Notes on the Location of Happiness
This article explores the world making capabilities of travel writing (Goodman 1978; Youngs 2013). The premise is that literary products are key elements in the configuration of the world itself and that specifically authors of travel accounts mediate the world to their readership at home (Archetti 1994).
By highlighting three different examples of travel writing, the article discusses the persistent notion of the tropical island as an actually existing paradise on earth. More specifically, the discussion focus around the notion that happiness exists in places to which one can travel to.
The examples at hand are two eighteenth century travel logs one French and one English; Louise-Antoine de Bougainville’s from 1772 and William Bligh’s from 1792, while the third and final example is a contemporary Swedish travel piece written by Anders Mathlein and first published in 2001.
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