Time, Routes, and Places of Nineteenth-Century Travelers is dedicated to compiling, querying, visualizing, and interpreting the narratives by men and women who traveled to Spain from over ten countries of Europe and the Americas over the course of the “long” nineteenth century (1789-1914). We approach the travel literature of the time as a mass-produced modular type of writing, since the authors of travel books were driven by market demands and a wish to sell as much as by their desire for self-expression. Although these writers were following the conventions of such genres as scientific questionnaires, art criticism, life writing, and adventure stories, they were seeking to achieve “truth-effect” and create an illusion of authenticity. As the result, nineteenth-century travelogues are hybrid texts that reproduced cultural conventions and pre-conceived ideas from their authors’ places of origin just as often as they reconstructed foreign lands and narrated individual experiences. This is why, we claim, scholars need interdisciplinary tools to analyze travel literature. Examining it “in bulk” using the instruments of computer analysis and visualization is a new strategy that this project is set to explore.
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