Glimpses into the unmentionable: Montserrat, tourism and anthropological readings of “subordinate exotic” and “comic exotic” travel writing

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Abstract

This article explores the relationship between anthropology and identity through the process of travel writing and reading. Specifically, the article examines a range of mid to late twentieth century travel writings about the British Caribbean colony Montserrat to read into the culture of the writer and the assumed reader. These deconstructive ‘glimpses into the unmentionable’ often reveal an implicit racism. The travel writing texts—built upon very brief and often sponsored visits to the island—are also found to copy ideas and themes from each other such as the idea of Montserrat as an imitation of Ireland. Broadly speaking, these travel writings about Montserrat divide into two types of representation—the ‘subordinate exotic’ (‘The Other Emerald Isle’) and the ‘comic exotic’ (an odd ethnic spectacle of the ‘Black-Irish’).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-191
Number of pages15
JournalStudies in Travel Writing
Volume12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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