From Iron Curtains to Iron Cliffs
British travel writing between East and West
in The road to Brexit
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This chapter discusses the British relationship with the Continent through the usage of the term Iron Curtain, both in broader popular discourses and with a particular focus on three travel narratives (by David Shears, Anthony Bailey and Tim Moore) that span almost fifty years of British and European history – from the pre-détente Cold War years to the Brexit era. The narratives reflect the evolution of British views of borders and geopolitical orientations, engaging with the Iron Curtain as the hardest European border to date as well as Britain’s position towards/within Europe. Significantly, the travel narratives represent the Iron Curtain not only as a (changing) material structure, but also as a lasting trope of exclusion and isolation. The analysis is informed by Henri Lefebvre’s theory of space as well as border studies and cultural explorations of nostalgia.

The road to Brexit

A cultural perspective on British attitudes to Europe

Editor: Ina Habermann

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