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A Reporter Without Borders: Tennessee Williams’s Literary ‘War’ Journalism, 1928

Abstract : Drawing on the discipline of border studies, the article examines the epistemological dilemmas with travelogues per literary journalism studies, given that they involve the simultaneous crossing of both physical (geopolitical frontiers) and conceptual (textual/genetic) borders. The article uses as its case study a travelogue written by American playwright Tennessee Williams during his Grand Tour through Europe in 1928 when he was just seventeen. A rare example of the playwright’s flirtation with the genre of literary journalism at a time when objective journalism was establishing itself as the newsprint norm, the travelogue – published in ten installments in his high school newspaper in the months following the trip – offers a first glimpse in Williams scholarship not only into the playwright’s artistic future but also his struggle with distancing factual from fictional representation. Read against his early letters and late memoirs that describe essentially the same content as the travel pieces, the article makes use of border studies methodologies to help negotiate the delicate divide that separates verifiable fact from allowable fiction in literary journalism.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-03275465
Contributor : John S. Bak Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 10:30:55 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 3, 2022 - 4:43:15 PM

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John S. Bak. A Reporter Without Borders: Tennessee Williams’s Literary ‘War’ Journalism, 1928. Cadernos de Literatura comparada, ILCML - Instituto de literatura comparada Margarida Losa, 2021, 44 (6), pp.51-71. ⟨10.21747/2183-2242/cad44a3⟩. ⟨hal-03275465⟩

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