio principis as well as in the formation of the honneste homme. Beyond the utilitarian function of gathering strategical details of a territory, (51) the social and political organization, ancient and recent history, and personality of local rulers, the ideal man's discretione (52) grows through the uninterrupted learning of lessons that travel offers. This honneste homme is only the result, the sum of what he has observed abroad (Essais, I, 26; III, 8): "quaeque ipse miserrima vidi / et quorum pars magna fui" (AEn. II, 5-6, echoed by Tennyson, "I am a part of all that I have met," "Ulysses," 5).
For it is abroad that the traveler finds the cultural opportunities to learn: "Here let us breathe, and haply institute / A course of learning and ingenious studies," exclaims Lucentio arriving in Padua with his servant (53) to complete a comprehensive curriculum studiorum akin to what Joachim du Bellay had proposed:
Je me feray scavant en la philosophie, En la mathematique et medecine aussi; Je me feray legiste, et d'un plus hault souci Apprendray les secrets de la theologie; Du luth et du pinceau j'esbatheray ma vie, De l'escrime et du bal.... (J. Du Bellay, Les Regrets, XXXII)
For Montaigne, the ultimate Renaissance traveler, a journey is both the best way of "reading" the book of nature, "le livre de mon escholier" (Essais, I, 26), and the means of confronting one's attitude with enriching approaches and perspectives:
Le commerce des hommes y est merveilleusement propre, et la visite des pays estrangers, ... pour en rapporter principalement les humeurs de ces nations et leurs facons.... Le voyager me semble un exercice profitable. L'ame y a une continuelle exercitation a remarquer les choses incogneues et nouvelles; et je ne scache point meilleure escholle ... a former la vie que le luy proposer incessamment la diversite de tant d'autres vies, fantaisies et usances, et luy faire gouster une si perpetuelle variete de formes de nostre nature. (Essais, I, 26; III, 9)
Following Plato's tenets, Baltasar Gracian advised the prudent to spend the "second act" of his life in travel. His ideal man
busco y gozo de todo lo bueno y el mejor del mundo.... Trasego, pues, todo el universo, y paseo todas sus politicas provincias: la rica Espana, la numerosa Francia, la hermosa Inglaterra, la artificiosa Alemania, la valerosa Polonia, la amena Moscovia, y todo junto en Italia. (El discreto, ch. XXV) (54)
Whether or not travel is advisable for the young person, Renaissance writers of all countries agree that it broadens the mind. Gracian's point is echoed by, among others, Kirchner, Bacon, Cervantes, and Robert Greene:
All wits, whatsoever naturall instinct of towardness they have, do waxe dull and even die, being included within the narrow bounds of their domesticall seats and ? there is no dulnes of mind, no darkenes so great which is not in a manner kindled with the course of travels, and in all respects made more cleere and vigorous. (55) Travel in the younger sort is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. (Essay XVIII, "On Travel") El andar tierras y comunicar con diversas gentes hace a los hombres discretos.... al famoso griego llamado Ulises le dieron renombre de prudente por solo haber andado muchas tierras y comunicado con diversas gentes y varias naciones. (Cervantes, Novelas ejemplares, "El coloquio de los perros") (56)
We may be surprised to find only a limited number of 16th-century aphorisms on travel and its merits. Proverbs are born out of well-known experiences, rooted in the legacy of a tradition, and the habit of traveling for knowledge was barely starting in the Renaissance. (57) The voyage d'Italie was still considered by many as a morally dangerous task. In 1566 Henri Estienne unlashed his wrath against the risk of losing one's values in Italy, a country dominated by sodomy and duplicity. (58) Roger Ascham, a British humanist who acknowledged being "almost an Italian [him]self," stirred the anti-Italian London milieu: Italy could only offer a vast assortment of sundry vices. (59)
In the final analysis, however, the traveler abroad can only discover his own foreignness. (60) He may try to open up to the new ambiance that surrounds him, to integrate himself slowly and to varying degrees. He may be prepared by the reading of treatises on travel. Some of these works accept without questioning the diversities of people and countries; using a methodology comparable to the synecdoche of classical rhetoric, these texts accept with a scientific assurance some of the generalizations that our "politically correct" society attempts to avoid. Renaissance philosophers believe that differences among ethnic groups are founded upon the "nature" of nations, something that allows them to classify countries just like individuals, according to pre-set schemes: "Itali prudentes, Galli mansueti, Germani cauti.... in oratione, Germani sunt aperti et graves, Hispani culti et jactabundi, Galli blandi, Itali versuti," writes Georgius Loysius. (61) Justus Lipsius, like many authors of manuals for the traveler, is happy to provide his pupil, Philippe Lanoye, with a panoramic view of the most common faults of each country. (62)
Driven, like Montaigne, by "cette humeur avide des choses nouvelles et inconnues" (III, 9), an "honeste curiosite de s'enquerir de toutes choses" (I, 26), (63) whatever is "digne d'estre escript," or simply pushed by "la faim extreme de voir" (Journal, p. 71) or "le desir de veoir" people and things, (64) the good traveler is willing to suffer all sort of pains in order to return home "plein d'usage et raison"(Les Regrets, XXXII). He will plunge into the outer world "pour frotter et limer [sa] cervelle contre celle d'autruy" (65) or, more prosaically, "[pour ouyr] le son de bien d'autres closches que de celles de son pays." (66) This process of discovery, which is often geared to prepare the young man for a political career at the service of his country, (67) gives him a definite pleasure, (68) for the "faim," the burning "envy de voir" (p. 90) is a "plaisir ... si doux" (p. 60). And so, like Erasmus, he can dream nostalgically of the soft light of Rome, her rich libraries, the scholarly conversations with his friends:
Non possum non discrutiari Romanae urbis desyderio, quoties animo recursat quam libertatem, quod theatrum, quam lucem, quas deambulationes, quas bibliothecas, quam mellitas eruditissimorum hominum confabulationes, quot mei studiosos orbis proceres relicta Roma reliquerim! (69)
Once more, conceptualizing this kind of travel through a semantic analysis may be helpful. It could be useful to extrapolate from the etymology of words related to the traveler who has become "del mondo esperto" (Inf. XXVI, 97-98). (70)
The word "experience" is tied to "danger." In Latin, periculum is synonymous for experimentum. Forcellini (Totius Latinitatis Lexicon) translates periculum as "esperienza, prova, cimento, saggio"; periculum evolves towards "danger," while experimentum, in Latin jurisprudence, means exactly "trial." This word comes from an archaic verb *perior (to try), and is related to the Greek verbs [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (to cross), [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (to try), and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (make trial): the cycle, from dangerous motions to judicial trial and finally to travel, is complete. (71) The *per/*fer root has given experimentum and periculum, the adjective peritus and Germanic/Anglo-Saxon words such as erfahren (to learn), fern (distant), Fahrt (voyage), Erfahrung (exploration), bewandert (proficient), fare, and fear. (72)
It is precisely the personal experience the element that marks most indelibly the voyager, as it did Ulysses, (73) the hero of Homer ("Many were the men whose cities he saw and whose minds he learned"), Horace ("multorum providus urbes et mores hominum inspexit"), Dante ("del mondo esperto / e de li vizi umani e del valore"), and Tennyson ("I cannot rest from travel"):
For always roaming with a hungry heart Much have I seen and known--cities of men And manners, climates, councils, governments ? ("Ulysses," 12-14)
Once he has arrived at his goal, a foreigner among foreigners, distressed by homesickness, isolated by his ignorance of the local language and customs, (74) the traveler is on his own and, if he so chooses, can join local citizens, with whom he may attempt to rediscover his lost identity. (75) For the traveler's goal is basically the discovery of his own self as much as a quest for knowledge of the outside world, as Michelet recognized after his long tour of Germany in 1842: "Combien j'ai voyage en Jules Michelet, plus qu'en Allemagne." (76) Unless, of course, he is one of those tourists mocked by Montaigne for their superficial approach to traveling, those who seem only interested in the statistical approach to the foreign reality, such as "combien de pas a Santa Rotonda ou la richesse des calessons de la Signora Livia" (Essais, I, 26). (77) In such case, the travelers' loss of identity, if we could still talk about any loss, is a modest one, since it was a superficial identity anyway.
Often, the returning traveler is not a happy one. Back in France, Joachim Du Bellay, disappointed, remarked that "souvent mal monte, mal sain et mal vestu / Sans barbe et sans argent on s'en retourne en France" after acquiring "en voyageant un scavoir malheureux" (Les Regrets, LXXXVI and XXIX). This epilogue, that marked young Baudelaire's voyage to the Pacific Ocean in 1841 ("Amer savoir celui qu'on tire du voyage"), (78) cannot necessarily be construed as a completely negative result, for the traveler has been marked by his experience in ways that he does not always comprehend. Is this not, after all, the same Baudelaire who kept dreaming, nostalgically, "d'aller la-bas vivre ensemble," whose poetry is essentially an "invitation au voyage"?
5. TRAVEL AS A PROFESSION AND MISSION: THE DEVELOPMENT OF TRADE The happy time in the Earthly Paradise was a time of stasis. Humanity was content and did not need to move about in search of outside happiness:
... un medesmo paese dava a le genti e cuna e sepultura. (79)
People of the Golden Age did not know countries other than their own: "Happy and peaceful, they lived in their own land with many good things" (Hesiod, Works and Days, 118-120, italics mine); "Nullaque mortales praeter sua litora norunt" (Ovid, Metam. I, 96). The earth was untouched by hoe or plowshare (I, 101-102) and the ship had not begun to carry to "forraine shores or warres or wares ill sought":
... ne porto peregrino o guerra o merce a gli altrui lidi il pino. (80)
Man was delighted to remain wherever the gods had put him.
Quam bene Saturno vivebant rege, priusquam tellus in longas est patefacta vias! nondum caeruleas pinus contempserat undas, effusum ventis praebueratque sinum, nec vagus ignotis repetens compendia terris presserat externa navita merce ratem. (Tibullus, I, III, 35-40).
Travel, in the last analysis, is an undertaking of unhappy humans, dissatisfied with their lot. (81) A painful cooperation between the elements and mankind was established after the Fall: "Maledicta terra in opere tuo: in laboribus comedes ex ea cunctis diebus vitae tuae" (Gen 3:17). Chased from Eden, Adam and Eve embarked on life's pilgrimage:
The world was all before them, where to choose Their place of rest ... (Milton, Paradise Lost, XII, 646-647)
But there was no rest for them, for the Iron Age, our present time, is the age of travel and trade ("vela dabant ventis ... fluctibus ignotis insultavere carinae," Metam. I, 132, 134). It is the age of Mercury, the god of travelers, traders, and thieves:
Impiger extremos currit mercator ad Indos per mare pauperiem fugiens, per saxa, per ignis. (Horace, Epist. I, 1, 45-46)
Yet not everything connected with travel (and commerce) is intrinsically negative, for the journey still represents the victory of the human spirit over the limits nature has set. The Arab world revered the merchant's calling. (82) In the medieval Dit des marcheans, the merchant/poet Phelippot demonstrates that merchants will gain eternal salvation because they have risked their life to provide their fellow human beings with much needed goods:
Je di c'on doit les marcheanz Deseur tout gent honorer; Quar il vont par terre et par mer Et en maint estrange pais Por querre laine et vair et gris. (ll. 11-15) (83)
It is no wonder that the dichotomy home/abroad reflects other dichotomies, safety/danger, travel/travail:
Ay, now am I in Arden: the more fool I; when I was at home I was in a better place: but travellers must be content. (84)
Staying at home, like Candide, to "cultiver [s]on jardin" (perhaps after numerous adventures) is a corollary of the aurea mediocritas: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. (85) But it leads to a life of dullness and poverty, for business and gain are the moving forces in the modern world:
a le grand'alme, di troppo agevol ben schife, Cillenio il comodo presenti a cui le miglia pregio acquistino e l'oro: e d'ogn'intorno: commercio, risonar s'oda, commercio. (G. Parini, Il Giorno, II, 686-690)
The voyages to the New World by the Spanish and Portuguese were undertaken to find new sources of gold. Columbus's diary features many instances of the Admiral's obsession "de saber si avia oro" (October 13, 1492) in the newly-found land: "Determine de ... partir para el Sudueste ... a buscar el oro y piedras preciosas" (same day). (86) The greed for gold (87) (Virgil's auri sacra fames, AEn. III, 57) and the hope of huge profits led the king of Spain to finance an otherwise farfetched enterprise. (88) It was also used by Columbus to exhort a crew exhausted by weeks at sea: "el Almirante, despues que hubo animado a todos con largas promesas de muchas tierras y de riquezas, para que tuviesen esperanza y disminuyese el miedo que tenian de tan largo viaje." (89) Conveniently, such greed did not conflict with Columbus's other goal of spreading Christianity, for a man with gold could even "succeed in bringing souls to paradise." (90) It is the synthesis of a peculiar dichotomy (God and Mammon, Mt 6:24) that usually appears at the very foundation of the conquest of New Worlds. In the 13th century Franciscan friars and Venetian merchants followed Marco Polo on the eastern route, and three centuries later conquistadores and missionaries plied the ocean aboard the same ships. The dichotomy has become a current, curious symbiosis. (91)
6. TRAVEL AS A MALE ACTIVITY: THE "PHALLIC" VOYAGE
From its very beginning, travel appears as a "phallic" voyage. The male, Ulysses, is the one who leaves home to wander throughout the world, leaving Penelope to keep intact the household and its economy. There is "a set of gender determinations: ? the domestic(ated) woman, Penelope, maintains the property of the home against would-be usurpers while her husband wanders about." But there is something sinister about women wanderers: Helen going to Troy, Medea fleeing with Jason, and Ariadne with Theseus.
Away from home, men encounter 'other' women, alluring and/or menacing, seductive and/or castrating: Nausicaa, Circe, Dido, islands with beguiling feminine names (Canaria, Icaria, Jamaica, Bermuda, (93) la Reunion) that lure the unattached traveler into exotic and erotic games (or impossible dreams, as in Watteau's "L'Embarquement pour l'ile de Cythere"), witness Donne's ecstatic utterance in the heat of passion:
Upon the Islands fortunate we fall, Not faynt Canaries, but Ambrosiall, Her swelling lips ... (94)
According to Eric Leed, "in territorialized societies, the woman is the embodiment and the content of 'place,' and her relations to an outside world, her very freedom, are conditional upon her relation to men." (95) Keepers of the home by nature, women are unabashedly stereotyped in Renaissance texts:
Cum inter officia virilia peregrinatio referatur, foeminam [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] natura ipsa non voluit. Et hoc omnino in Germania verum est, ut non nisi vel misera vel lasciva et petulans peregrinatura videatur. (96)
It is true that, in spite of being considered "homebound," women who were not lascivae et petulantes did travel from time to time, although mostly as pilgrims, witness the Itinerarium Egeriae, a 5th-century journal of a journey to the Holy Land by Egeria (sometimes also spelled Etheria), a nun from southern France. (97) Chaucer's "Prologue" to his Canterbury Tales presents two nuns and a "good wyf ... of bisyde Bath" among twenty-nine travelers, and in the 14th century Bona da Pisa made several times the pilgrimage to Rome and Compostela, while Margery Kempe spelled out in her autobiography the extraordinary series of journeys she undertook to Rome, Jerusalem, and Santiago de Compostela. The anti-feminist spirit of many medieval texts, however, keeps portraying traveling women as a horrible hindrance for their male counterparts:
Le temps nouvel s'approuche ..., lors emprenent a aller en quelque pelerinage.... [Les femmes] ont entreprins d'aller en voiage pour ce qu'ilze ne pouent pas bien faire a leur guise en leurs mesons.... Maintenent elle dit qu'elle a ung estref trop long et l'autre trop court, maintenent lui fault son mantel, maintenant le lesse, puis dit que le cheval trote trop dur et en est malade; maintenent elle descent, et puis la fault remonter pour passer ung pont ou ung mauves chemin, maintenent elle ne peut menger et si convient que le bon homme qui a plus trote que ung chien, trote parmy la ville a lui querir ce qu'elle demande.... (98)
The hero is the man who goes to war, leaving his spouse at home, a deeply rooted convention in the Western literary canon from Gilgamesh and the Homeric poems to the Victorian novel and the pre-"politically correct" society. After defeating or conciliating the powers that prevent him from carrying on his quest, the hero journeys through threats of an unfamiliar world, finally re-emerging from his ordeal and gaining sexual union or recognition or divinization. (99) Such are
los hombres de voz dura, los que doman caballos y dominan los rios, los hombres que les suena el esqueleto y cantan con una boca llena de sol y pedernales. (Federico Garcia Lorca, "Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias")
For travel has always been considered a conquest of some sort, and therefore a male activity. The Grand Tour, in which one engaged in order to study Italy's antiquities, was also an appropriation of relics and artwork by the (male) traveler who brought them back to his country. (100)
There is, of course, nothing inherently masculine about travel. In fact, women at times joined the Grand Tour already in progress, as did Lady Whetenall, who died in 1650 in Padua, in childbirth. (101) Their lessons, however, were totally forgotten, for The Punch, a few centuries later, kept rephrasing the same rhetorical question:
A lady an explorer? A traveller in skirts? The notion's just a trifle too seraphic; Let them stay and mind the babies, Or hem our ragged shirts, But they mustn't, can't, and shan't be geographic. (102)
And if there are certain drawbacks to a woman traveler, her formal education, for instance, being (in centuries past) inferior to her brother's, Lady Eastlake thinks that "the difference between them is greatly in her favour," for men's travel accounts "are to do with What and Where, and women's with How and Why." (103) Women would, therefore, make better travel writers than men, for
if the gentleman knows more of ancient history and ancient languages, the lady knows more of human nature and modern languages; while one of her great charms, as a describer of foreign scenes and manners, more even than the closeness or liveliness of her mode of observation, is that very purposelessness resulting from the more desultory nature of her education. (104)
Eccentric lady travelers and old maids, mostly British, were often described with patronizing admiration by their male counterparts. "Carrying in their bosom a man's heart," (105) these pioneers asserted, perhaps unconsciously, their right to do what men had done for centuries, and saw their journeying as an escape from the duties of daily drudgery and "an opportunity to experience solipsistic enjoyment and enrich themselves spiritually and mentally." (106) Their efforts to open up new paths for traveling sisters will hardly be understood by their male counterparts, who have rarely experienced the insults to which women were (and still are) subject, in certain countries:
Their state of semi-civilization--wrote Mary Eyre about mid-19th century Spain--rendered it most unpleasant to visit the magnificent palaces and churches in her cities; and absolutely impossible to gather the rare and beautiful plants that adorn her mountains. Even accompanied by a guide, I was yet subjected to hooting and insult: simply because I was a stranger. (107)
Women explorers, missionaries, and anthropologists, philanthropists and ennuyees (108) end up adopting "a position of gender ambiguity, taking on the 'masculine' virtues of strength, initiative and decisiveness while retaining the less aggressive qualities considered appropriate to their own sex." (109) It is a meandering path towards gender equality, a journey, however, that will not totally unify the narrative voices of travel literature, for male and female discourses are still different, and the voices of the speakers/writers maintain their "generic" characteristics.
7. TRAVEL AS DISCOVERY AND CONFRONTATION: THE SELF AND THE OTHER
The cross-cultural contacts of travelers create a collective self-awareness and a subsequent understanding of the "alterity" of others. Terms like barbaroi, goyim, or gaijin define otherness sometimes in a derogatory manner. They are originated by peaceful encounters or bloody clashes between ethnic groups. The language is often the trademark of diversity, according to the etymology of the word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (stutterer, as a speaker of a foreign tongue), (110) but religious distinctions, and even the distribution of power, often interfere in the semantics of difference. (111)
Postulating the difference between a and b is the first step in the process of discovering "otherness." The non-coincidence of these items soon becomes a set of connections between a and b, which is eventually recounted in narrative form by the individual (the traveler) who first noticed them. The narrator from the group a tells the people of a about the differences he has discovered in b; "sameness" and "anti-sameness" are the basic structures not only of the utopian discourse but of all descriptions of far away places. (112)
The discovery of someone's otherness often results in a disapproving judgement of the other. It is not a mere coincidence that in many languages a pessimistic semantic connotation evolves from the word stranger to intimate the suggestion of strange. Similar binomial occurrences are recorded in several Romance languages: straniero/strano, etranger/etrange, extranjero/extrano, etc. Moreover, allotropic forms such as strano/estraneo and strange/extraneous are easily connected with other related terms like stravagante, extravagant, extravagante, etc., which carry an etymological rationalization of the "abnormal" behavior of somebody who appears to be different, because he is moving outside the "normal" (i.e., our own) way of life (extra-vagans literally means "moving erratically outside"). The Greek adejective [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which is at the origin of this etymological errand, implies a degree of foreignness and difference: the [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], usually an alien, at times a mercenary, is inevitably seen just as "peculiar" and "strange." (113) The semantic field of the Latin hostis began with the notion of "stranger," which developed into that of "enemy" under conditions that are still philologically unclear. (114) This last meaning, however, disappeared in the Imperial period. Hospes (guest) and hostis are closely connected to the same Indo-European root: stranger, enemy, and guest or host. (115) In 13th-century, oste in Italian and ost in French had the meaning of "enemy," "hostile army," while carrying at the same time the meaning of "person who gave or received hospitality"; from that we can trace all the terminology related to ostello and osteria. Even the German word Gast, analogous to the English "guest," comes from a Gothic form gasts that indicated a "stranger with hostile intentions."
Discovering alterity is a complex process; it involves finding the other in ourselves ("Je est un autre," as Rimbaud said (116)) and results in countless ramifications: suspicions and fears, crisis of one own's value, or even idle pride. Dante, "cui mundus est patria," (117) seemed less concerned with alterity. Like all humanists after him, he could find in his latinitas a common denominator among the world's scholars, just like Saint Paul's romanitas had qualified him as a first-class citizen of the world (Acts 22:27-28). (118) Montaigne, on the other hand, undertook his travels abroad in order to exercise his spirit "a remarquer les choses incogneues" (Essais, III, viii). A true citizen of the world, in the modern sense, the French philosopher explicitly sought to absorb every enriching experience.
It was the medieval discovery of the Canary Islands that foreshadowed the first striking modern encounter with the "other." Petrarch, after praising a legendary Ireland, "cui pro delitiis otium, pro summis opibus ... libertas," launched a literary revival of the theme of the Fortunate Islands, (119) treating this topos in a rather disillusioned manner: "scio tamen quod multa feruntur et scribuntur, propter que non plene fortunatarum cognomini terrarum fortuna conveniat." In fact, he considered the main activities of that populace, hunting and shepherding, as primitive (and negative) endeavors: "non absimilem beluis ... in solitudinibus errare seu cum feris seu cum gregibus suis" (De vita solitaria, II). Pietro Martire d'Anghiera is among the first writers to assign ideal virtues to the "noble savages" of the New World--a fashion that Rousseau and Diderot will eventually find irresistible:
Sunt enim adeo parvo contenti, quod in ea ampla tellure magis agri supersint, quam quicquam desit. AEtas est illis aurea, neque fossis neque parietibus aut sepibus praedia sepiunt. Apertis vivunt hortis, sine legibus, sine libris, sine iudicibus suapte natura rectum colunt, malum ac scelestum eum iudicant qui inferre cuiquidem iniuriam delectatur. (120)
This idea appears, although from a slightly different perspective and not without a strong implication of social reformation, in Montaigne's conversation with the "cannibales" he met in Rouen:
ils avoyent aperceu qu'il y avoit parmy nous des hommes pleins et gorgez de toutes sortes de commoditez, et que leurs moitiez estoient mendians a leurs portes, decharnez de faim et de pauvrete; et trouvoient estrange comme ces moitiez icy necessiteuses pouvoient souffrir une telle injustice, qu'ils ne prinsent les autres a la gorge, ou missent le feu a leurs maisons. (121)
Trouble comes to Paradise very soon: discovering cannibalism and human sacrifices among the natives leads the visitor from Europe to classify them as inferior individuals to conquer and to convert (or even to destroy, in the course of either process). An outsider in this complex predicament of cultural confrontation, the Milanese merchant Girolamo Benzoni set forth unequivocally in his Historia del Mondo Nuovo (1565) the heavy responsibilities of the conquistadores, whose cruel behavior towards the natives of Hispaniola led most of them to suicide:
vedendo gl'Isolani che da ogni lato erano oppressi da intolerabile e incomportabile fatiche e travagli e che non v'era ordine di ricuperare la liberta loro, piangendo e sospirando, ogn'uno desiderava di morire. Pero molti come disperati se ne andavano a i boschi e la s'impiccavano, avendo prima i figliuoli uccisi, dicendo che assai meglio era loro il morire che vivere cosi miseramente, servendo a tali e tanti pessimi ladroni e tiranni ferocissimi. (122)
And Bartolome de las Casas, whose complex view of the American natives came from personal experience, reacted--in vain--against the common practice of his contemporaries. (123)
In any case, it is in the relationship between the individual and the foreign "other" that leasure travel still finds its intellectual (and, at times, commercial) justification. Defining places and people as exotic and exoteric (etymologically, "outsiders") makes them the immediate goal of today's vacationers. But in the long run such "exotic" societies rapidly assimilate the ways of the western world (or, more crudely, western travelers tend to impose upon the "natives" their shallow values). The development of modern mass tourism eventually marks the end of the "other." The same big hotels have sprouted up everywhere; easy money and faceless throngs of tourists may force a bland leveling of whatever is still different among the native "others." Will the global village finally offer the tourist nothing but a series of beautiful sites and sham dancers?
8. TRAVEL AS LEISURE: FROM PETRARCH TO THE "AGE OF THE TOURIST"
The joys of wandering are rather elusive, for hodoeporic literature has traditionally offered tales of momentous ordeals and toilsome journeys. It is unusual to find happy travelers who can sing, as in the Arabian Nights:
My friend, if you only knew what a wonderful thing is travel! ... All the poets have sung the delights of wandering. One of them said: Sing the joys of wandering, All that's beautiful travels far; Even the moon-colored pearl Must forsake the deep green levels, And be drawn across the beaches Where the waiting merchants are, Ere it shows and glows and reaches To a crown's immortal bevels Or the white neck of a girl! (The 256th night)
Among endless reports of dejected travelers, one of the earliest records of pleasure in Renaissance travel is Petrarch's account of his excursion to Mount Ventoux (1336). He climbed that mountain just because it was there ("sola videndi insignem loci altitudinem cupiditate ductus"), as do many modern mountaineers. And Petrarch felt the need to apologize for an activity he considered so frivolous. In his account of this hike he wrote that he was struck by Livy's report (XL, 21) of King Philip of Macedonia climbing Mount Hemus for no specific reason other than viewing two seas from the top ("e cuius vertice duo maria videri"). Having thus established a good auctoritas, Petrarch decided that his waste of time could be forgiven, since he was not a public person but a simple scholar, and rather young to boot. (125)
By the end of the 17th century, mountain climbing appears to be a natural activity of the German travelers abroad, according to Saint-Evremont's comedy Sir Politick Would-Be:
Il n'y a point de montagne renommee qu'il ne nous soit necessaire de voir: qu'il y ait de la neige ou non, n'importe; il faut aller au haut, s'il est possible. (126)
A few decades after Petrarch, Gilles Le Bouvier underscored in the introduction to his Livre de la description des pays the pleasure he derived from his travels through the world:
Pour ce que plusieurs gens de diverses nacions et contrees se delectent et prennent plaisir comme j'ay fait le temps passe a veoir le monde et les diverses choses qui y sont, et aussi pour ce que plusieurs en veullent savoir sans y aler. (127)
The 16th century saw the birth of modern travel. An emerging, wealthy bourgeoisie, culturally well prepared, was ready to get out of its own insularity to search abroad for its collective roots. Renaissance Italy, with her classical ruins and contemporary artwork, was the ultimate goal of these learned foreigners. Social and political unrest, in France the wars of religion, in England the civil war and restoration, and, in general, a renewed interest for finishing abroad the education of future leaders made a European journey a must for every young man of good family. But this was not a leisured journey. Getting there was definitely not half the fun, as we say today, for the support of roads, bridges, and inns was extremely inadequate (see John Florio's proverb in n. 57, above). If in Francesco Vettori's journal we catch a glimpse of the ludic element of a journey abroad, his open attitude is practically a hapax in the history of 15th-century Italian travel literature. The piacere has become a part of the pedagogical process of meeting people and seeing things:
Intra li onesti piaceri che possino pigliare li uomini, quello dello andare vedendo il mondo credo sia il maggiore; ne puo essere perfettamente prudente chi non ha conosciuto molti uomini e veduto molte citta. (128)
Whatever small pleasure Renaissance travel can offer is usually obliterated by financial worries: "Quello che ha a pensare donde abbia a trarre e' denari o che li ha con dificulta o che bisogna pensi pel cammino di guadagnare, non puo pigliare piacere de' viaggi." Vettori's is the quintessential aristocratic trip. (129) Feeling that the aristocracy of creativity had earned him the privilege of upper crust traveling, Benvenuto Cellini tried to coax Cardinal Alessandro Farnese to provide him with similar travel arrangements:
Io dissi che l'arte mia non si facea a poste e che, se io vi [in Francia] avevo da 'ndare, volevo andarvi a piacevol giornate e menar meco Ascanio e Pagolo, mia lavoranti, i quali avevo levati di Roma; e di piu volevo un servitore con esso noi a cavallo, per mio servizio, e tanti danari che bastassino a condurmivi. Questo vecchio infermo [Alberto Bendedio] con superbissime parole mi rispose che in quel modo che io dicevo, e non altrimenti, andavano i figliuoli del Duca. A lui subito risposi che i figliuoli de l'arte mia andavano in quel modo che io aveva detto (II, 7). (130)
How ironic (and rare) that a private individual with modest means, roaming Europe on foot, should underscore the pleasure of traveling. Thomas Coryate, a scholar with no artistic skill to peddle, remains a rare occurrance in the lore of 17th-century travel:
Of all the pleasures in the world travell is (in my opinion) the sweetest and most delightfull. For what can be more pleasant then to see passing variety of beautifull cities, kings and princes courts, gorgeous palaces, impregnable castles and fortresses, towers piercing in a manner up to the clouds, fertill territories replenished with a very cornucopia of all manner of commodities ..., flourishing universities ... furnished with store of learned men of all faculties, by whose conversation a learned traveller may much informe and augment his knowledge. ("Epistle to the Reader") (131)
Medieval and Renaissance travel, however, was still painful and dangerous. The narrative rhythm of the travelog is generally organised around the ritual of departure and the pleasure of arriving at destination. (133) Very little we know about the events related to the trip itself, for the journey is a potential Via Crucis even for rich people. As late as the middle of the 19th century, Gustave Flaubert wrote to a friend that travel, if not taken seriously, could be "une des choses les plus ameres ... de la vie." (134) By then, wealthy travelers roamed the roads of the Continent in well- upholstered comfort. It was slow traveling, indeed, and it took as long as it ha taken in the days of the Roman Empire; as Mary Boyle recalled, travelers "proceeded leisurely, but comfortably ... pausing in the middle of the day to bait [their] horses and feed [them]selves, and sleeping at little wayside inns." (135) At about the same time, nonetheless, mass travel started shaping the world of modern tourism:
Alas, ... everybody goes everywhere--or nearly everywhere--buying their air tickets with their credit cards and being met by airport buses, secure in the knowledge that their hotel reservations have been confirmed, that the rent-a-car firm is expecting them, and that it will be perfectly safe to drink the Coca Cola. The man who started the rot, I fear, was the disagreable old abstainer Thomas Cook, who, already by the middle of the [19th] century, had developed the idea of insulating his clients as far as possible from the uncouth conditions all too frequently prevailing in foreign parts by swathing them in a protective cocoon of block bookings, meal vouchers and--most dangerous of all--temperance. He began indeed by offering them even more: on the very first excursion that he ever organised, which took place on Monday, 5 July 1841, the 570 people intrepid enough to venture--at the cost of one shilling--the ten miles from Leicester to Loughborough and back enjoyed the service of a full brass band, to say nothing of tea and buns at Mr. Paget's Park. The age of the tourist had arrived. (136)
Meanwhile, in Italy the railway began to transport hordes of Sunday travelers. From Florence to the seashore these forerunners of modern tourism brought a Mediterranean sense of havoc to the usually quiet cafes of downtown Leghorn. Unlike his British counterpart, marching in orderly ranks towards his goal of "tea and buns," the Italian displays the same uninhibited loudness (si precipita ... urla e schiamazza) that will become his trademark through the 20th century. Carlo Collodi's biting vignette is perhaps the first description of Italian mass tourism:
L'arrivo di uno di questi treni diretti [da Firenze] alla Stazione di Livorno, e il primo ingresso dei passeggieri nella citta sono sempre uno spettacolo curioso e meritevole di osservazione. Il Fiorentino che oramai in due ore di corsa ha digerito la bibita che aveva sorbito avanti la partenza, per mera precauzione, si precipita affamato nei caffe, e urla e schiamazza e chiede pane, con tanta insistenza e con voci cosi strazianti, che i poveri garzoni di bottega, non assuefatti a tanto lusso di ginnastica, corrono di qua, corrono di la, si urtano fra loro, e finiscono col fare la testa grossa e col non capire nulla. Allora si rinnovano le scene della torre di Babele, allorquando i muratori domandavano calcina e i manovali portavano mattoni. Uno che ha ordinato il caffe e latte vede posarsi dinanzi un'acqua di ribes, quegli che ha chiesto la cioccolata e costretto a prendere, per quivoco, una limonata, a chi vuole il semel tocca il caffe, e a chi grida pane gli si porta una pasta. Finalmente le bramose canne (direbbe il Ghibellino) si saziano, l'anarchia e il tumulto cominciano a sedarsi e i caffe di Livorno ripigliano gradatamente la loro calma abituale. (137)
A new Weltanschauung has begun. Speed begets mass travel: the "570 people intrepid enough to venture" to Mrs. Piaget's Park beg for comfort and services. A new perception of the environment is closely related the new means of transportation: "ce n'est pas la meme Italie que l'on voit en automobile ou en train," wrote Butor.
In the age of mass tourism, however, travel is a more banal experience, performed by hordes of brightly-dressed people who no longer explore. They rapidly "do" countries and cities. Their journey, well planned by travel agents, is often guided by professional tour operators, who suggest where and how the tourist can catch a glimpse of a three-star monument ("cela vaut le voyage, ou le detour," proclaims the Michelin Guide) and offer cozy four-star hotels where they will spend the night in familiar, standardized surroundings. Meanwhile, photographs, video recordings, and postcards, the tangible proofs of their trip, have replaced, alas, sketchbooks, diaries, and letters. The tourist does not write, for the frantic rhythm of modern traveling allows no time for this activity. In fact, in the Romance-language idiom, vacationing means not merely taking a rest, but "going [away]" (andare in vacanza, aller en vacances, irse de vacaciones), as if one could not conceive a vacation without a spatial change. The contemporary Italian vacationer has brought this concept to a new level: after glancing at the traditional sites made famous by Grand-Tourists of yesteryear, the "new tourist" can only find some satisfaction in far away, undiscovered locations that become immediately the current fad. (138)
But mass transportation implies crowding, a deterioration of the quality of the journey; even the Ambassador-Class traveler has to endure, with brothers and sisters of Economy-Class, the same strikes and delays that plague modern travel. One regrets the vanishing of the Orient Express--with its refined cuisine, attentive personnel, mahogany and leather cuddling--which still remains, perhaps, if not the fastest, at least the most comfortable manner of modern transportation.
9. TRAVEL, HISTORY, AND WRITING: CREATION, RE/CREATION, AND RECREATION
Travel and writing (139) have been connected since the early days of human history. Back in his native village of Uruk after numerous exploits, waiting for the final trip that would bring him back to the dead, Gilgamesh recounts his lifelong quest: "He had left for a long voyage; when he came back, tired and broken by fatigue, he rested, and engraved his entire story on a stone" (tab. I).
Travel is hardship, and as such it is a reason of pride for the returning wayfarer who wants to share his cherished experience with others, for the ultimate goal of the traveler is to recount what he has seen. Writing is also an act of creation (or recreation), for the writer (or the poet) is essentially a [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], a faber (and a reflection of the "Massimo Fattor"). As Umberto Eco's lonely castaway in his diary "ricrea la sua Signora--and, we may add, 'la sua vita'--per non perderla," (140) travel writers recast the vicissitudes of their life in order to give them a new life.
Written by "insiders" (people who inter-sunt), history and travel journals find their justification in the traditional definition of sapientia, which stems from memoria, a useful message to be remembered and treasured for the future (141): "Recte atque vere finxisse veteres Sapientiae partem esse Usum et matrem Memoriam esse", wrote Stephanus Vinandus Pighius, who also quotes a text from the comedy Sella by Lucius Afranius:
Usus me genuit, mater me peperit Memoria Sophiam me vocant Graij, vos Sapientiam (p. 135). (143)
And Pierre Bergeron, always looking to put in his Voiages whatever was "digne d'estre escript," introduces a similar discussion in the preface to his Voyage d'Italie:
L'imperfection de la nature de l'homme est telle que la plus part des choses s'escouleroient bien tost de nostre memoire, si nous n'en arrestions le cours par le moien de l'histoire et de l'escriture, de sorte que pour conserver la souvenance des choses veues et apprises en lisant et voiageant, et pour en tirer plaisir et proffit a l'advenir il est necessaire de les mettre par escrit, afin de se rendre toujours presentes les choses que d'elles mesmes seroient sujectes a se perdre. (144)
Writing naturally begs for reading. The reader of hodoeporics is a vital element of an important cycle; his goal is either to follow, eventually, in the writer's steps or to be content to enjoy, vicariously, the traveler's experience from the vantage point of his armchair. (145) This last goal--reading to escape--is typical of readers who are thrilled, as J. Rondaut wrote, by "la passion des voyages," not by "l'accident du voyage," the factual journey. (146) Literature, writing and reading, thus becomes "un moyen de locomotion internationale," to use P. Morand's expression. (147)
Some readers will even push their vicarious experience to its limit, that is, to write about travel without even leaving their desk, triggering the controversy between geographers and travelers, mentioned in Antoine de Saint-Exupery's Le Petit Prince:
Ce n'est pas le geographe qui va faire le compte des villes, des fleuves, des montagnes, des mers, des oceans et des deserts. Le geographe est trop important pour flaner. Il ne quitte pas son bureau.
A geographer who refuses to travel, as outrageous as it may be, and who is proud of his self-imposed limitations, epitomizes the tension between travelers and writers, (148) a condition akin to that of the historian who has not witnessed the facts he relates. It is in the Renaissance that the dichotomy visa/acta vs. audita/tradita finds its liveliest debate. Andre Thevet epitomized the struggle between theory and practice. A real-life mariner and a geographer to boot, Thevet learned all he wrote in his Cosmographie "en la chaise d'un navire, soubz la lecon des vents," not in the scholarly debates "es escoles de Paris." (149)
Some historians write about things they hardly know. Censuring the lack of direct personal experience ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), Polybius opened a path that Lucian would eventually pursue with particular vehemence in his De historia conscribenda: a denunciation of writers who possess a plethora of historical faults, writers geographically ignorant, stay-at-home individuals who put into writing "such tittle- tattle [they heard] in a barber's shop" (ch. 24). But it is an unavoidable dichotomy, as this is the same Lucian who related tall tales about the horrible dipsad, "a snake not particularly big, resembling a viper," adding: "I myself never saw anyone so affected and pray I may never see a human being tormented in this way; but then I have never set foot in Lybia, I am glad to say" (Dipsads, 6). For history essentially follows witnessing; the [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (what one has heard) have to be discarded for the hard facts ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), and this is, or should be, the domain of a traveler:
Historia est narratio rei gestae, per quam ea quae in praeterito facta sunt dignoscuntur. Dicta autem graece historia [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], id est a videre vel cognoscere. Apud veteres enim nemo conscribebat historiam, nisi is qui interfuisset, et ea quae conscribenda essent vidisset. Melius enim oculis quae fiunt deprehendimus, quam quae auditione colligimus.... Haec disciplina ad grammaticam pertinet, quia quidquid dignum memoria est litteris mandatur. (Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, I, 41, 1-2)
Writing, one of the "dons singuliers que les hommes de par deca [the-so called 'civilized'] ont recu de Dieu," (150) enhances travel and gives this experience an extended life and usefulness.
A character in Saint-Evremont's comedy Sir Politick Would-Be provides a slightly humorous look into what was already considered a habit of fastidious German travelers; conscientiously keeping their travel journals.
Nous avons aussi un journal ou nous ecrivons nos remarques, a l'instant meme que nous les faisons: rarement nous attendons jusqu'au soir; mais jamais voyageur allemand ne s'est couche sans avoir mis sur le papier ce qu'il a vu durant la journee. (151)
The choice of what is worth remembering in a journey is a subjective one. Any second-guessing is a dangerous exercise in futility; an anonymous 19th-century critic denounced Montaigne's Journal, the quintessential modern travelog, as "un manuel des eaux minerales d'Italie, un releve des pierres que leur vertu a fait rendre a l'auteur." (152) The reasons why a traveler writes about travel are germane to the motivations for traveling. In the Renaissance a man often engages in traveling for "il desiderio di emergere dalla mediocrita e il bisogno di affermare la propria personalita": (153) a proof of his pride and virtu, particularly if he has undertaken a painful and long trip, (154) a challenge of glory and fama. (155) Amerigo Vespucci wrote from the islands of Capo Verde to Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici on June 4, 1501:
Io ho perduti molti sonni e ho abreviato la vita mia dieci anni; e tutto tengo per bene speso, perche spero venire in fama lungo secolo, se io torno con salute di questo viaggio: Idio non me lo reputi in superbia, che ogni mio travaglio e adirizzato al Suo santo servizio.
Back in Florence in 1606, after his tour around the world, Francesco Carletti regrets the loss of his notebooks as much as that of his commercial wares, stolen by Dutch pirates. The memory of his adventures has partly vanished: having given up a career, first as a businessman then as a writer, he can only hope to entertain Ferdinando I de' Medici with whatever he remembers of his stories from far away countries:
li scritti che di cio avevo messo copiosamente insieme si sono persi, per mia disgratia, insieme con tutti li mia beni di fortuna, che l'averli ora, mi sarebbono carissimi per potere con essi maggiormente dilettare Vostra Altezza Serenissima.
Carletti's immediate goal, his patron's diletto, is only one of the numerous benefits that a travel account can offer the specialists in the disciplines involved: anthropologists, historians of ideas, art historians, economists, just to name a few.
The relationship between cosmography and history had already been emphasized in Jean Bodin's Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem (1566):
hujus [cosmography's] enim tanta est cum historia cognatio et affinitas, ut altera alterius pars esse videatur. ? Historici geographicis descriptionibus utuntur, et historici terrarum regiones semper describunt, ut si ars ulla historico necessaria sit, profecto geographia summe necessaria videatur.
Without being elevated to the rank of ancilla historiae, as philosophy had been for theology, cosmography is an essential part ("summe necessaria") of the historical writing. And even the recit of individual travelers are important components:
Ces sortes d'observations faites avec intelligence, et exactement recueillies de pere en fils, fournissent les plus grandes lumieres sur le fort et le foible des peuples, les changemens en bien ou en mal qui sont arrives dans le meme pays au but d'une generation, par le commerce, par les lois, par la guerre, par la paix, par les richesses, par la pauvrete, ou par de nouveaux gouverneurs.
Hippolyte Taine underscored clearly the significance of diaries and accounts of foreign visitors for the history of France:
Des lettres et des journaux de voyageurs etrangers controlent et completent, par des peintures independantes, les portraits que cette societe a traces d'elle-meme. Elle a tout dit sur son propre compte, sauf ce qui lui semblait technique, ennuyeux et mesquin, sauf ce qui concernait la province, la bourgeoisie, le paysan, l'ouvrier, l'administration et le menage.
Hodoeporics, as a narrative "a tendance encyclopedique," is a laboratory in which all human experiences can find their expression: history, geography, all natural and human sciences.
10. TAXONOMY OF HODOEPORICS
If we agree with Kellogg and Scholes that the epic, the chief ancestor of modern fiction, has developed into the empirical (i.e., historical and mimetic) and fictional (i.e., romantic and didactic) novel, we may be tempted to put travel narrative at the very foundation of the modern novel. Yet there is no need to review here the complex debate that has divided the critics over the definition and origin of the novel. Ralph Freedman points to roots that "reach down to different layers of soil" in the modern novel, Northrop Frye's definition of novel as a sort of meta-genre has inferred the presence of a main character engaged in a "quest involving religion, war, a golden or social utopia, exploration, monetary gain, a person, a knowledge of the world or oneself," in a word, "a marvelous journey."
All said, novel still remains a vague term and indicates, alas, almost as a flatus vocis, an all-encompassing genre capable of greater extremes than any other artistic form of art, so elastic, in fact, as to be almost undefinable. Frye's "marvelous journey," however, seems the essential component of the epic of Homer and Virgil, the Greek and Latin works of Lucian and Apuleius, up to the medieval roman, the pastoral tale, and the modern novel.
Although one may agree that any narrative, to a certain extent, involves hodoeporics, as we have postulated above, the enormous, amorphous material that constitutes travel narrative begs a definition and classification, albeit temporary and blurry. Adrien Pasquali's explanation as a "parcours geographique, referentiel, verifiable" seems quite satisfactory; as far as a taxonomic definition, however, the task is much harder, witness the negative conclusion of Percy G. Adams's seminal work on travel literature:
The recit de voyage is not just a first-person journal.... It is not just in prose.... It is not necessarily a story with a simple, uncontrived plot.... It is not just a set of notes jotted down each day or whenever the traveler has time.... It is not just an objective report.... [It] is not a branch of history any more than it is of geography.... [It] is, of course, not just an exploration report.... It is not a complete record of a journey.... It is not "subliterature."
The distinction between recit de voyage and novel appears rather tenuous: it is a question "de degre, non de nature," as A. Pasquali points out. As positive as it may seem, Louis Marin's definition of travel narrative remains vague, for the common denominator of the various forms of recit de voyage is obviously very large:
un type de recit ou l'histoire bascule dans la geographie, ou la ligne successive qui est la trame formelle du recit ne relie point, les uns aux autres, des evenements, des accidents, des auteurs narratifs, mais des lieux dont le parcours et la traversee constituent la narration elle-meme; recit, plus precisement, dont les evenements sont des lieux qui n'apparaissent dans le discours du narrateur que parce qu'ils sont les etapes d'un itineraire. Sans doute ces etapes peuvent-elles etre marquees pas des incidents, des accidents et des rencontres, c'est-a-dire par l'autre espece d'evenements qui constituent le materiau du recit historique.
There is, obviously, no set form or genre of hodoeporics, for the travel writer "has a thousand forms and formulas from which to choose when writing the account of a trip, whether he intends to publish his account or not." To understand the difficulty of establishing a "generic" taxonomy of hodoeporics, we could just look at some of the oldest examples of travel narrative in Greek literature, the Odyssey and the Anabasis: respectively, a poetic narrative of a fictional journey and an historical account in prose of Xenophon's return to Greece after the demise of the expedition from Persia.
We may attempt a classification according to a taxonomic spectrum based on subjective/objective elements in a hodoeporic text. At one extreme we have the guidebook: an objective description, often trite, but basically accurate and thorough, an indispensable tool for the next generation of travelers. Examples of this form span from Herodotus's History, "the tourist's perfect companion," and Pausanias's Description of Greece (A.D. ca. 150), the Baedeker of the ancient world, to the Mirabilia urbis Romae, from Estienne's Guide des chemins de France (1553) and Richard Rowland's The Posts of the World (1576) to the Guida del Touring Club Italiano and the Guide Michelin. At the other extreme of the spectrum in this classification there is an unmanageable number of narratives of personal remembrances, often written for the purpose of instructing friends who are about to undertake the same journey. This private narrative is often mingled with objective descriptions; in fact, the first draft of a travel journal may be rewritten--for the purpose of publication--and completed with entire pages taken from guidebooks.
Naturally, the traveler's intellectual preparation remains the essential condition that creates an intelligent report or an entertaining narrative, since writing, from Gilgamesh on, is the most objective prise de conscience of the event by the person who has lived through it. When the traveler writes a recit, the threshhold of passivity has been left behind and the reflection on a personal experience is already taking place. True, the superficial tourist will always observe only the most frivolous details of a human geography, be it in writing or through the impassible eye of a camera or a camcorder. Observations bare and betray the observer's character and prejudices:
Some minds improve by travel, others rather Resemble copper wire, or brass, Which gets the narrower by going farther!
Moved by a desire to be objective, the traveler usually starts by taking notes during the journey, filling up tablets with the toponyms as he hears them pronounced by the locals. Sometimes the traveler just cannot jot them down fast enough, as Orazio Busino confessed, while riding on a boat down the Rhine:
Vedevansi da una parte et l'altra molti bei siti, ripieni di ville, terre et castelli, che invero paiono piu frequenti et folti di quel che si veggono case et palazzi per la Brenta.... In somma, torno a repplicare che da ogni parte, a lunga vista et propinqua, li monti et le costiere sono cosi tempestate di varie et diverse fabriche ch'io et chi si voglia, stando con la penna in mano nel corso della barca velocemente scrivendo, non potrebbono perfettamente abbozzar i nomi loro.
This first draft of the journal is then rewritten, once or more often, at the end of the journey, sometimes with added details (or elusive toponyms) with the help of a guidebook or somebody else's travel journal, for achieving objectivity is essential to travel narrative. At this point the written product can still be considered a true travel journal, one to be presented as a guidebook to others who aim at repeating the same journey. Such a journal is the documented proof of a journey really taken. Eventually, a desire for more objectivity may prevail. If the writer is interested in publishing his narrative, he must emphasize everything he has learned about people, places, monuments, local history. He may then heed the advice of the theoreticians who have created the so-called methodus apodemica, a mnemonic-based system of organizing the material that enjoyed a tremendous success from the end of the 16th century well into the 18th. We are slowly moving towards the creation of a guidebook in which the subjective element, the journey actually performed, disappears under a rather cumbersome collection of objective details. Moving between two points, the traveler describes everything that is there, regardless of whether he saw such details or only read about them: above all, he seems interested in what he could see, or should have seen, had he had the time and leisure to move freely in the region. Louis Coulon's L'Ulysse francois, ou le Voyage de France, de Flandre et de Savoye (Paris: G. Clousier, 1643) and Pierre Bergeron's numerous (and still unpublished) travel manuscripts are the most striking examples of this tendency.
At the same time, the effort to emphasize a personal narrative continues. Sometimes the writer's goal is just to amuse his readers, like the epistolary tragicomoedia of Erasmus's journey from Basel to Louvain. The entertaining component is never totally absent, even from official reports, as in Vespucci's letter to Piero Soderini in which the navigator summarizes his discoveries. Admittedly "presuntuoso" and "perotioso" in addressing a dignitary, Vespucci acknowledges, however, that "la verita del [suo] scrivere" offers his reader "cose che non si trovano scritte ne per li antichi ne per moderni scrittori": Soderini should therefore bear the burden "di consumare un poco di tempo nelle cose ridicule e dilettevoli ... per discanso di tante occupazioni." In other cases, realizing that his recit may enjoy an unexpected success among friends and patrons who have perused it, the traveler will rewrite it, selecting amusing details to entertain his audience, like a storyteller who keeps adding on to and embroidering over the basic structure of a tale:
Doppo d'aver terminata la non poca fatica di trascrivere i tre libri del presente viaggio, quando credevo di poter consolare il desiderio del mio buon fratello che il [my journal] voleva per divertire se stesso et altri, soliti ad onorare il suo casino di campagna, ... non e stato possibile che alle replicate sue lettere di premurose istanze sappia rissolvermi ad inviarglielo.
The narrative now emphasizes curious events and favors details that aim at entertaining. The case of Sebastiano Locatelli's Viaggio di Francia is typical of this category: during thirty years, Locatelli rewrote his original narrative at least four times, adding new episodes (and leaving the reader more and more uncertain as to the veracity of many of the facts reported).
At this point, however, we lose the travel narrative for a fictional development. But fiction is rooted in hodoeporics, for every travel writer, consciously or not, performs a mise en intrigue to underscore and reorganize elements that are not always essential to the factual journey. The result is a growing ambivalence between facts and fiction, a result which blurs the distinction between travel and fictional narrative, for the narrator/witness slowly has evolved into a character/actor whose goal is to become the center of interest.
The Romantic writer could even make a parody of the process of inquiry that precedes the act of writing. Subverting the rules, in fact mocking the descriptive technique of traditional travel books, Heinrich Heine refuses to spend his time in Brescia just visiting the city. We find him, instead, feasting in a restaurant:
I cannot say much about Brescia, for I took advantage of my time to have a decent meal.... But, before I got back into the coach, I was conscientious enough to ask my waiter for information about the city: so I found out, among other things, that Brescia has forty thousand people, a city hall, twenty-one coffee houses, twenty Catholic churches, an insane asylum, a synagogue, a zoo, a jail, a hospital and a theater equally good, and gallows for thiefs who steal less than one hundred thousand tallers.
Heine has made a definite choice between the guided tour of Brescia and the comfort and aromas of the table d'hote. He has led his reader, in a full cycle, and tongue-in-cheek, to a recit de voyage fully based on hearsay and centered on the writer as actor. Gradually, travel narrative has been losing touch with travel. Should we still attempt to situate it in a complex taxonomy within de Certau's encompassing definition of recit?
Il Mondo Nuovo di Amerigo Vespucci: scritti vespucciani e paravespucciani, a cura di Mario Pozzi (Alessandria: Edizioni dell'Orso, 1993), p. 76. Antonio Pigafetta ackowledged in the dedication of his Relatione del primo viaggio intorno al mondo that his journey was undertaken with the goal of "far esperienza di me e andare a vedere quelle cose che potessero dare alguna satisfazione a me medesmo e potessero parturirmi qualche nome apresso la posterita." Moreover, he has put in his written account ("questo mio libreto") "tute le vigilie, fatiche e peregrinazione mie" (in Nuovo Mondo: Gli Italiani [1492-1565], cit., pp. 325-326).
Francesco Carletti, Ragionamenti del mio viaggio intorno al mondo (Milan: Mursia: 1987), p. 97. Oeuvres philosophiques (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1951), II, 118. Encyclopedie [1765 ed.], XVII, 477 (s.v. "Voyage").
Les Origines de la France contemporaine, I: L'Ancien Regime (Paris: Hachette, 1894), p. VI.
Claude Reichter, introduction to A. Pasquali's Le Tour des horizons, p. XVII.
R. Kellogg and R. Scholes, The Nature of Narrative (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966). "The Possibility of a Theory of the Novel," in P. Demetz, Th. Greene, and L. Nelson, Jr. (eds.), The Discipline of Criticism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968), pp. 57-79. See also Percy G. Adams's clear analysis in Travel Literature and the Evolution of the Novel (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1983), pp. 1-37.
The Anatomy of Criticism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957).
Le Tour des horizons, p. 85.
Percy G. Adams, Travel Literature and the Evolution of the Novel, pp. 280-281.
Le Tour de horizons, p. 94; "La double nature--narrative et descriptive--du recit de voyage ? revele surtout l'ambiguite d'un genre partage entre les exigences souvent contradictoires de la documentation et du recit" (J. Chupeau, "Les Recits de voyage aux lisieres du roman," Revue d'histoire litteraire de la France, LXXVII, 1977, p. 544).
Louis Marin, quoted by A. Pasquali, Le Tour des horizons, p. 94. Francis Affergan offered another attempt to organize the multifarious models of hodoeporics by joining linguistics and rhetoric. Postulating a complex four-model system ("recit metonymique, synecdochique, metaphorique," and, finally, a recit of real travel and discovery), he is eventually forced to acknowledge that "tout recit de voyage appartient aux quatre genres a la fois, a des degres divers, ou plutot il y participe de fait, puisque le rapport sur le voyage effectue ou non est inverifiable completement" (cf. A. Pasquali's chapter "Une typologie narrative des recits de voyage: urgence ou impossibilite?" in Le Tour des horizons, pp. 139-143).
Percy G. Adams, Travel Literature and the Evolution of the Novel, introduction, Underscoring the difficulty of analyzing these elements, A. Pasquali rightly calls them "pseudo-subjectif" and "pseudo-objectif" (Le Tour des horizons, p. 91).
Lionel Casson, Travel in the Ancient World (London: Allen & Unwind, 1974), p. 111.
Thomas Hoby, for example, used Leandro Alberti's Descrittione di tutta Italia, as did the 16th-century anonymous author of the Discours viatiques de Paris a Rome et de Rome a Naples et Sicile (Geneva: Slatkine, 1983). Sebastiano Locatelli copied abundantly from de la Varenne's Voyage de France and Schott's Itineraria Italiae rerumque romanarum (see my introduction to Locatelli's Viaggio di Francia).
The travel journal is not the only literary product of this human experience: epistolography, memoirs, remembrances found in other literary expressions (essays, history, treatises, novels, etc.) can all be referred to the travel experience. For instance, the trip to Rome has created an abundant material, from the correspondence of Renaissance humanists (Petrarch, Guillaume Bude, Christophe de Longueil, Jean Lemaire, and many others) to poetic works (in France, we have Du Bellay's Regrets, De Magny's Soupirs, allusions in Jodelle and Belleau, Grevin's Gelodacrye, etc.). See Jean Delumeau, Rome au XVIe siecle (Paris: Hachette, 1975); Eric Macphail, The Voyage to Rome in French Renaissance Literature (Saratoga: ANMA Libri, 1990); Jean-Pierre Lafouge, "Italy in Travel Books of the 17th Century," Cahiers du Dix- Septieme: An Interdisciplinary Journal, III, 2 (1989), 115-130.
Sometimes, according to Ennio Flaiano's bon mot, a tourist "raccoglie documenti che proveranno il suo viaggio, ma sarebbe troppo facile provargli che non si e mai mosso" (his reportage, which appeared in Il Corriere della sera, September 23, 1960, is now in Opere: scritti postumi, ed. M. Corti and A. Longoni. Milan: Bompiani, 1988).
Thomas Hood, "Ode to Rae Wilson, Esq." in The Works of T. H. (London: Moxon & Co.: 1862), VI, 231. I shall soon publish the travel journals of the Venetian Ambassador Pietro Contarini to Turin, London, Madrid, and Rome, written by his various secretaries (among whom Orazio Busino) between 1606 and 1623.
See below my bibliographical essay, "Renaissance Travel Taxonomy: A Bibliography of Theoretical Texts (1500-1700)," pp. ***-***. Cf. also my essays "Voyage et recit de voyage a la Renaissance," Montaigne Studies: Montaigne traducteur, Montaigne voyageur, V, 1-2 (1993), 109; and "Itineraires de Francais en Italie a l'epoque de Montaigne," in Montaigne e l'Italia (Geneva: Slatkine, 1991), pp. 437-452. On Renaissance methodological theories see Walter J. Ong, Method and the Decay of Dialogue (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1958); Neal W. Gilbert, Renaissance Concepts of Method (New York: Columbia University Press, 1966); Frances A. Yates, The Art of Memory (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1966).
The tragicomic account of Erasmus's journey (letter no 867 of October 1518 to Beatus Rhenanus), composed while recovering from an illness, "was left open in the hands of the messenger, to be shown to those whom he would pass on the way to Basel" (Opus epistolarum, ed. P. S. Allen. Oxford: Clarendon, 1906, III, 393). A copy was made to be sent to England, and many humorous details found their way in other letters Erasmus sent to other friends.
Letter of September 4, 1504 from Lisbon, in Nuovo Mondo: Gli Italiani (1492-1565), pp. 234-235.
Sebastiano Locatelli, Viaggio di Francia, p. 45.
See Albert N. Mancini, "Autobiografia e autocoscienza narrativa nel Viaggio di Francia di Sebastiano Locatelli," below, pp. ***-***.
H. Heine, Reisebilder in Werke und Briefe (Berlin: Aufbau, 1961), III, 251-252 (my translation).
(1.) "Au commencement etait la route," wrote Joseph Bedier in his study of the origin of the chansons de geste in France (Les Legendes epiques: recherches sur la formation des chansons de geste. Paris: Champion, 1929, III, 367); but Bedier only meant that the road (to Santiago de Compostela) was the source of the chansons de geste.
(2.) Michel de Certeau, L'Invention du quotidien: I: Arts de faire (Paris: 10/18, 1980), p. 206.
(3.) Mieke Bal, Narratologie: Les instances du recit (Paris: Klinksieck, 1977), p. 4. See also Ricardo Gullon's analysis in his study Espacio y novela (Barcelona: Bosch, 1980).
(4.) New food-gathering strategies needed to be developed. They fostered the use of shrewd and clever techniques in order to kill large animals, and at the same time increased social interaction, communication and planning, development of weapons, and, above all, forced the hunter to move about following his prey (Joseph Bronowski, The Ascent of Man. BostonToronto: Little, Brown and Co., 1973, p. 42).
(5.) Eric J. Leed, The Mind of the Traveler: From Gilgamesh to Global Tourism (New York: Basic Books, 1991), pp. 21-22.
(6.) Fredrik Barth, Ritual and Knowledge Among the Baktaman of New Guinea (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975), p. 199.
(7.) "On fait le voyage d'Italie. On fait un voyage a Paris. Il faut tous faire le grand voyage" (Encyclopedie, s. v. "Voyage"). See also Claude Carozzi, Le Voyage de l'ame dans l'au- dela d'apres la litterature latine (Ve-XIIIe siecle) (Rome: Ecole Francaise de Rome, 1994). This is also expressed by the the popular wisdom of the South: "We are all graveyard travelers, and when you worry, you're just whipping up your horse" (S. A. Kingsbury and K. B. Harder, eds., A Dictionary of American Proverbs. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992, pp. 608-609).
(8.) "Icarie," however, is also the name of the ideal city that Etienne Cabet, a French communist utopian and author of a Voyage en Icarie (1842), had planned to found in 1848, first in Texas, then in Illinois. His manifesto, "Allons en Icarie!", appeared in a French journal, Le Populaire (Cfr. Cl. Pichois, Auguste Poulet-Malassis: L'editeur de Baudelaire. Paris: Fayard, 1996, p. 244, n. 2).
(9.) Among the first works of this sort, we have Langland's Piers Plowman (14th century), Robert Ciboule's Livre du chemin de la perfection (ca. 1450), and Jean Glapion's Le Passetemps du pelerin de la vie humaine (ca. 1520).
(10.) The labyrinths and mazes on the floor of some Gothic cathedrals--sometimes used as substitute pilgrimages--were intended as symbols of the centripetal road to salvation. (Cf. W. H. Matthews, Mazes and Labyrinths: Their History and Development. New York: Dover, 1970 [reprint]).
(11.) An anonymous 18th-century critic remarked cruelly: "[This poem would] persuade the stubborn geometricians that the whole isn't always greater than its parts" (See C. Maurer, Obra y vida de Francisco de Figueroa. Madrid: Istmo, 1988, pp. 316-317).
(12.) I owe this observation to my friend Timothy Winters, of Vanderbilt University.
(13.) A comparison with Aeneas, in the classical world, is de rigueur: obedient to the call of Fate, the Trojan hero embarked on a toilsome flight after the fall of his city, to found a new city and become the father of a new, glorious race.
(14.) The ultimate irony for this journeying people is the image of the "wandering Jew," a 13th-century anti-semitic legend that eventually became very popular in France as a novel by Eugene Sue (Le Juif errant, 1845), an opera by Halevy and Scribe (1852), and a series of engravings by Gustave Dore (1856).
(15.) The Greek Bible has [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (to go far away from one's own country) and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (voyage) (Cf. Dictionnaire de spiritualite ascetique et mystique, s.v. "Pelerinages", t. XII, pt. I, col. 888-939). Even Cicero uses the term peregrinatio as time spent in a foreign land (Tuscul. 37, 107 and Ad famil. II, 12, 2), and Tertullian is probably among the first writers to assign this word a generic meaning (De carne Christi, 7, 7).
(16.) Dictionnaire de spiritualite ascetique et mystique, XII, I, 890.
(17.) Isidore of Seville makes no practical distinction between profugus ("qui procul a sedibus suis vagatur, quasi porro fugatus") and peregrinus ("longe a patria positus, sicut alienigena", Etym. X, 215). He also defines peregrini as "quod ignorantur eorum parentes: sunt enim de longiqua regione" (Etym. IX, 41).
(18.) The ger in the Old Testament is not merely a "passing stranger," but a "temporary dweller in the land" who occupies a position intermediary between a "native" and a "foreigner" (J. Hastings, A Dictionary of the Bible, s.v. "ger").
(19.) In the Judaic tradition, the aliyah (literally, "ascent") is indeed a pilgrimage of some sort, the coming of the Jews to the Land of Israel, and is "an almost uninterrupted process ever since the crushing of the Jewish resistance by the Romans" (Encyclopedia Judaica, I, 634).
(20.) <<In jeder grossen Trennung liegt ein Keim von Wahnsinn>> (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Italienische Reisen, 22 March 1788). It is an idea that reflects, implicitly, the absurdity of Dante's "folle volo" (Inf. XXVI, 125).
(21.) The term "nostalgia" (from [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], return, and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], pain) was coined in 1678 by Johannes Hofer in his Dissertatio medica de nostalgia, oder Heimwehe, published in Basel by J. Bertsch. J. Lieutaud accepted this word in his Precis de la medecine pratique (Paris: Vincent, 1759) and made it a household word: "il faut encore mettre sous ce titre [du delire melancolique] la nostalgie, qu'on appelle communement la maladie du pays, quoique le desir de revoir sa patrie soit souvent tres-raisonnable" (p. 215).
I owe this idea to my friend, Annunziata Campa, of the Universita di Pisa, who presented it in a paper "Axiologia del lenguaje en la escritura femenina: En cualquier lugar de Marta Traba," at the I Congreso Internacional de Hispanistas, held in Melilla (Spain) on June 26-30, 1995.
(22.) The meaning of "pain" does not completely disappear, however. In a short poem at the end of his Histoire d'un voyage en terre de Bresil (1599-1600), Jean de Lery addresses God, "qui m'[a] [fait sentir] tant de travaux."
(23.) On the other hand, voyage, viaggio, viaje comes from the Latin viaticum (traveling money, provision for the trip), through a Provencal form viatge (Old French veiage).
(24.) "To William Roe," in Poems, ed. I. Donaldson (London: Oxford University Press, 1975), p. 74. I owe this quote to my friend William H. Race, of Vanderbilt University.
(25.) The term is closely connected to the story of Abraham (see in Heb 11:8-10 the New Testament interpretation of Gen 12:1). Cf. Dictionnaire de spiritualite, XII, I, 890.
(26.) For an impressive documentation on pilgrims and pilgrimages throughout the 8th century A.D., see the art. "Pelerinages aux Lieux Saints" in Dictionnaire d'archeologie chretienne et de liturgie, XIV, I, 65-174.
(27.) Quoted in E. Leed, The Mind of the Traveler, p. 11.
(28.) Hans Eberhard Mayer, The Crusades (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972), pp. 1415.
(29.) While acknowledging that the pilgrimage to the Holy Land was essentially an act of faith ("adorasse ubi steterunt pedes Domini pars fidei est," Epist. XLVII, 2), Saint Jerome recognized that it was not a mandatory duty ("non Hierosolymis fuisse, sed Hierosolymis bene vixisse laudandum est, quia regnum Dei intra nos est," Epist. LVIII, 2). This idea is reflected in the old axiom "Qui peregrinantur raro sanctificantur," which underscores the moral and spiritual risks to which pilgrims were often exposed, a common complaint of reformers of the age of Erasmus (Cf. Luther's An den christlichen Adel  and De captivitate Babylonica ecclesiae , Tyndale's Obedience of a Christian Man , and Erasmus's Peregrinatio religionis ergo ).
(30.) Piero Camporesi's introduction to his edition of the Libro dei vagabondi (Torino: Einaudi, 1973) is a mine of information, with superb documentation.
(31.) De opere monachorum (XXVIII), in Migne, Patrologia latina, XL, 575-576.
(32.) "Monachi qui sine licentia episcopi vagantur, ad propria loca redire coguntur" (Decretum Gratiani, quoted in Camporesi, p. XII). Piero Camporesi calls it a tradition of crime ("impianto a delinquere"): small groups of followers of this religio mendicans, fraternities of beggars, bands of almsmen, often alternating their soliciting with periods of orgy and debauchery.
(33.) In a letter to Irish bishops, Pope John XXII mentioned the need to take serious disciplinary measures against "nonnullos fratres mendicantes et alios clericos subvertentes populum Ibernie a devotione regis et persuadentes eis mala facere" (quoted by L. Fumi, Eretici e ribelli nell'Umbria. Todi: Atanor, s.d., p. 13).
(34.) "La mobilite des hommes du Moyen Age a ete extreme, deconcertante", wrote J. Le Goff (La Civilisation de l'Occident medieval. Paris: Artaud, 1965, p. 172). And, according to a 13th-century Italian poem, the "Detto del gatto lupesco," "... uomini vanno / ki per prode e ki per danno, / per lo mondo tuttavia" (in Poeti del Duecento, ed. G. Contini. Milano- Napoli: Ricciardi, 1960, II, 288). Camporesi detailed this world: "dei giudei erranti e maledetti (e naturalmente dei loro falsificatori), dei mendicanti veri e dei mendicanti falsi (la gueuserie), delle congreghe di ciechi, degli storpi, degli attratti, dei lebbrosi, dei mercenari e dei soldati che andavano alla guerra o che dalla guerra ritornavano (o dicevano di ritornare), degli scampati dai pirati e dagli infedeli, dei servi fuggiaschi ..., i fuggitivi colpiti dal bando (i bannis), gli uomini dediti alla rapina e al furto (caimans, marauds), le bande di soldati sbandati che vivevano alle spalle della gente dei campi (belitres), gli essorilles (malfattori e delinquenti recidivi che avevano avuto mozzate le orecchie dal carnefice), 'larrons, mendiants, espieux de chemin, ravisseurs de femmes, violeurs d'Eglise, tireurs a l'oye, joueux de faulx dez, trompeurs, faux monnoyeurs, malfaicteurs et autres associez, recepteurs et complices' ...; e poi autentici disoccupati, affamati, gente senza un vero mestiere. E infine, a partire dai primi decenni del Quattrocento, gli zingari; venivano poi gli artigiani e i lavoratori itineranti: tessitori, calderai, seggiolai, arrotini, impagliatori, muratori, i maestri e gli apprendisti delle arti mobili, e tutta la schiera innumerevole degli artigiani stagionali che abbandonavano le loro terre e le loro vallate per esercitare il mestiere in stagioni brevi o lunghe in altri paesi e contrade, ed ogni gruppo col proprio linguaggio 'corporativo' o gergo segreto (la lingua occulta), con gli abiti- divisa (o con gli abiti-travestimento), coi suoi santi, le sue cantilene e salmodie, le sue pentole, i suoi sogni; e le strade con le taverne, le locande invitanti sotto l'insegna e il mazzo d'agrifoglio, i ponti coi loro custodi, le porte delle 'terre', gli ospizi, le abbazie, i conventi, i cenobi, le foresterie, gli ospedali dei poveri e dei pellegrini" (Camporesi, p. XXIII-XXIV).
(35.) "The journey is a pre-verbal notion which convention (or epic 'grammar') associates with a network of details [which are] in turn associated with various lexical items and grammatical constructions.... The most important aspect of the code is the combination of details and the diverse effects these combinations may have" (E. A. Heinemann, "The Motif of Journey in the Chanson de Geste," in H. Scholler, ed., The Epic in Medieval Society: Aesthetic and Moral Values. Tubingen: Max Niemer, 1977, pp. 178-192). See also John Stevens's Medieval Romance: Themes and Approaches (London: Hutchinson University Library, 1973), pp. 148-151. Even in the fabliaux travel is "un pretexte, une entree en matiere, ... car il arrive quelque chose quand les heros sont arrives quelque part, et pas avant" (Marie-Therese Lorcin, "Les Voyages ne forment que la jeunesse, ou Le voyageur et l'etranger dans les fabliaux," in Voyage, quete, pelerinage dans la litterature et la civilisation medievales. Aix-enProvence: Editions CUER, 1976, p. 465).
(36.) The Common Reader: Second Series (London: Hogarth Press, 1935), p. 80.
(37.) "De utilitate colloquiorum" in Opera omnia (Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1972), I, III, 742.
(38.) Ralph Waldo Emerson, "On Self-Reliance," 2-3.
(39.) See "The Travels of Ming Liaotse" in Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living (New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1937), pp. 341-342.
(40.) Juan A. Ortega y Medina, El conflicto anglo-espanol por el dominio oceanico (siglos XVI y XVII) (Malaga: Editorial Alcazara, 1992), p. 71.
(41.) Didier Souillier, Le Roman picaresque (Paris: P.U.F., 1980).
(42.) Cervantes, "La ilustre fregona,"in Novelas ejemplares, ed. H. Sieber (Madrid: Catedra, 1994), II, 141.
(43.) Charles Sorel, Histoire comique de Francion (I) in Romanciers du XVIIe siecle, textes presentes et annotes par A. Adam (Paris: Gallimard, 1958, p. 91).
(44.) M. Molho, "Introduction a la pensee picaresque" in Romans picaresques espagnols (Paris: Gallimard, 1968), p. LV.
(45.) Histoire de ma vie (Wiesbaden-Paris: F. A. Brockhaus-Plon, 1962).
(46.) "Le Spleen de Paris," XXXI. To a certain extent, there is a picaresque component in every travel; even Montaigne, who would not be accused of this weakness, cannot always justify his wanderings ("Je scay bien ce que je fuis, mais non pas ce que je cherche," Essais, III, 9).
(47.) Obras completas (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva, 1969), p. 595.
(48.) See below Jaime Ferran, "Viaje y literatura," pp. 75-76.
(49.) "I've always wanted to get as far as possible from the place where I was born. ? The farther away I go, the happier I am," said a great traveler (Conversations with Paul Bowles, ed. G. Dagel Caponi. Jackson: Univ. Press of Mississippi, 1993), p. 90.
(50.) Fearing bad influences on young travelers, Plato forbids any travel before the age of 40. He accepts, however, the pedagogical value of travel, provided that travel be mediated by a mature tutor, knowing well that a state needs to confront itself with other states in order to achieve "an adequate level of maturity and civilisation" (Laws, XII, 950-951). We find numerous auctoritates in the first few chapters of Turler's De peregrinatione (cited in its English translation, The Traveiler. London: H. How, 1575) and in Montaigne's essay "De l'institution des enfans" (I, 26).
Adam Smith follows Plato's negative approach to travel as a means of perversion: "A young man who goes abroad at seventeen or eighteen ? commonly returns home more conceited, more unprincipled, more dissipated, and more incapable of any serious application either to study or to business than he could well have become in so short a time had he lived at home" (Wealth of Nations, V, 1).
(51.) In his L'arte de la guerra and Discorsi sopra la prima Deca Machiavelli underscores the strategic importance of observation for the young traveling aristocrat. In the Principe he assumes that the ruler has learned in his youth the basic notions of geographic strategy: " ? e parte imparare la natura de' siti e conoscere come surgono e monti, come imboccono le valle, come iacciono e piani, ed intendere la natura de' fiumi e de' paduli; e in questa porre grandissima cura" (XIV).
(52.) Baldesar Castiglione, Il Cortegiano, IV, 18; II, 12-13.
(53.) W. Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, I, I, 8-9, and also "Such wind as scatters young men through the world / To seek their fortunes farther than at home / Where small experience grows" (I, II, 48-50).
(54.) An important corollary to the Bildungreise is the exchange of ideas which took place among medieval and Renaissance traveling scholars: "The first important channel through which Italian humanism spread abroad was what we now like to call the exchange of persons. Many foreigners had occasion to visit Italy and to get acquainted with humanist learning, depending on their stay, and on the range of their intellectual interests" (O. Kristeller, "The European Diffusion of Italian Humanism" Italica, XXXIX , 2). Peter Burke called this method of exchange "the most direct and personal means of diffusing humanism" ("The Spread of Italian Humanism" in A. Goodman and A. Mackay, The Impact of Humanism on Western Europe. London-New York: Longman, 1990, p. 3); see also Angel Gomez Moreno, Espana y la Italia de los humanistas (Madrid: Gredos, 1994), pp. 296-314.
(55.) H. Kirchner, "Oration on Travel," quoted and translated by Thomas Coryate in the preface to his Crudities (Glasgow: MacLehose, 1905 [reprint]), I, 129.
(56.) "For, since experience is the greatest parte of humane wisedome, and the same is increased by traveil, I suppose ther is no man will deney, but that a man may become the wiser by traveiling" (Turler's Preface to The Traveiler). "Je me plais a etudier l'homme en voyageant," was Casanova's confession to Voltaire (Histoire de ma vie, VI, X. Paris: Plon, 1960, III, 227). Emerson, however, emphasized the wisdom of avoiding what he called "the superstition of travelling": "the wise man stays at home, and when his necessities, his duties, on any occasion call him from his house, or into foreign lands, he is at home still, ... and visits cities and men like a sovereign, and not like an interloper or a valet" ("On Self- Reliance," 2).
(57.) We have been able to identify only a few 16th-century proverbs related to travel. A few quotations from Classical authors keep reappearing in many journals: "Hominum natura novitatis ac peregrinationibus avida est" (Pliny, Natur. hist., XVII, x, 12); "Vectatio iterque et mutata regio vigorem dant" (Seneca, De tranquill., XVII, 8). A passage from the Ecclesiasticus (34:9), the book of the Bible also known as Sirach, which in the Vulgate is rather bland ("Vir in multis expertus cogitabit multa"), is sometimes translated as "A man that hath travelled knoweth many things." Moryson has a small selection of proverbs for the traveler, taken from John Florio's popular textbook, the Second Frutes (London: Woodcock, 1591): "Se vuoi esser viandante et andar salvo per il mondo, habbi sempre et in ogni luoco occhio di falcone per veder lontano, orecchie d'asino per udir bene, viso di [s]cimia per esser pronto al riso, bocca di porcello per mangiar del tutto, spalle di camelo per portar ogni cosa con patientia, e gambe di cervo per poter fuggire i pericoli" (p. 92). Another series of texts can be found in Georgius Loysius's Pervigilium Mercurii, in quo agitur de praestantissimis peregrinantis virtutibus (Curiae Variscorum [Regensburg]: Pfeilsmidt, 1598), a collection of proverbs, published in Germany (also in 1600), and included as an appendix to Heinrich Rantzau's Methodus apodemica (1608), Gottfried Hegenitius's Itinerarium frisio-hollandicus (1661 and 1667), and Thomas Theodor Crusius's De eruditione comparanda (1699). In English we find two proverbs, "Travaile fulleth the man: he hath liv'd but lockt up in a larger chest, which hath never seene but one land" and "Travel makes a wise man better, but a fool worse" (Owen Feltham, Resolves. London: Scile, 1628, p. 251).
(58.) Apologie pour Herodote, ch. XIII and XXXIX. See also the essay by Gabriel Maugain, "L'Italie dans l'Apologie pour Herodote" in Melanges offerts a M. Abel Lefranc (Paris, 1936), pp. 378-392, who defines Apologie as an "un arsenal de fleches empoisonnees, reunies contre les Italiens et surtout contre leur clerge." Lionello Sozzi offered a detailed analysis of this problem in "La Polemique anti-italienne en France au XVIe siecle," Atti dell'Accademia delle scienze di Torino, CVI (1972), 99-190.
(59.) See, besides Ascham's The Scholemaster (1570), Thomas Nash's Pierce Penniless, his Supplication to the Divell (1592); Howell's Instructions for Forreine Travell (1642); Clare Howard's English Travellers of the Renaissance (London: John Lane, 1913), and my introduction to Isaac Basire's Travels through France and Italy (1647-1649) (Geneva: Slatkine, 1987). The anti-Italian spirit which flourishes in the second half of the 16th century does not prevent dozens of young Englishmen from starting a southbound voyage, and to get transformed into those "Italianfyd Inglischemane," that Thomas Howard, Duc de Norfolk hated so deeply.
(60.) We shall see that Montaigne is always an exception to the general rule. In Padua he had met "plus de cent gentilshommes Francois," which in his opinion prevented young people from "acquerir des cognoissances estrangieres"; in Rome he was upset "de trouver si grand nombre de Francois qu'il ne trouvoit en la rue quasi personne qui ne le saluast en sa langue" (Journal de voyage en Italie, ed. Francois Rigolot. Paris: P.U.F., 1992), pp. 66-67, 91. See Jean Delumeau's "Contribution a l'histoire des Francais a Rome pendant le XVIe siecle," Melanges d'archeologie et d'histoire, LXIV (1952), 249-286.
(61.) Pervigilium Mercurii, no 164. See the ch. "On the opinions of old writers, and some proverbs which I observed in forraigne parts ..." in F. Moryson's Itinerary, pp. 37-54.
(62.) "Ut hominibus singulis, sic populis suae laudes, suae labes. Galliam ecce cogitas? levitatem et vanitatem. ? Italiam? proterviam in ea et libidinem. Hispanias? typhum quemdam et Africanum fastum. Germaniam? comessationes et ebrietatem" (Letter no. 22 of 3 Avril 1578, in Opera omnia. Vesaliae, 1675, II, 32). See an example of this schematic approach in sonnet LXVIII of Du Bellay's Regrets: "Je hay du Florentin l'usuriere avarice."
(63.) Sieur de La-Boullaye-Le-Gouz underscored "la curiosite de voir et apprendre les coutumes estrangeres pour les conferer avec celles de France et en juger sans passion" (Les Voyages et observations ? Paris: Clousier, 1657, p. 13). Montesquieu acknowledged that "quand j'ai voyage dans les pays etrangers je m'y suis attache comme au mien propre" (Mes pensees in OEuvres completes. Paris: Gallimard, 1949, I, 976).
(64.) Discours viatiques, cit., p. 47 and passim; Villamont used the same expression, "le desir qu'avions de voir tousiours choses nouvelles" (Voyages, fo 54v).
(65.) Essais, III, 9. Half a world away from Montaigne, and a few years after the death of the French philosopher, Baish_, a Japanese poet and traveler wrote: "One of the greatest pleasures of traveling was to find a genius hidden among weeds and bushes, a treasure lost in broken tiles, a mass of gold buried in clay, and when I did find such a person, I always kept a record with the hope that I might be able to show it to my friends" ("The Records of a Travel-worn Satchel" in The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches. Hammondsworth: Penguin, 1966, pp. 86-87).
(66.) Voyage d'Italie (1606), ed. Michel Bideaux (Geneva: Slatkine, 1981), p. 42.
(67.) Here is Georgius Loysius's definition: "est autem peregrinatio nihil aliud quam studium perlustrandi terras exoticas et insulas, ab homine idoneo suscipiendum ad artem vel ea acquirenda quae usui et emolumento patriae vel Rei esse publicae possunt" (Pervigilium Mercurii, no 3).
(68.) "Habet multum iucunditatis soli caelique mutatio ipsaque illa peregrinatio inter sua" (Pline, Epist., III, xix, 4).
(69.) Erasmus's letter to Cardinal Raffaele Riario, no 333, of 15 May 1515. Fifteen years later Erasmus wrote from Fribourg: "Interdum cogito Italiam, sed pudet senem peregrinari. Arrisit enim coelum Patavinum, delectavit Italiae gentis humanitas" (no 2328, 14 June 1530). Meeting scholars and college professors was a fundamental activity for the intelligent traveler of the Renaissance: "tria ita egressus iterque ingressus, peregrinantem decet in unaquaque urbe vel Academia celebri inquirere et indagare de doctis viris et professoribus. Si itaque tales qui possunt studiis vel peregrinationi prodesse, hos adeat, audiat, consulat et e sacris istis pectoribus ore hianti bibat vere peregrinationis et abditae doctrinae fontes" (Georgius Loysius, Pervigilium Mercurii, no 8).
On the Roman "light," "cette lumiere qui semble ideale et plus belle que nature," see Chateaubriand's Lettre a M. de Fontanes sur la Campagne romaine, ed. J.-M. Gautier (Geneva: Droz, 1961), pp. 6-7.
(70.) This impulse to follow "virtude e conoscenza," two virtues that qualify a human territory, as opposed to the "brutish" throng of individuals, have become typical of the portrayal of Ulysses, who is "strong in will / To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield" (Tennyson).
(71.) In the language of Free-Masons, "voyage" was "une epreuve que l'on fait subir a ceux qui veulent entrer dans l'ordre, ainsi qu'aux adeptes qui veulent passer d'un grade inferieur a un grade superieur" (Grand Dictionnaire Larousse du XIXe siecle, s.v. "voyage").
(72.) We find interesting semantic suggestions in another travel/writing-related word: "discourse" comes from dis + currere, which in Old English had kept its original meaning of "running to and fro" and "crossing" (as in crossing a river, see the Greek verb pe???, above). Eventually, the metaphorical, abstract concept of "moving from premises to a conclusion" took over in many modern languages.
(73.) "The fame Ulysses won was not by the ten years ye leay at Troy, but by the time he spent in travel" (Robert Greene, The Card of Fancies, 1587). See also Harold Bloom's anthology of interpretations of Ulysses (Ulysses/Odysseus. New York and Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1991) and W. B. Stanford's The Ulysses Theme (Oxford: Blackwell, 1963).
(74.) Fynes Moryson remarked that, among the foreigners in Rome, Germans were the most isolated ethnic group, "never attaining the perfect use of any forreigne Language, be it never so easy." A German, who was mocked for spending thirty years in Italy without learning the language, replied, without blinking: "Ah lieber, was kan man doch in dreissig Jahre lehrnen?" (An Itinerary. Londres, J. Beale, 1617, III, I, ch. 2, p. 15). Which was echoed by Sebastiano Locatelli, a young priest from Bologna who spent a year among Italians in Paris: "In poco piu tempo d'un anno non si puo aprendere gran cose, e massimamente da chi sta in compagnia di persone che vogliono sempre parlare alla paesana" (Viaggio di Francia, 1664-1665, ed. L. Monga. Moncalieri: C.I.R.V.I., 1990, p. 356).
(75.) Montaigne, who "estim[ait] tous les hommes [s]es compatriotes" (Essais, III, 9) wrote aboute certain Renaissance travelers: "Il leur semble estre hors de leur element quand ils sont hors de leur village" (Ibid.). These are travelers who, while abroad, "abominent les estrangers" and "festoyent [l']avanture" of finding "un compatriote en Hongrie." As wrote Sterne, "an Englishman does not travel to see Englishmen" (A Sentimental Journey. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986, p. 37). It is what Thomas Hoby had wanted to avoid during his stay in Italy, in order to achieve "a better knowleg in the tung" and "to goo throwghe the dukedom of Calabria by land into Cicilia both to have a sight of the countrey and also to absent my self for a while owt of Englishmenne's companie for the tung's sake" (The Travels and Life of Sir Thomas Hoby, ed. Powell. London: The Camden Miscellany, 1902, p. 17, 37-38).
(76.) Journal, ed. Paul Viallaneix (Paris: Gallimard, 1959), I, 457.
(77.) See also Goethe (Italienische Reise, 11 October 1786).
(78.) "Le Voyage," 109. There is also a cryptic remark by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to J. Bannister, Jr.: "It happears to me that an American coming to Europe for education loses in his knowledge, in his morals, in his health, in his habits, and in his happiness" (October 15, 1785, in Henry S. Randall, The Life of Thomas Jefferson (New York: Da Capo, 1972 [reprint]), I, 434. Ironically, there is also a line of thought that suggests that travel can be a successful therapy to help forget one's own set of idees recues: "N'apprends qu'avec reserve; --writes H. Michaux--toute une vie ne suffit pas pour desapprendre ce que, naif, soumis, tu t'es laisse mettre dans la tete--innocent!--sans songer aux consequences" (quoted by Adrien Pasquali, Le Tour des horizons: Critique et recits de voyages. Paris: Klinksieck, 1994, p. 26).
(79.) Luigi Tansillo, Canzoniere, ed. E. Percopo (Naples: Artigianelli, 1926, I, 228); see G. Costa, La leggenda dei secoli d'oro nella letteratura italiana (Bari: Laterza, 1972).
(80.) Torquato Tasso, Aminta , chorus of Act I, sc. 2. The topos of the ship carrying overseas war and trade (including the synecdochal use of pinus for ship) is taken from Ovid ("Nondum caesa suis, peregrinum ut viseret orbem, / montibus in liquidis pinus descenderat undas," Met. I, 94-95). Battista Guarini echoed it in his Il pastor fido : " ? il peregrino / va l'altrui terra e 'l mar turbando il pino" (Act IV, sc. 9, chorus). The English lines are from Samuel Daniel's 1601 translation of the Aminta chorus.
(81.) "Telle saison fut bien doree, / En laquelle on se contentoit / De voir de son toict la fumee, / Lors que la terre on ne hantoit / D'un autre Soleil allumee" (Ronsard, Odes, V, X, 10, 94-98; cf. also Flaminio's "De se proficiscente Neapolim").
One could be tempted to mention here the concept of stabilite that Paul Hazard saw as the major characteristic of the Age of Louis XIV: "L'esprit classique ? aime la stabilite. ? Apres la Renaissance et la Reforme, grandes aventures, est venue l'epoque du recueillement" (La Crise de la conscience europeenne, 1680-1715. Paris: Boivin, 1935, p. 3). See, however, Emanuele Kanceff's critique, based on his tally of travel texts of the Age classique ("De la stabilite au mouvement? Il problema del 'Viaggio in Italia' nel Seicento alla luce della critica" in his Poliopticon italiano. Geneva: Slatkine, 1992, I, 67-83).
(82.) "I commend the traders to you--the Prophet Mohammed once said--for they are the courtiers of the horizons and God's trusted servants on earth" (quoted by Zvi Dor-Ner in his Columbus and the Age of Discovery. New York: W. Morrow & Co., 1991, p. 17).
(83.) In Recueil general et complet des Fabliaux, ed. A. de Montaiglon and G. Raynaud (Paris, 1872-1890; Reprint: New York: B. Franklin, s.d.), II, 128.
(84.) Shakespeare, As You Like It (II, IV, 13-15). See also the comic complaint uttered by Panurge during the storm in Rabelais's Quart Livre: "O que troys et quatre foys heureulx sont ceulx qui plantent chous! ... Car ilz ont toujours en terre un pied, l'aultre n'en est pas loing" (ch. XVII). By the time of Lery's Histoire d'un voyage en terre de Bresil (1578), this was already a proverb: "Ha! qu'il fait bon planter des choux, et beaucoup meilleur ouyr deviser de la mer et des sauvages que d'y aller voir!" (ch. XXI).
(85.) Stephanus Vinandius Pighius's Greek quotation is taken from Erasmus' Adagia (no 2238, III, iii, 38), translated as "Est grata domus, domus optima semper." Pascal wrote that "tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre" (Pensees, <<Divertissements>>, no 136**-269**). Pighius reminds his readers that "Mysonem Chemaeum sapientem appellatum et Aglaum quemdam Psophidium senem ac pauperem olim oraculo Delphico Gygi Lydorum regi amplissimo felicitate praelatum esse: quod predii sui, in quo natus erat, limites numquam fuisset egressus" (Hercules prodicius, seu principis juventutis vita et peregrinatio. Anvers: Plantin, 1587, p. 133).
(86.) Cristobal Colon, "Diario del primer viaje" in Textos y documentos completos: relaciones de viajes, cartas y memoriales, ed. C. Varela (Madrid: Alianza, 1982), p. 32.
(87.) Jean Delumeau puts the "manque chronique de metaux precieux" as the main reason for the 15th-century interest in new routes to the Orient (La Civilisation de la Renaissance. Paris: Arthaud, 1973, p. 60).
(88.) "For riches, in the luminous words of Huizinga, had not yet acquired "the spectral impalpability which capitalism, founded in credit, would give later: what haunt[ed] the imagination was still the tangible, yellow gold" (Hugh Thomas, Conquest: Montezuma, Cortes, and The Fall of Old Mexico. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993, p. 63); cf. also Tzvetan Todorov, The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other (New York: Harper & Row), 1984, pp. 8-10. In a letter written on October 28, 1495, Michele da Cuneo, a member of Columbus's 1493-94 expedition, emphasized that the search for gold was the main goal of the mission: "stetimo iorni 29 cum pessimi tempi e mal mangiare e pegio bevere; ma per la cupidita del ditto oro tutti stavamo forti e gagliardi" (quoted in Nuovo Mondo: Gli Italiani [1492-1565], ed. P. Collo and P. L. Crovetto. Turin: Einaudi, 1991, p. 98).
(89.) Hernando Colon, Historia del Almirante (Madrid: Historia 16, 1984), p. 99. Columbus's longing for gold, according to A. Milhou, is probably inspired and influenced by medieval messianic implications as well as obscure alchimistic theories (Colon y su mentalidad mesianica y el ambiente franciscanista espanol. Valladolid, 1983, p. 118).
(90.) "El oro es excelentisimo; del oro se hace tesoro, y con el, quien lo tiene, hace cuanto quiere en el mundo, y llega a que echa las animas al Paraiso" (C. Colon, Textos y documentos, ed. cit., p. 302).
(91.) Another idiosyncratic symbiosis, which in French is characterized by the symbols of le sabre et le goupillon (sabre and aspergillum) can be observed through the entire history of the colonization of the New World. Following closely the instructions received in November 1538 from Antonio Hurtado de Mendoza, the viceroy of New Spain, a Franciscan friar, fra Marco da Nizza, set up to explore the dangerous Mexican territory so that "Dios Nuestro Senor puede ser tan servido y su santa fee ansalzada y acrescentado el patrimonio Real de Su Magestad" (Coleccion de documentos ineditos relativos al descubrimiento, conquista y colonisacion de las posesiones espanolas en America y Oceania, ed. J. Pacheco and F. Cardenas. Madrid, 1865, III, 344; also in Nuovo Mondo: Gli Italiani [1492-1565], cit., p. 477).
(92.) Georges Van Den Abbeele, Travel as a Metaphor: From Montaigne to Rousseau (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1992), p. XXV.
(93.) Cf. Andrew Marvell's "Bermudas" in The Poems and Letters, ed. H. M. Margoliouth (Oxford: Clarendon, 1971), I, 17-18, an island transformed in a paradisiacal garden, but already defined as a "happy island" by Edmund Waller in "Battle of the Summer Islands" (1645), I, 6-11.
(94.) "Loves Progress" (Elegie, XVIII); see also another passage in Donne's poetry: "Licence my roving hands, and let them goe / Behind, before, above, between, below. / Oh my America, my new found lande! ("To His Mistris Going to Bed," ll. 25-27). Cf. T. J. Cachey, Jr., Le Isole Fortunate: appunti di storia letteraria italiana (Rome: "L'Erma" di Bretschneider, 1995.
(95.) The Mind of the Traveler, p. 118.
(96.) Georgius Loysius, Pervigilium Mercurii, cit., no 109. Fynes Moryson, a few decades later, suggested that travel is a 'masculinizing' force for businesswomen: "Women for suspition of chastitie are most unfit for this course, howsoever the masculine women of the Low Countries use to make voyages for traffike" (An Itinerary. Glasgow: MacLehose & Sons, 1907 [reprint], III, 349).
(97.) Egeria's Travels to the Holy Land, ed. John Wilkinson (Jerusalem: Ariel, 1981) and Egerie, Journal de voyage (Itineraire), ed. Pierre Maraval (Paris: Ed. du Cerf, 1982).
(98.) Les XV joies de mariage, ed. J. Rychner (Geneva: Droz, 1963), p. 67-69. See also the female characters in the fabliau "Trois dames de Paris." Even St. Teresa of Avila, one of the greatest mystics, and a "doctor," of the Catholic Church, who made extensive journeys to found convents and settle controversies, was called "femina inquieta y andariega" (See below Juan Ferran, "Viaje y literatura," p. 74).
(99.) Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces (New York: Meridian Books, 1962), pp. 245-247.
(100.) Joachim du Bellay emphasized the literary conquest of the past (as well as his contemporary Italian) tradition with his use of the verb piller, a legal looting of the vast booty of genres and themes and images that could help the illustration of French literature: "La donq', Francoys, marchez couraigeusement vers cete superbe cite Romaine: et des serves depouilles d'elle ? ornez voz temples et autelz. ? Pillez moy sans conscience les sacrez thesors de ce temple Delphique ainsi que vous avez fait autrefoys" (La Deffence et illustration de la langue francoyse, conclusion).
(101.) The journal of her travels, written by Richard Lassels, is MSS Add. 4217 in the British Library; see also Edward Chaney, "Richard Lassels and the Establishment of the Grand Tour: Catholic Cosmopolitans and Royalists in Exile, 1630-1660" (Ph. D. dissertation, University of London, The Wartburg Institute, 1982).
(102.) "To the Royal Geographic Society" (Punch, June 10, 1893).
(103.) Jane Robinson (ed.), Unsuitable For Ladies: An Anthology of Women Travellers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. XIII-XIV.
(104.) Lady Eastlake, Lady Traveller, in Quarterly Review, 151 (1845). See also Elizabeth A. Bohls, Women Travel Writers and the Language of Aesthetics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).
(105.) W. H. Davenport Adams, Celebrated Women Travellers of the Nineteenth Century (London, 1903), p. 433. Heinrich Heine reviewed and compared some travel recits: "Besides Goethe's Italienischer Reisen, Mrs. Morgan's Italy and Mme de Stael's Corinne should be read. What these ladies lack in talent, they have replaced it, not to look pitiful next to Goethe, with a manly feeling (mannliche Gesinnungen) which Goethe lacked. Mrs. Morgan speaks like a man." (Reisebilder, ch. XXVI, in Werke und Briefe. Berlin: Aufbau, 1961, III, 250).
(106.) Shirley Foster, Across New Worlds: Nineteenth-Century Women Travellers and Their Writings (New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1990), p. 8.
(107.) And, we may add, a woman (Mary Eyre, Over the Pyrenees into Spain. London: Bentley, 1865).
(108.) Deeply depressed after a sad love affair, Anna B. Jameson wrote the journal of her journey to the Continent, freely mixing reality and fiction in her immensely popular Diary of an Ennuyee, published anonymously in London (Colburn, 1826).
(109.) Shirley Foster, Across New Worlds, p. 11.
(110.) Thucydides mentioned that Greeks became aware of their own peculiar Hellenic character only when facing the invading Persians, and the Homeric poems lack the selfawareness of a collective Hellenicity ("He does not even use the word 'foreigners' [barbaroi], and this, in my opinion, is because in his time the Hellenes were not yet known by one name, and so marked off as something separate from the outside world," History of the Peloponnesian War). It was basically a linguistic distinction, which implied that the "other" was the one who did not speak Greek. Even Ovid, in exile, called himself "barbarus hic ego sum, qui non intellegor illis" (Tristia, V, x, 37: because he could not be understood by the Getes). See also Todorov's discussion of this problem (The Conquest of America, pp. 190192) and Michel Bideaux's analysis in his essay "Le Voyage d'Italie: instrument de la connaissance de soi par la frequentation d'autrui" (Cf. below, pp. 97-111).
(111.) In Arabic the term nasrani (Nazarene, Christians) has clearly religious connotations, while in Swahili musungu (Caucasian), once used to indicate white colonialists, is presently applied to government bureaucrats (normally black): religion and power become watersheds of some sort.
(112.) Francois Hartog, The Mirror of Herodotus: The Representation of the Other in the Writing of History (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1988), pp. 212-259; J.-F. Lyotard, Discours, figures (Paris: Klinksieck, 1971), p. 142.
(113.) Hjalmar Frisk, Griechisches Etymologisches Worterbuch (Heidelberg: Universitatsverlag, 1970), II, 333-334.
(114.) A, Ernout et A. Meillet, Dictionnaire etymologique de la langue latine (Paris: Klincksiech, 1959), s. v. "hostis."
(115.) Keith Spalding, An Historical Dictionary of German Figurative Usage (Oxford: Blackwell, 1967), s.v. "Gast": "indeed so near to the meaning "enemy" that one can see in it a parallel to the relationship in Latin hostis between the meaning of 'stranger' and 'enemy'." The notion of 'enemy' disapperas in the 16th century (p. 919). See also Joan Corominas, Diccionario critico etimologico castellano e hispanico (Madrid: Grados, 1980), s.v. "huesped" which connects hostis and potis.
(116.) Lettre du voyant, 15 mai 1871.
(117.) De vulgari eloquentia, VI, 6.
(118.) Hugh of St. Victor had already emphasized these positive elements in terms of mystical denial, for education stems from a meeting with other human beings whose foreignness (alterity) marks the intelligent traveler: "Delicatus ille est adhuc cui patria dulce est; fortis autem jam cui omne solum patria est; perfectus vero cui mundus totus exsilium est" (Eruditio didascalica, III, 20) in Migne, Patrologia latina, v. 176, col. 778. Borrowing this quotation from Edward Said, who in turn had borrowed it from Auerbach, Todorov (p. 250) totally warped Hugh of St. Victor's mystical point. It is not "a being who has lost his country without thereby acquiring another" that the medieval theologian declares perfect, as Todorov imagines, but someone who finds himself exiled from God, and therefore attempts to return to Him.
(119.) The passage in the Canzoniere (no. 135) is considered the common source of many examples in the poetic repertoire of many modern literatures, from Boiardo and Tasso, to Ronsard and Donne (cf. T. J. Cachey, Jr., "Petrarch, Boccaccio, and the New World Encounter," Stanford Italian Review, X, 1 , 45-59).
(120.) De orbe novo (Madrid, 1530), ch. III, f. X. Cf. Shakespeare's The Tempest (II, 1, 143164), a passage which probably relies on the works of Pietro Martire d'Anghiera.
(121.) Essais, I, 31. The traditional reading of Montaigne's approval of the "noble savage" was revised in an essay by David Quint: did Montaigne fail to recognize the barbarity of the cannibales, blinded by "an incurable ethnocentrism" or a "colonialist ideology"? ("A Reconsideration of Montaigne's 'Des cannibales'," Modern Language Quarterly, LI, 4 , 459-489). Francois Rigolot underscored the "vue pluraliste du monde" which is at the foundation of Montaigne's philosophy, contrasting it with Todorov's view, which postulates that "l'autre n'est ? jamais percu ni connu" by the French philosopher (Nous et les autres: La reflexion francaise sur la diversite humaine. Paris: Seuil, 1989, p. 606; see also F. Rigolot's essay "1492, 1592, 1992: questions d'anniversaires--Montaigne et l'Amerique," The French Review, LXVII, 1 , 1-11).
(122.) A good choice of texts and a critical introduction to Benzoni's work is in Nuovo Mondo: Gli Italiani (1492-1565), cit., p. 574.
(123.) See Angel Losada, Fray Bartolome de las Casas a la luz de la moderna critica historica (Madrid: Tecnos, 1970), pp. 244-288.
(124.) Some individuals are so happily set in their niche that they resist as far as they can any attempt to be dislodged: when they set forth, their travel is a via dolorosa, whatever their destination or motivation may be. See my account of one such reluctant traveler, John Bostok: "Inter infectionem pestis et caloris intemperiem: The Voyage to the Council of PaviaSiena (1423) of the Abbot of St. Albans," Bulletin of the Society for Renaissance Studies, IV, 1 (1986), 7-17.
(125.) "Excusabile visum est in iuvene privato quod in rege sene non carpitur" (letter to Dionigio Roberti, 26 April 1336, in Familiares [IV, 1]); see Ambrogio Levati, Viaggi di Francesco Petrarca in Francia, in Germania ed in Italia (Milan: Classici, 1920). It is true that even Jesus climbed mountains, but he did so for specific purposes, using the height of a hill as a metaphor: the mons excelsus of his transfiguration (Mt 17:1), the mons where he taught his message (Mt 5:1), fed the crowd (Mt 15:29), retired to pray (Mt 14:23) or from which he sent his disciples to their mission (Mt 28:16). Petrarch's narrative also offers fascinating insights on the process of choosing the companions for his journey, looking for the virtues of the perfect traveler: "Sed de sotio cogitanti, mirum dictu, vix amicorum quisquam omni ex parte ydoneus videbatur: ? Hic segnior, ille vigilantior; hic tardior, ille celerior; hic mestior, ille letior; denique hic stultior, prudentior ille quam vellem; huius silentium, illius procacitas; huius pondus ac pinguedo, illius macies atque imbecillitas terrebat; huius frigida incuriositas, illius ardens occupatio dehortabatur."
(126.) Charles de Marguetel de Saint-Denis, seigneur de Saint-Evremont, Sir Politick Would-Be (published posthumously in 1705), ed. Robert Finch et Eugene Jollat (Paris-Geneva: Droz, 1978), p. 57.
(127.) Le Livre de la description des pays (Paris: Leroux, 1908), p. 29.
(128.) "Viaggio in Alamagna" in Scritti storici e politici, a cura di E. Niccolini (Bari: Laterza, 1972), pp. 122-123. Vettori, obviously, has in mind the Homer's and Horace's famous texts about Ulysses.
(129.) Montaigne, "accoustume d'y estre avec equippage non necessaire seulement, mais encores honneste," could not agree more with Vettori: "Celui qui a la garde de ma bourse en voyage, il l'a pure et sans contre-role" (Essais, III, 9).
(130.) Cf. my essay "Odeporico celliniano: il viaggiare nella Vita," Annali d'italianistica, IV , pp. 73-79. A somewhat similar situation happened at the end of May 1665, when Louis XIV asked the aldermen of the city of Lyons to take care of the accommodations of Bernini: "c'etait un honneur--wrote Paul Freart de Chantelou--que la ville de Lyon ne faisait qu'aux princes de sang" (Journal de voyage du Cavalier Bernin en France. Aix-en-Provence: Pandora, 1981, p. 16).
(131.) Justus Lipsius had mentioned, parenthetically, that traveling was a pleasant activity in a letter to his pupil, Philippe Lanoye, about to leave for Italy (" ? quid peregrinatione istac quaeras, duo, nisi fallor, utilitatem et voluptatem," Epist. I, 22: 3 April 1578). This letter became soon famous in the Renaissance: Sir J. Stradling translated it for his pupil, the earl of Bedford, and published it as A Direction for Travailers (London: Burbie, 1592). The dulcedo is the element which marks the separation of the intellectual pursuit and travels by soldiers, missionaries, diplomats, or pilgrims. The topos of the journey to Italy--and especially to Rome--is at the very core of humanism, a voyage to the ancestral sources of all human beings ("Roma una omnibus patria"), as Petrarch had made it very plain in one of his last letters, to a French "barbarus" ("Contra eum qui maledixit Italiae" in Opere latine. Turin: UTET, 1975, II, 1242).
(132.) See Mario Scaduto's "La strada e i primi gesuiti" (Archivum historicum Societatis Iesu, XL , 323-390) for a series of unpublished accounts of Jesuits captured by Turkish pirates while crossing the Adriatic Sea from Ancona to Venice in the middle of the 16th century.
(133.) Orazio Busino, the faithful chaplain/secretary of Pietro Contarini, a 17th-century Venetian ambassador to many European courts, wrote a precise diary of many his master's journeys. The journey itself often fades beneath a banal scheme of activities: the time of awakening and departure, the arrival, the food, the distance. It is not until his daily arrival in that microcosm of the inn that Busino usually opens up and his descriptions blossom.
(134.) Letter of May 1, 1845 in Correspondance (Paris: Gallimard, 1981), I, 226.
(135.) Mary Louisa Boyle, Mary Boyle: Her Book, ed. Sir Courtenay Boyle (London: J. Murray, 1901, p. 104). See also John Pemple, Mediterranean Passion: Victorians and Edwardians in the South (Oxford: Clarendon, 1987).
(136.) John Julius Norwich, A Taste for Travel: An Anthology (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987), p. 1.
(137.) Carlo Collodi, Un romanzo in vapore: da Firenze a Livorno. Guida storico- umoristica , ed. D. Marcheschi (Lucca: Maria Pacini Fazzi, 1987), pp. 180-181.
(138.) In his article "Italiani dappertutto!" (L'Espresso, November 26, 1995, p. 55) Enrico Arosio decries with humor the throngs of his fellow Italians who, "anziche far la spesa all'Esselunga," spend their Saturday in far away places "per trovare se stess[i]," thanks to the growth of specialized travel agencies and charter flights.
(139.) We are not examining here the metaphorical relationship between travel and writing: "El viajero y el escritor tienen destinos paralelos," according to Jaime Ferran in his essay "Viaje y literatura" (pp. 71-76).
(140.) Umberto Eco, L'isola del giorno prima (Milan: Bompiani, 1994), p. 10. And, as the reader finds out at the end of the novel, "ormai tutto quello che accadeva a Lilia dipendeva dalla sua [i.e., Eco's main character's] volonta di narratore" (p. 462).
(141.) [TEXT NOT REPRODUCILBE IN ASCII], "a treasure forever" (Thucydides, Hist. I, 22) "so that things accomplished by men may not be blotted out by time" (Herodotus, I, 1). The concept of "historia vita memoriae et magistra vitae" (Cicero, De orat. II, 36) is a commonplace of western thought. Winston Churchill repeats it: "It is my earnest hope that pondering upon the past may give guidance in days to come, enabling a new generation to repair some of the errors of former years and thus govern, in accordance with the needs and glory of man, the awful unfolding scene of the future" (Preface to his The Second World War).
(142.) In the introduction to his travel journal, Hercules prodicius (Anvers: Plantin, 1587, p. 134): "usage," i.e., experience, is the foundation of sapientia apodemica.
(143.) See also a text by Sallust: "Ceterum, ex aliis negotiis, quae ingenio exercentur, in primis magno usui est memoria rerum gestarum" (Iugurt., IV).
(144.) Pierre Bergeron, "Voiage d'Italie et d'Espaigne es annees 1611 et 1612" [Paris, Bibl. Nat. MS Fr. 19013 R.34288], introduction. (My edition of Bergeron's text will soon appear in the series "Bibliotheque du voyage en Italie," published by Slatkine in Geneva.) The emphasis on memory in Bergeron's travel narrative is set by the epigraph of the "Voiage," Vergil's quote: "et haec olim meminisse iuvabit" (AEneid, I, 203). Claiming only private motivations for his writing, the traveler may beg forgiveness for his daring: "Sebene che il dar corso de' siti et costumi esterni richiederebbe maggior sapere et maturita della mia, con tutto cio non pretendendo io con il presente itinerario o relatione del viaggio di Spagna informare altri, ma servirmene per mia particolar memoria delle cose vedute, pero non stimo arroganza l'havermi posto a tale impresa" (an anonymous secretary on the trip to Spain taken by Francesco Priuli in 1529; Biblioteca Marciana, Ms. It. VII, 631b , fo 1r).
(145.) Joseph Catin's description of the area around Naples in 1568 is written "afin que ceulx qui seroient desireux de faire ce voiage, en restant advertis, le puissent en bon ordre veoir, les aultres sans prendre peine de s'acheminer si loing, en donnant quelques relasches a leurs afaires, soulagent leurs espritz par la lecture de ce petit discours" (Voyage aux Champs Phlegreens (1568), ed. L. Monga. Geneva: Slatkine, forthcoming). In a four-line poem prefacing Jacques de Villamont's Voyages (Paris: C. de Montr'oeil et J. Richer, 1600), the author repeats this commonplace: "Francois, voyez ces peuples estrangers, / Sans changer d'air faictes ce long voyage, / De Villamont en la fleur de son aage / A ses despens vous tire des dangers."
(146.) J. Rondaut, "A propos de la lecture" in Ce qui nous revient (Paris: Gallimard, 1980), p. 21.
(147.) Papiers d'identite (Paris: Grasset, 1931), p. 28; quoted by A. Pasquali, Le Tour des horizons, p. 57.
(148.) In the same vein, Cervantes distinguished between cortesanos and caballeros: "Los cortesanos, sin salir de sus aposentos ni de los umbrales de la corte, se pasea por todo el mundo, mirando un mapa, sin costarle blanca, ni padecer calor ni frio, hambre ni sed; pero nosotros, los caballeros andantes verdaderos, al sol, al frio, al aire, a las inclemencias de cielo, de noche y de dia, a pie y a caballo, medimos toda la tierra con nuestros mismos pies" (Don Quijote, II, VI).
Faced with the difficulty of finding the precise coordinates of some newly-found islands in the Far East, Fra Mauro, a 15th-century Venetian cartographer, gave up all efforts of putting them in his mappamondo. He wrote on his map, in the general area of the sea southeast of China: "In questo mar oriental sono molte insule grande e famose, le quali non ho posto, per non haver loco"; and repeated the same idea in the area of the "Oceano Cataico": "In questo mar sono molte insule, le quali non met[t]o, per non haver loco" (Placido Zurla, Il mappamondo di Fra Mauro. Venezia, 1806, p. 38).
(149.) La Cosmographie universelle (Paris: L'Huillier, 1575), II, 907. For more on the tension between a cosmographer (Thevet) and a philosopher (Belleforest), see Normand Doiron's essay "De l'epreuve de l'espace au lieu du texte: Le recit de voyage comme genre," in Bernard Beugnot (ed.), Recits et immaginaire. Actes du Colloque de Montreal (Paris-Seattle- Tubingen, 1984), pp. 15-31.
(150.) Jean de Lery, Histoire d'un voyage en terre de Bresil, ed. F. Lestringant (Paris: Le Livre de poche, 1994), ch. XVI, p. 362.
(151.) Saint-Evremont, Sir Politick Would-Be, cit., p. 57.
(152.) As wrote the anonymous editor of a "Journal d'un voyage en Provence et en Italie" in Revue retrospective, ou Bibliotheque historique, ser. 2, t. 7 (1836), 196.
(153.) Ilaria Luzzana Caraci (ed.), Scopritori e viaggiatori del Cinquecento e Seicento (MilanNaples: Ricciardi, 1991), p. IX.
(154.) "Si via sit dura, licitum est tibi scribere plura," wrote Andreas Gartner in his collection of proverbs, Proverbialia dicteria (Frankfurt am Main: C. Egenholph, 1578). A modern French proverb ("A beau mentir qui vient de loin") is rooted on the ancient topos of the mistrust for the person who comes from afar: "One must expect to hear lies from a traveler" (Sa'di, Gulistan [ca. 1258], I, apol. 32); "Pilgrymes and palmers ? hedden leue to lygen" (William Langland, Piers the Plowman [ca. 1362], prologue); "Three sortes of men may lye by auctoritie, a Phisition, an Olde man, and a Travayler" (John Florio, First Fruites , fo. 75).
(155.) To observe the world without sharing its knowledge, for Pascal, is only idle vanity: "Curiosite n'est que vanite. Le plus souvent on ne veut savoir que pour en parler; autrement on ne voyagerait pas sur la mer pour ne jamais en rien dire et pour le seul plaisir de voir, sans esperance d'en jamais communiquer" (Lafuma 77). See Jean Mesnard's preface to Les Recits de voyage (Paris: Nizet, 1986), pp. 9-11).
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