Travels in nowheria: James bridie's some talk of alexander

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This paper deals with representations of otherness in a 1926 travelogue in which Osborne Henry Mavor (aka James Bridie) documented 'what happened to a quiet, respectable practitioner of Medicine during the years 1917-19'. Some Talk of Alexander is one of his lesser-known works, and according to Bridie's estimate in the preface, deservedly so: 'I cannot conceive how any man or woman could feel better informed or morally uplifted by it'. While such authorial self-deprecation is ever to be taken with a fair dose of salt, this instance underlines Bridie's struggle to portray the sheer absurdity of his involuntary adventure amidst the greater absurdity of the so-called Great War. Partly meeting and partly satirising expectations raised by the book's title that quotes the opening words of the military song 'The British Grenadiers' with its hyperbolic swagger,1 the narrative portrays the author's journey in kaleidoscopic glimpses of a fantastic Nowheria, a composite blend of Africa, Arabia, Persia, India, and the Caucasus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-50
Number of pages16
JournalScottish Literary Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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