Environment, Space, Place

Volume 1, Issue 1, Spring 2009

Glen A. Mazis
Pages 169-188

Touring as Authentically Embodying Place and a New World at a Glance

The critique of tourism as being only a distanced, detached, and consumerist passing through of foreign landscapes and cultures is disputed in this essay. The idea that tourism necessarily fits the paradigm of inauthenticity as the tranquilized and alienated hopping from spot to spot in prepackaged, superficial presentations is contrasted with another sense of tourism as drawing upon the potential power of the glance to disrupt the everyday, to focus on the particular, to be surprised by the new, and to bodily join up with the rhythms of place being as shifting. Authenticity is seen in both Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty to be primarily about a greater bodily awareness of surround and transformation of the self as an ongoing process of “selving” that yields a more singular sense of who one is in relationship to places and their interconnectedness. To gain a better sense of oneself in one own being or uniqueness is to gain more meaning through emplacement within the surround. The glance at a new world can open up an “interplace” which expands and deepens the sense of who we are in the interconnection and reverberations among places.