Writing the End: Wilfred Thesiger, Freya Stark and the ‘Arabist tradition’

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Cocking, Ben (2007)

Freya Stark’s The Southern Gates of Arabia (1936) and Wilfred\ud Thesiger’s Arabian Sands (1959) are commonly viewed as\ud representing the last of the ‘Arabist tradition’. Consequently, The\ud Southern Gates of Arabia and Arabian Sands provide an opportunity\ud to examine the Arabist tradition at a genealogical point of transition.\ud Taking as its starting point the representational strategies deployed in\ud each book, this paper will examine the extent to which these strategies\ud are characteristic of Arabist travel writing and consider how Stark and\ud Thesiger might be located in the context of the tradition’s demise.\ud Keywords: Arabist tradition, travel writing, Freya Stark, Wilfred\ud Thesiger, Orientalism.
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