Representation of Oriental Travelees and Locus in Jurgen Wasim Frembgen’s Travelogue: The Closed Valley: With Fierce Friends in Pakistani Himalays

Ahmad Gholi


The oft despised and ignored genre of travel writing was recognized as worthy of scholarly investigation in 1970s thanks to Edward Said’s Orientalism, the wave of deconstructionism, and postcolonialism (Calzati, 2015). For these scholars, travel writers do not present a transparent window to an alien space and its residents even though they normally claim it. For them the representation of the traveled terrain and travelees is an ideological construction which is tainted with the travel writer’s ‘habitus’ and ‘field’ and crafted through fictional devices. In this regard, by drawing on postcolonial methodology, the current study seeks to evince how Frembgen in his travelogue, The Closed Valley: With Fierce Friends in Pakistani Himalayas which narrates his voyage to Harban, a far-flung mountainous region in Pakistan Himalaya, reproduces the pitfalls of previous Western travel writers when he depicts his destination and travelees in negative terms. From his perspective, his timeless traveled locus is rife with violence, yet a space to escape from dehumanizing ambience of the West. Additionally, for him the women in this tribal region are tyrannized by husbands and victimized by Muslim extremists. Last but not least, he portrays this remote oriental space as an object of curiosity which needs to be salvaged textually.



Travel Writing, Timeless, Escape, Women, Violence, Curiosity

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