Semiologies of Travel is the first book to explore comprehensively the role of semiology and signs in the encounter with foreign cultures as it is expressed in French travel writing. David Scott focuses on major writers of the last two hundred years, including Theophile Gautier, Andre Gide, Henri Michaux, Michel Leiris, Claude Levi-Strauss, Roland Barthes and Jean Baudrillard, to show how ethnology, politics, sociology and semiotics, as well as literature, are deeply bound up in travel experience and the writing that emerges from it. Scott also shows how the concerns of Romantic writers and theorists are still relevant to reflections on travel in today's post-modern world. The book follows an itinerary through jungle, desert and Utopia, as well as through Disneyland and Chinese restaurants, and will be of interest to specialists in French studies and cultural studies as well as to readers of travel writing.
'In Semiologies of Travel David Scott offers the reader a veritable kaleidoscope of literature, images, and criticism in order to illustrate how the experience of travel demands its own sort of reading. ... a lucid and poetic reflection on the semiologies of our time. ... For the reader interested in the way semiologies directly affect our experience of the world, Scott offers practical and clear explanations of how we read.' French Forum 'The author successfully avoids the diachronic approach common to many surveys of travel literature in order to create connections, intertextual or otherwise, between authors and texts either from different period or concerned with often very different locales ... The field of reference is wide ... Where the study excels is in its Peircian explorations, complex yet illuminating ... Semiologies of Travel is to be read ... as a challenging intervention in studies in travel writing, outlining an exemplary semiological approach at a time when the field is rapidly elaborating its own critical terminology and associated research paradigms.' MLR