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Pro gradu thesis: Literary tourism – A strange combination of real and imaginary

Pro gradu thesis: Literary tourism – A strange combination of real and imaginary

11.6.2015 11:02

Literary places which attract keen readers present a strange combination of real and imaginary: on one hand they are actual physical places, on the other hand they have an imaginary dimension jointly produced by the writers and readers. What are literary tourists looking for?

In her pro gradu thesis, Evgenia Amey sheds light on experiences of literary tourists by analysing the role of authenticity in British tourists’ accounts of their literary trips. The data consists of seven free-form narratives written by respondents and a travel journal produced by members of a study group.

The results show that literary tourists are looking for authenticity at literary sites. The significance of their experience is directly related to the fact whether they encountered the authenticity they sought for. Both objective authenticity (proven genuineness of the toured objects) and collectively and individually prescribed meanings to the sites and objects play an important role. Authenticity is perceived and consumed differently by individual literary tourists based on their motivations, expectations and dedication to writers and literary works.

Evgenia Amey: On a quest for authenticity to an imaginary place: A narrative analysis of the experiences of British literary tourists.

The supervisors of the thesis were Professor Soile Veijola and Senior Lecturer Monika Lüthje.
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