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Title: Pierre LOTI ,Journey Across Sinai To Jerusalem, 1894
Authors: Abu Khashan, Abdul Karim
Issue Date: Oct-2010
Publisher: European University Institute: Robert Shuman Center for Advances Studies
Abstract: When the French writer Pierre Loti set off in 1894 to cross the Sinai desert to Palestine, travelling to “the Orient” as the name and frame of an exotic destination for Europeans was firmly established. Prior to the nineteenth century, Europeans would either name the land to which they traveled, or else employ the term “the Levant” which had gained frequency in commercial and diplomatic parlance.1 It was the French writer and poet Lamartine’s account of his voyage that established the term “the Orient” in its canonical sense with the publication of his Souvenirs, impressions, pensees et paysages pendant un voyage en Orient 1835. The nineteenth century saw significant progress in the means of transportation, so that access to the Middle East no longer required a long and arduous journey. Berchet, tracing the mid-nineteenth century journeys of two other notable French writers, observes: Within half a century the journey to the East became faster, easier, and more amenable to planning, so that in 1843 it took Nerval no longer than fifteen days to reach Alexandria after a brief stop in Malta and a change of ship in Syria. In 1849, for one Flaubert, the journey was shortened to only eight days, with an additional forty-eight hours in Malta because of bad weather
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