Introduction
In this book I trace the impact of the nineteenth-century European
culture of travel on social divisions in England and India in order to
show the cultural basis and effects of imperialism. Gaining power and
prominence during that period, this culture is still visible in contem-
porary cultural productions oftravel, mediated in various parts ofthe
world through specific agendas inflected by the geopolitics of the
tourist industry. Any cursory glance at travel brochures or ofclothing
catalogues such as Banana Republic or J. Peterman reveals the desire
for the exotic, a disdain for "natives," a search for the "authentic"
Other, and a need to merge with the "native" culture and not be seen
as a visitor. Other travel narratives that see themselves as outside
colonial frameworks often reveal similar imperial discourses; for ex-
ample, the postmodernist mode of travel writing inscribes metro-
politan desires ofperipheralizing others within representational prac-
tices marked by inequalities.
l
The rhetoric and discourse of European travel was an eighteenth-
century construct that began with the Grand Tour that young men of
the English aristocracy undertook as part of their education, a mode
of travel that was central to class and gender formation.
2
By the nine-
teenth century, as John Urry suggests, travel changed from an oppor-
tunity for discourse to travel as "eyewitness observation," within
which there was developed a visualization of experience and the de-
velopment of the "gaze."3 Narratives of exploration, science, dis-
covery, and anthropology recoded such class and gender formations
in new forms of authority during the nineteenth century. Romantic
discourses of the Self, the "native," and the "savage" performed
such recodings. The difference between "travel" and "tourism" con-
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