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Asian CrossingsTravel Writing on China, Japan and Southeast Asia$
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Steve Clark and Paul Smethurst

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9789622099142

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622099142.001.0001

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Forbidden Journeys to China and Beyond with the Odd Couple: Ella Maillart and Peter Fleming

Forbidden Journeys to China and Beyond with the Odd Couple: Ella Maillart and Peter Fleming

Chapter:
(p.140) (p.141) 9 Forbidden Journeys to China and Beyond with the Odd Couple: Ella Maillart and Peter Fleming
Source:
Asian Crossings
Author(s):

Mulligan Maureen

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789622099142.003.0010

This chapter concentrates on two accounts of the same trans-Asian journey through China, India, and Tibet: Peter Fleming's News from Tartary (1936) and Ella Maillart's Forbidden Journey; from Peking to Kashmir (1937). Both accounts of the journeys combine familiar traditions: the remnants of nineteenth-century exploration in the adventure tale in forbidden lands; the attempt to explain the world in political terms and to question the nature of imperialism through journalism; and the post-romantic urge to examine the soul by seeking out exotic locations and rough terrain and turning these to a series of metaphors. In this final aspect, we see the greatest difference between the two writers, in that Maillart is clearly more interested in analyzing her interior life and convinced of its innate importance than is Fleming, a tendency that is to become more generalized in travel writing by women as the century advanced.

Keywords:   Peter Fleming, Ella Maillart, News from Tartary, Forbidden Journey, China, India, Tibet

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