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Eat, pray, loathe : women’s travel memoir as moving metaphysical journey or narcissistic new-age babble?

Cantrell, Kate (2011) Eat, pray, loathe : women’s travel memoir as moving metaphysical journey or narcissistic new-age babble? Ejournalist: a refereed media journal, 11(1), pp. 45-53.

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Abstract

This paper considers the contentious space between self-affirmation and selfpreoccupation in Elizabeth Gilbert’s popular travel memoir, Eat, Pray, Love. Following the surveillance of the female confessant, the female traveller has recently come under close scrutiny and public suspicion. She is accused of walking a fine line between critical self-insight and obsessive selfimportance and her travel narratives are branded as accounts of navel gazing that are less concerned with what is seen than with who is doing the seeing. In reading these themes against the backdrop of women’s travel, the possibility arises that the culture of narcissism is increasingly read as a female discursive practice, concerned with authorship, privacy and the subjectivity of truth. The novel, which has been praised by some as ‘the ultimate guide to balanced living’ and dismissed by others as ‘self-serving junk’, poses questions about the requisites in Western culture for being a female traveller and for telling a story that focuses primarily on the self.

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ID Code: 42279
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert, popular fiction, popular culture, female travel memoir, narcissism , travel writing
ISSN: 1444-741X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Creative Writing (incl. Playwriting) (190402)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > OTHER STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190999) > Studies in the Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified (199999)
Divisions: Current > Schools > Creative Writing & Literary Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 please consult the author
Deposited On: 30 Jun 2011 11:35
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2012 01:30

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