Mountain Excursions, Aesthetic Visions, and the Antebellum Travel Narrative
Michael S. Martin
Appalachian Pastoral rethinks how nineteenth-century travel narratives into Appalachia deliberately incorporate British landscape aesthetics as a mediating literary device with a somewhat inconceivable real-world environment and terrain. Martin argues that mid-nineteenth-century travel writers going through or from the Appalachian region drew on familiar versions of eighteenth-century European landscape aesthetics, which helped make the readerly experience less alien to their erudite regional and Northern audiences. These travel writers, such as Philip Pendleton Kennedy and David Hunter Strother, consciously appropriated such aesthetic tropes as the pastoral to further dramatic effect in their nonfiction accounts of Appalachia, while the reader could find such references comforting as they considered whether to domesticate or tour the Appalachian region.
About the Author
Michael S. Martin is Associate Professor of English, Modern Languages, and Cultural Studies at Nicholls State University.