Writing Home: Martin Walser's Ein fliehendes Pferd as Anti-Tourist Literature

Jane Wilkinson

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This paper examines the novella Ein fliehendes Pferd (A Runaway Horse) by Lake Constance author Martin Walser as ‘anti-tourist literature’. The popularity of Lake Constance as a tourist destination owes much to its beautiful natural landscape, which is often depicted in romantic images and words in the tourist brochures and guidebooks from the region. Local author, Walser uses similar descriptions of the natural landscape in his novella, which tells the story of four disillusioned tourists and their disappointing holiday by Lake Constance, but provides a local, critical perspective on constructions of the place Lake Constance by the tourist industry. The paper reflects on the ways in which Walser's ‘anti-tourist’ characters react to, and are influenced by, the natural landscape and the holiday destination. It focuses on the satirical use of typical tourist brochure and guidebook descriptions of the landscape, and the ways in which changes in the landscape mirror changes in the destructive relationship between the four characters. The paper makes an important contribution to the field of tourism and cultural change in its focus on anti-tourist literature as a literature of resistance to the impacts of tourism and tourist literature on places and their inhabitants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-193
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Tourism and Cultural Change
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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