Journal of World Philosophies 4 (1):23-35 (2019)

Thomas Heyd
University of Victoria
In this paper I argue that the concept of pilgrimage provides a unifying trope for the otherwise seemingly unfocused travel accounts of Bashō’s Narrow Road to the Interior and Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland’s Voyage aux régions equinoxiales du Nouveau Continent. I begin with a brief description of debates regarding the notion of pilgrimage. After that I show how pilgrimage as trope may be applied to the texts of these authors. This is followed by an application of the classical stages of pilgrimage to particular phases of Bashō’s and Humboldt’s recounted experiences. I conclude that pilgrimage offers an illuminating new way to understand the travel accounts of these two writers.
Keywords Alexander von Humboldt  Matsuo Bashō  interpretation  journeying  pilgramage  tropes
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